Critical Mass

By: Richard Mills | Mon, Mar 15, 2010
Print Email

A point or situation at which change occurs - Support for the measure has reached critical mass.

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

As the world's population and standard of living continues to climb, demand for more - and cleaner energy - grows alongside the pressures we continue to put on our environment.

"The principal motivation to reconsider the nuclear option is that nuclear power, as an alternative to fossil fuel resources, does not impair air quality and does not release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere." John Deutch, professor MIT

Today, there is an almost global wide move to develop higher levels of nuclear energy production capacity. This is because nuclear energy works, and it's safe. There are 31 countries using nuclear energy and some of them are using this technology to produce a substantial part of their electrical needs, for example...

"Electricity generation from nuclear power is projected to increase from about 2.7 trillion kilowatt hours in 2006 to 3.8 trillion kilowatt hours in 2030." U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

The Obama administration's 2011 budget proposed tripling the loan guarantee program for nuclear power plants - from the $18.5 billion that Congress has already approved to $54.5 billion. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was quoted as saying this loan guarantee increase could launch 7 to 10 new nuclear power plants in the United States.

Just recently President Obama and the U.S. Department of Energy announced $8.33 billion in loan guarantees to construct two new 1,100-megawatt nuclear reactors in Burke, Ga. - the first new US nuclear reactors in 30 years.

Reasons for lack of new reactors in the US:

"Eighteen applications have been received by the U.S. NRC for the construction of at least 25 new nuclear reactor units." Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Today, there are some 436 nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries and nuclear energy provides approximately 15% of the world's electricity.

These 436 reactors - with combined capacity of over 370 Gigawatts (One GWe equals one billion watts or one thousand megawatts) - require 77,000 tonnes of uranium oxide (U3O8) containing 65,500 tonnes of uranium (tU).

"We believe there is not enough uranium production, either current or planned, to satisfy reactor needs, initial core requirements and inventories for new reactors." Adam Schatzker, analyst RBC Capital Markets

According to the World Nuclear Association, about 50 power reactors are currently being constructed in 14 countries. In all there are over 130 power reactors planned and 250 more proposed.

In 2008 mining supplied roughly 70% of nuclear utility power requirements. The remaining supply deficit used to be made up from stockpiled uranium held by these very same utilities, but their stockpiles are pretty much depleted. Mine production is now primarily supplemented by ex-military material - the Megatons to Megawatts program ends in 2013.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, in its 2009 report, anticipates at least 807 GWe in new net capacity to be in place by 2030. Each GWe of increased capacity will require about 195 tU per year of extra mine production.

But consider - no one builds a $4 to $6-billion dollar reactor just to watch it go idle. They will order one or perhaps several years worth of fuel supply to guarantee it doesn't. And it looks like several Asian countries - China in particular - along with India, will have to start strategic stockpiles.

China currently has 11 reactors in commercial operation and there are 20 under construction with many more reactors on the drawing board. China's current nuclear power installed capacity stands at 9.1 GWe. In 2008 nuclear power contributed 1.99% of the country's total electricity output. China intends to increase its nuclear generating capacity to 160 GWe by 2030.

At the end of 2008 India had 17 nuclear power plants in operation generating 4,100 MW. India plans to expand its nuclear power generation capacity to at least 20,000 MW by 2020.

"A gap of almost 12 trillion kilowatt hours needs to be filled by 2030.... We expect nuclear energy to play a major role in this growth." Ian Parkinson, analyst CIBC

Reasons to Use Nuclear Energy:

"Uranium in particular stands to benefit from the nuclear renaissance, in our view, which appears to be kicking into high gear." Bart Jaworski, analyst Raymond James

Any company being considered for investment purposes, in this sector or any other, has to meet certain criteria, they are:

Uranerz Energy Corporation
Ur - honor - ez

Uranerz Energy Corporation is listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE Amex Exchange under the symbol "URZ." Uranerz is also listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol "U9E".

Cash: US$28 million
Debt: Nil
Shares Outstanding: 64,194,887
Fully Diluted: 80,029,585
Insider ownership = 10.3%
Institutional ownership = 40%
Denison Mines owns 8.5%
Retail ownership = 40%

Uranerz is included in four of the Russell Family of Indexes - the Russell 3000 Index, the Russell 2000 Index, the Russell Microcap Index and the Russell Global Index.

URZ has an experienced team of mining personnel. Many are former officers, senior management and employees of the "Uranerz Group." The Uranerz Group was the world's third-largest primary uranium producer in 1998 when it was acquired by Cameco, at that time the world's largest primary uranium producer.

