Nuclear energy roundup Sept 16, 2008

1. Brazil’s nuclear energy company has submitted a six-reactor plan to government, while ministers talk of building more than one per year until 2050.

At present Brazil employs only the two nuclear power units at Angra, giving 1900 MWe, while the completion of the long-stalled Angra 3 would take this to 3120 MWe around 2014. Eletronuclear projected the completion of the first two northeast reactors in 2019 and 2021, and the southeast ones in 2023 and 2025.

Speaking at the Angra 3 site on 12 September, minister for mines and energy Edison Lobao said four states in the northeast had already expressed interest in hosting a plant: Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia.

He went on to say he thought Brazil would need 50 to 60,000 MWe of nuclear capacity by 2050, as compared to the country’s current total electricity generating capacity of 100,000 MWe.

2. IAEA projects world nuclear power could double by 2030 and this projection is an increase of 57 GWe from last years projection.

For 2030, the World Nuclear Association (WNA) projects global nuclear generating capacity under the low scenario of 552 GWe, while under the high scenario, 1203 GWe. This increases to 1136 GWe and 3488 GWe, respectively, by 2060. By the end of the century the WNA puts a maximum nuclear capacity of around 11,000 GWe under the high scenario.

3. Australia’s anti-nuclear liberal party lost its majority. Colin Barnett, leader of the Liberal Party – which supports uranium mining – was announced as Premier on 14 September, 2008.

Mega Uranium said there is “no longer any political impediment” to the development of its Lake Maitland uranium project Western Australia’s most advanced uranium project. The Canadian-based company, which had threatened to pull out of Australia if Carpenter had won the election, said that it is on schedule to develop a mine and commission a plant in 2011 with an initial production capacity of 750 tonnes U3O8 per year.