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The “uranium fuel cycle” begins with mining, continues with enrichment, followed by use in a reactor, and ends with processing and storage. Hobbs is in the center of the developing Eastern New Mexico Energy Corridor, which is involved in all aspects of the nuclear energy fuel cycle.

Dr. Van Romero, Vice President of Research at New Mexico Tech, said New Mexico is well-positioned to be a leading voice in nuclear energy development.

“Almost the entire cycle is contained in New Mexico,” he said, “from mining to waste storage. This conference is an important step in bringing together key players in the area and continuing a dialog about energy and our national policies.”

HOBBS, N.M. March 2, 2011 – Nuclear energy and small-scale reactors will take center stage at the 2011 national energy conference in Hobbs. “The Uranium Fuel Cycle” conference on Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28, will focus on potential developments and implementation of small-scale reactors.

The “uranium fuel cycle” begins with mining, continues with enrichment, followed by use in a reactor, and ends with processing and storage. Hobbs is in the center of the developing Eastern New Mexico Energy Corridor, which is involved in all aspects of the nuclear energy fuel cycle.

Dr. Van Romero, Vice President of Research at New Mexico Tech, said New Mexico is well-positioned to be a leading voice in nuclear energy development.

“Almost the entire cycle is contained in New Mexico,” he said, “from mining to waste storage. This conference is an important step in bringing together key players in the area and continuing a dialog about energy and our national policies.”

A new enrichment facility is now operational near Eunice, N.M. A de-conversion plant is in the licensing stage in Lea County. Also located in the region are Waste Control Specialist LLC and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Carlsbad, which is a long-term storage facility funded by the Department of Energy. While not currently being mined, vast deposits of raw uranium ore exist in west-central New Mexico.

What’s missing? The small-scale nuclear power plants.

“Communities in southeast New Mexico have expressed an interest in nuclear power,” Romero said.

One area the conference will focus on is the commercial deployment of small nuclear reactors in eastern New Mexico. Representatives of Babcock & Wilcox will present their strategy to deploy a light-water reactor system to provide energy to communities in New Mexico.

Babcock & Wilcox is the leading international company in development and deployment of small-scale nuclear reactors. The company unveiled the B&W mPower™ reactor in 2009. The mPower reactor, with its scalable, modular design, has the capacity to provide 125 megawatts to 750 megawatts of electricity for a five-year operating cycle without refueling. The reactor is designed to produce clean, near-zero emission operations, according to the company website.

Babcock & Wilcox Canada has designed and manufactured nuclear power equipment for more than 40 years, providing nuclear heat exchangers, nuclear plant services and more than 200 nuclear steam generators to customers around the world.

Following the Babcock & Wilcox presentation, Romero will lead a discussion on “Small Reactor Research and Readiness.” Then, a representative from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy will talk on the status and outlook for nuclear energy development.

“Large nuclear reactors generate about a gigawatt of power,” Romero said. “These smaller reactors are safe and easy to operate and do not need a tremendous amount of infrastructure. Canada has been operating these small reactors for years.”

The two-day conference is hosted by the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, a division of New Mexico Tech, the Economic Development Corp. of Lea County and New Mexico Junior College.

The “Uranium Fuel Cycle” conference will begin with a panel on “Uranium Mining Today: Geology and New Technology,” led by Dr. Peter Scholle of New Mexico Tech. Scholle is the State Geologist and the director of the N.M. Bureau of Geology. The conference will present improved methods for the mining of uranium. New technology that eliminates labor-intensive, high-risk activity prevalent in previous operations will be presented. Also, Uranium Resources Inc., a mining-company based in Texas, will present information about the latest technological developments in uranium mining. The company has several mines in Texas and has holdings in New Mexico that include 183,000 acres and 100 million pounds of in-place mineralized uranium holdings, according to the company’s website.

Also on the schedule for the conference is a panel discussion on uranium processing, featuring top executives from Urenco USA (uranium enrichment), International Isotopes (uranium tailing recovery), Waste Control Specialist LLC and WIPP (waste/storage).

The final panel, “Training and Education for the Future of Nuclear Energy,” will be led by Dr. Robert Rhodes, Vice President of New Mexico Junior College, with a presentation by Energy Solutions.

Online registration will open Monday, March 7, at www.energyplexnm.com or by calling (575) 397-2039. Conference information can be accessed at the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy website nmcep.nmt.edu.
– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech

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Comment Preferences

  •  you're supposed to use blockquotes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Got a Grip, Andhakari

    and attribute sources.

    This looks like you reposted someone's press release almost verbatim.

    Also, that claim about storage is questionable as currently spent fuel is stored at the reactor site.

    Scientific Materialism debunked here

    by wilderness voice on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:53:36 AM PDT

    •  Heh ... bullshit (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      OtherDoug
      Hidden by:
      indycam

      You've obviously never read one of Harvey Wasserman's diaries.

      He's so stupid that he doesn't realize that the "intro" shouldn't be repeated in the "extended" text, since it ends up being shown twice when somebody reads the diary.

      Just shows how little some people care when publishing diaries here.

      I'm not defending this diary, but if you're going to HR this guy (a cowardly act, IMHO) then you should stop by Harvey's diaries sometime to give him hell and an HR.

      An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
      -- H. L. Mencken

      by bryfry on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:16:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my HR was applied (0+ / 0-)

        after another commenter pointed out spamming/tag abuse.

        Also, the manner in which this diary copied other writings is a bannable offense:

        Copying and pasting complete copyrighted articles without permission from the copyright holder is absolutely prohibited by both this site's policies and copyright laws. ... This is a bannable offense.
        Limited copying within the bounds of the doctrine of "fair use" is permitted. A reasonable rule-of-thumb is that copying three paragraphs from a normal-length news article or editorial is acceptable. ...
        When you quote material that is not your own, please provide a link whenever possible. Also, use the blockquote tags to set off the copied material so that your writing is distinct from the material you are copying.

        I looked at the most recent diary from the diarist you called out and saw no such offenses.

        Scientific Materialism debunked here

        by wilderness voice on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:30:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But did this diarist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OtherDoug

          write this article or is associated with the organization that published this article?

          I don't know, but if that is the case, he is not in violation of copyright and he is no worse than many other "diarists" around here who publish their stuff on multiple sites. Harvey Wasserman is a fine example of that.

          Personally, I would prefer that none of these jerks publish their hit-and-run diaries. I'm just pointing out that its hypocritical to criticize one person for doing it if the practice is widespread.

          An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
          -- H. L. Mencken

          by bryfry on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:45:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      Here's a link.  The plant was developed as a long term geological repository for US DOD waste, not commercial waste.  It is currently in operation and receiving waste material.

  •  Wow. Spam to go with our daily pie, I see. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, aoeu

    Shill much, dear diarist?

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:58:20 AM PDT

    •  I'd usually take issue with "shill", but... (0+ / 0-)

      ...this time it's close to the mark.  This is copied verbatim from New Mexico Tech's NMT News.  There are some interesting things in the article, but I really don't like having this stuff plopped down here without some sort of additional communication.

  •  Coupla problems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aoeu, wilderness voice
    1. Whiskey's for drinkin' and water's for fightin'.  New Mexicans ain't likely to give up the water it takes to run nuclear power plants.
    2. People from the Jackpile and other mines in west-central New Mexico are still dying off from the radiation effects of those operations.  They ain't likely to be as willing to accept more of it as they used to be.

    Amongst other things.

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 11:19:22 AM PDT

  •  Well, they do already have White Sands, if they (0+ / 0-)

    also have plentiful ore, then they do have the full cycle.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 01:08:45 PM PDT

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