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Advanced Nuclear Energy Research Transcends Political Climate

Many in the global community may be wrestling with whether to continue their nuclear programs, including some policymakers in the United States. But the country’s national research laboratories say that they are busy devising advanced reactors — the kind that could minimize Fukushima-like accidents.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster has compounded what remains a persistent problem, which is the high capital costs associated with building such plants and the relative risks tied to those investments. The goal of the mostly federally-funded research institutions is to work with industry to create safer and more efficient reactors, which includes not just the larger centrally-operated plants but also the smaller modular reactors that are pieced together on site.

“We harvest the information that helps the analysts,” says Mitch Farmer, senior nuclear engineer at theArgonne National Lab in Chicago, in an interview. “We have learned to sharpen our pencils, and politics is not affecting our jobs. The only real inhibitor is the capital costs, which we are also trying to address.”

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The miners have started 2014 very well indeed on the back of rising gold prices, so the question is; is this the real deal or another head fake? Is the bottom really in? Could there be a final capitulation just ahead of us? Will the summer doldrums take the PMs lower?

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Reader Comments (2)

Safety should be the major concern even before cost. Building cost is high and time consuming but operating cost is low even if U3O8 were to double or tripple and remember it works 24-7 and it's clean (green) power.
There are much safer reactor designs than those used in USA & Japan. I believe the Heavy Water Reactors can be shut down quickly if need be with out any danger of blow up. No heavy water no reactor! I think France and Canada have been useing it for about 40 years. Check it out, I think it's time the world build that better mouse trap.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Dutton

Yes - couldn't agree more, just one accident throws the whole nuclear energy space up into the air, we do need to contain any fault that comes along and constantly be proving the worth of each plant.

May 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterUranium Stocks

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