Wyoming Nears Massive Expansion Of Nuclear Support
Mon, 06/25/2012 - 12:58pm
ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — The Great Plains region of the U.S. Midwest is often referred to as the Corn Belt, comprising much of the nation's agricultural production.
The region from the Midwest to the Northeast is the Rust Belt, with industrial manufacturing traditionally dominating the local economies.
Wyoming is the powerhouse. Almost every resource that fuels cars, planes, trains and power plants in the United States is extracted in the Cowboy State, including oil, natural gas, coal, sodium bicarbonate and uranium.
The state's southwest corner is rich in all five and produces almost all of the world's trona, or sodium bicarbonate, which is refined into soda ash.
While Sweetwater County's economy is driven by oil, gas and trona production, a planned uranium mine in the Lost Creek area north of Wamsutter is expected to increase domestic production between 25 and 50 percent by 2014.
Total uranium production in the United States for nuclear power generation is currently about 4 million pounds per year.
Ur-Energy, which has acquired most of the necessary licenses and permits for the project, anticipates an annual output of 1 million to 2 million pounds of refined yellowcake uranium powder.
Production is slated to begin spring 2013 and increase to full capacity by 2014.
Uranium has been mined in the Great Divide Basin, which cuts through south-central Wyoming up to its northwest corner, for more than 40 years.
One of Ur-Energy's co-founders was a uranium prospector and geologist in the 1960s and '70s who long suspected the Lost Creek area was rich with the element. It wasn't until 2005, however, that the company was established and the permitting process began.
Steve Hatten, the vice president of operations, said the company would fill 58 positions, ideally from surrounding communities.
"I'd like to see folks from Bairoil, Wamsutter, Jeffrey City and Rawlins get involved. They're pretty close, and we really hope to impact all those communities in a very positive way," Hatten tells the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner (http://bit.ly/PngwDS). "We have had nothing but positive comments from all the communities."
About $4 million will be paid each year for salaries, with positions including field construction, engineering, geology, managerial, accounting and maintenance.
Uranium mining is different than the common conception of tunnels, thick with dust as pickaxes clank in the dimly lit gloom.
Uranium is a thin coating on the grains of sandstone formations 70 to 80 feet thick and about 450 feet below the surface at the Lost Creek property, Hatten said. About 15 feet of uranium will be extracted from the formations.
The process begins at an injection well, where groundwater is extracted, infused with sodium bicarbonate, carbon dioxide and oxygen, and re-injected into the rock formation.
A PVC pipe encased in concrete goes down to the 450-foot production horizon, where the mining solution is flushed through the formation.
The uranium-laden solution is then pumped back to the surface through a production well about 70 feet away.
The Lost Creek operation will process 6,000 gallons per minute at full capacity.
Both the production and injection wells are connected to the processing plant via pipes 6 feet underground to prevent water from freezing in the winter.
The company anticipates the operation will be productive for about 10 years.
Because of the dangers of radioactivity and the process of flushing uranium through the subsurface, mining companies must navigate a maze of permits and regulations and steer clear of any drinking water sources.
Uranium produces the highly radioactive element radium as it decays, so uranium-bearing formations contain higher radium concentrations.
Water in uranium-bearing formations is generally not suitable for drinking before or after mining.
"The water quality is generally bad. It's high in radium, uranium and other contaminants," Hatten said.
Ur-Energy has received eight of the nine necessary regulatory approvals for Lost Creek, including a Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality permit to mine, Nuclear Regulatory Commission source and byproduct materials license, DEQ air quality permit, Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife management plan and Sweetwater County development plan.
The company is awaiting final approval of the plan of operations by the Bureau of Land Management, which CEO Wayne Heili said he hopes will be granted before August.
Every material that could be removed with the uranium must be identified in an environmental impact statement, Hatten said.
The company will also be required to monitor water around the area of interest to ensure no contaminants seep beyond this boundary.
The permitting process culminates with the environmental impact statement, which includes surface, subsurface and groundwater impacts; operation and processing methods; and reclamation methods once the uranium is no longer economically feasible to extract.
Because the process doesn't slurry the sand below, it doesn't create physical caverns of displaced material, Hatten said.
"When we talk about subsurface effects, we're not talking about physical effects. We're talking about chemical effects and mobilizing constituents in the groundwater," Hatten said. "Unlike a conventional mine, we don't take away the surface to get to the subsurface. It is literally inconsequential to the total volume . (Uranium) is truly a mild coating on the sand grains. You will see no subsidence and no effects to the formation."
Uranium mining companies must submit a multimillion dollar bond to the DEQ, which is returned upon completion of a successful reclamation. If a company folds or does not adequately reclaim an area, the bond is forfeited and used to fund the cleanup.
Once mining is completed, the EPA issues an aquifer exemption permit that limits use of the area to mining in general.
