David Kirkpatrick

November 17, 2009

Nuclear power may not be the answer

Filed under: Business, Politics, Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:11 pm

And the reason might really surprise you — we’re running out of uranium. There’s a lot of talk about building new nuke plants — an idea I like — to help wean the west off of OPEC, et. al. What may come as a shock to many is uranium, the power source for nuclear plants, is going to offer just as many headaches in terms of shortages and being beholden parts of the world with reserves as petroleum provides right now.

Looks like it’s time to redouble the alternative power efforts if we want energy relatively free of the whims of geopolitics.

From the link:

Perhaps the most worrying problem is the misconception that uranium is plentiful. The world’s nuclear plants today eat through some 65,000 tons of uranium each year. Of this, the mining industry supplies about 40,000 tons. The rest comes from secondary sources such as civilian and military stockpiles, reprocessed fuel and re-enriched uranium. “But without access to the military stocks, the civilian western uranium stocks will be exhausted by 2013, concludes Dittmar.

It’s not clear how the shortfall can be made up since nobody seems to know where the mining industry can look for more.

March 3, 2008

Chavez aiding S. American terrorists?

Filed under: et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:49 pm

This Bloomberg story doesn’t look too good for the portly Venezuelan dictator:

Colombia Files Show Chavez Funded FARC, Rebels Sought Uranium

By Helen Murphy

March 3 (Bloomberg) — Colombia’s police chief Oscar Naranjo said documents from the computer of a guerrilla leader killed last weekend in Ecuador show links to Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.

The documents on the computer of Raul Reyes, the second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, indicate that Venezuela provided the guerrillas with at least $300 million and would help Chavez in the event of a U.S. attack on Venezuela.

Naranjo said the FARC, as the group is known, was seeking to buy 50 kilos of uranium for bomb making with aim of getting involved in international terrorism.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helen Murphy in Bogota at Hmurphy1@bloomberg.net .

(Hat tip: Fark)