Robot will crawl through pipes to help decommission nuclear facility


There are miles of pipes at a closed uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, that no living creature can safely enter. So DOE will use a couple custom robots. Robots have found an important calling working in radioactive environments. In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, teams of Japanese roboticists have created a small army of robots capable of surviving, if only for a few minutes, inside the compromised reactor cores. One of those robots recently transmitted the first photos of nuclear debris from the site.

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog to Open Uranium Bank That May Have No Clients

U.S. News

A container for uranium hexafluoride salt, raw material for nuclear reactors, similar to the one to be used for the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank is seen at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in the northeastern industrial city of Oskemen, Kazakhstan May 26, 2017. Picture taken May 26, 2017.

U.S. nuclear power and uranium mining industries hope for Trump bailout

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A plea from uranium mining companies and nuclear power plant operators for tax breaks and other federal financial boosts is going before President Donald Trump, as his administration studies reviving the U.S. uranium industry in the name of national security. Trump is scheduled to receive recommendations Thursday from a task force of national security, military and other federal officials about ways to revive U.S. uranium mining, which has lagged against global competition amid low uranium ore prices. Uranium is a vital component for the country's nuclear arsenal, submarines and nuclear power plants. U.S. uranium users get about 10 percent of their supply from domestic sources, the federal Energy Information Administration has said. Most of the rest comes from Canada and Australia, followed by Russia and former Soviet republics.

U.S. targets Iranian uranium but lets 2015 nuclear deal stay alive

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - The United States said Friday it would start imposing sanctions over Iranian exports of enriched uranium allowed under a nuclear deal rejected by President Donald Trump, even as it granted waivers to allow the accord to survive. The move comes amid growing Iranian frustration with the nuclear deal, with which U.N. inspectors say Tehran is complying but which has not led to a promised economic boom, with the Trump administration instead imposing sweeping sanctions. Under the 2015 deal, which was negotiated under former President Barack Obama and still enjoys strong support among European powers, Iran was limited to keeping 300 kg of uranium enriched up to 3.67 percent -- far below the level needed to build nuclear weapons. As part of the agreement, Iran was to sell any enriched uranium above that threshold on international markets in return for natural uranium, with Russia a key player. But in Friday's policy change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would start to impose sanctions on anyone involved in the trade of natural for enriched uranium -- as well as in the storage of Iranian heavy water that was in excess of limits.

Saudi Arabia to Extract Uranium for 'Self-Sufficient' Nuclear Program

U.S. News

"Regarding the production of uranium in the kingdom, this is a program which is our first step towards self-sufficiency in producing nuclear fuel," Yamani told a conference organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "We utilize the uranium ore that has been proven to be economically efficient."