Wastewater can be disposed of several different ways, including extraction, treatment and re-injection. Hatten said Ur-Energy plans to inject the waste in deep disposal wells permitted and approved by the state. It will be treated using ion exchange, reverse osmosis and simple filtration.
The company must remove well bore piping, connector pipes and roads. Under its reclamation plan, the well bores will be sealed with concrete, the surface reseeded and the processing plant dismantled and removed.
The life cycle for each 30- to 40-acre mine unit from preproduction drilling and construction to final reclamation is three to four years, Hatten said. About 600 to 700 wells will be drilled on each unit.
Nuclear power plants generate about 20 percent of the electricity used in the United States.
"We really consider nuclear and hydroelectric power as the base load power in the U.S. because those don't really turn off and on, where coal and natural gas become a little bit more flexible," Hatten said.
Wyoming, in the way to Huge Expansion of Nuclear Support
Wyoming is the nation's largest coal producer, with over 400 million tons of coal produced in the state each year. In 2006, Wyoming's coal production accounted for almost 40% of the nation's total coal creation. The Great Plains region of the U.S. Midwest is often referred to as the Corn Belt, comprising much of the nation's undeveloped production. Wyoming is the powerhouse. Almost every resource that fuels cars, planes, trains and power plants in the United States is extracted in the Cowboy State, including oil, natural gas, coal, sodium bicarbonate and uranium.
Total uranium production in the United States for nuclear power generation is at present about 4 million pounds per year. Coal-fired power plants produce almost 95% of the electricity generated in Wyoming. The state's average retail price of electricity is 5.27 cents per kilowatt hour, the 2nd lowest rate in the nation. Wyoming has had numerous mine disasters.
The worst occurred in Hanna on June 30, 1903, when an explosion in one of Union Pacific's mines killed 169 miners. Wyoming coal is shipped to 35 other states. The coal is highly desirable because of its low sulfur levels. On average, Wyoming coal contains 0.35 percent sulfur by weight, compared with 1.59 percent for Kentucky coal and 3 to 5 percent for other eastern coals such as West Virginia. Uranium has been mined in the Great Divide Basin, which cuts through south-central Wyoming up to its northwest corner, for more than 40 years.
18 Principles That Make Rich Traders So Successful
Posted by Wealth Wire - Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Trading in the stock market is like being in a Monopoly board game of ten total people and one person will end up winning the majority of everyone else’s money before the game is over. This is much like in trading where 10% of traders are profitable and the other 90% lose or just break even in the long term.
If the 1 in 10 Monopoly winners consistently won game after game then you would want to know what they were doing differently than the other nine consistent losers. Well I do not know what the Monopoly winners were doing but here are what rich traders are doing differently.
These principles were compiled after 13 years of successful trading and studying the winning traders through out history, Livermore, Darvas, O’Neil, Micheal Covel’s Trend Followers, Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards and many more. I also sent these principles to many rich traders and market historians to double check my findings like John Boik, Alexander Elder, and Chris Kacher and many others.
I got two thumbs up. So for a free short cut to learning how to win in the markets here you go. (Of course the next step will be do you understand these principles? Many are very counter intuitive.)
1. New Traders are greedy and have unrealistic expectations. Rich Traders are realistic about their returns.
2. New Traders make the wrong decisions because of stress; Rich Traders are able to manage stress.
3. New Traders are impatient and look for constant action. Rich Traders are patient.
4. New Traders trade because they are influenced by their own greed and fear; Good Traders use a trading plan.
5. New Traders are unsuccessful when they stop learning; Rich Traders never stop learning about the market.
1. New Traders act like gamblers; Rich Traders operate like a businessperson.
2. New Traders bet the farm, Rich Traders carefully control trading size.
3. For New Traders outsized profits are the #1 priority, for Rich Traders managing risk is the #1 Priority.
4. New Traders try to prove they are right. Rich Traders admit when they are wrong,
5. New Traders give back profits by not having an exit strategy. Rich Traders lock in profits while they are there.
1. New Traders give up and quit, Rich Traders persevere in the market until they are successful,
2. New Traders hop from system to system the moment they suffer a loss. Rich Traders stick with a winning system even when it’s losing.
3. New Traders place trades based on opinions. Rich Traders place trades based on probabilities,
4. New Traders try to predict. Rich Traders follow what the market is telling them.
5. New Traders trade against the trend; Rich Traders follow the markets trend.
6. New Traders follow their emotions which puts them at a disadvantage. Rich Traders follow systems that give them an advantage.
7. New Traders do not know when to cut losses or lock in gains, Rich Traders have an exit plan.
8. New Traders Cut profits short and let losses run. Rich Traders let profits run and cut losses short.
*Post courtesy of Steven Burns at New Trader U