Members of the Uranerz Energy management and technical team have specialized expertise in the in-situ recovery ("ISR") uranium mining method and the Company controls a large and strategic land position in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, U.S.A. with 38 uranium projects in various stages of exploration and development - this area is well known for containing uranium mineralized sandstone-hosted "roll fronts" that are amenable to ISR mining techniques.

Wyoming leads the United States in uranium production. All of Wyoming's uranium production comes from the ISR facilities in the Powder River Basin.

In December of 2007 Uranerz submitted license and permit applications for the development of two of their projects into commercial ISR uranium mines. URZ expects these licenses to be issued mid 2010 with production beginning in 2011.

Uranerz will continue their mine permitting activities and plan to select additional properties that will be the subject of future permit applications.

Uranerz has reported NI 43-101 compliant uranium resources of 10,758,020 pounds in the Measured and Indicated category and 3,168,927 pounds in the Inferred category for five of its 38 Powder River Basin projects.

The central processing facility at the Company's Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project is being licensed for a capacity of 2 million pounds per year of uranium and Uranerz has signed long-term contracts for the sale of uranium with two of the United States' largest nuclear operators; Exelon who operate the largest nuclear fleet in U.S. and the third largest fleet in the world, the second contract is to one of the largest nuclear operators in the US with plants located in several states.

Wyoming ISR advantages include:

ISL Mining

"In situ leaching (ISL) - also known as solution mining or in situ recovery (ISR) - involves leaving the ore in the ground, and recovering the minerals from it by dissolving them and pumping the pregnant solution to the surface where the minerals can be recovered. There is little surface disturbance and no tailings or waste rock are generated. ISR mining comprised 26% of global uranium production in 2008." World Nuclear Association

In the USA ISR mining is seen as the most cost effective and environmentally acceptable method of mining. The first commercial ISR uranium mine in Wyoming began operations in 1974.

In the USA legislation requires that the water quality in the affected aquifer be restored after ISR mining- meaning the water must be usable for the same purposes as it was before mining began.



In "Nuclear Century Outlook" the World Nuclear Association projects world nuclear generating capacity growing from a base capacity of 373 GWe today to at least 1130 GWe and possibly as high as 3500 GWe by 2060.

As mentioned the International Atomic Energy Agency anticipates at least 807 GWe in new net capacity to be in place by 2030. This would equate to mining an additional 157,365 tU per year. Yet the uranium market is, and has been, in deficit for years. Mine production is now primarily supplemented by ex-military material - the Megatons to Megawatts program ends in 2013.

"We're increasingly convinced -- but skeptical -- that in 2013 the HEU deal will come to an end and that will remove 24 million pounds a year from the market." Jerry Grandey, Cameco CEO

It is this author's opinion that the uranium supply is going to fall well short of demand in the near future. Is this sector on your radar screen? If it is then Uranerz Energy Corp. might be perfectly positioned to help meet a possible uranium supply shortfall and should be on every investor's watch list.



Richard Mills

Author: Richard Mills

Richard (Rick) Mills

Richard Mills

Richard lives with his family on a 160 acre ranch in northern British Columbia. He invests in the resource and biotechnology/pharmaceutical sectors and is the owner of His articles have been published on over 400 websites, including:, WallStreetJournal, USAToday, NationalPost, Lewrockwell, MontrealGazette, VancouverSun, CBSnews, HuffingtonPost, Beforeitsnews, Londonthenews, Wealthwire, CalgaryHerald, Forbes, Dallasnews, SGTreport, Vantagewire, Indiatimes, Ninemsn, Ibtimes, Businessweek, HongKongHerald, Moneytalks, SeekingAlpha, BusinessInsider, and the Association of Mining Analysts.

Please visit

Moderated investor friendly forums - Ahead of the Herd is powered by Community Intelligence.

Free highly acclaimed newsletter featuring today's investable junior resource companies.

If you are interested in sponsoring Richard's site please contact him for more information,

Legal Notice / Disclaimer: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified; Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. Furthermore, I, Richard Mills, assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information provided within this Report.

Ahead of the Media Group Inc.a division of Ahead of the Herd Holdings Inc. All rights reserved. No statement or expression of opinion, or any other matter herein, directly or indirectly, is an offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities or financial instruments mentioned. While we believe the sources of information to be reliable, we in no way represent or guarantee the accuracy of the statements made herein. Ahead of the does not provide individual investment counseling, act as an investment advisor, or individually advocate the purchase or sale of any security or investment. The publisher, editors and consultants of Ahead of the may actively trade in the investments discussed in this website and newsletter. They may have substantial positions in the securities recommended and may increase or decrease such positions without notice. Neither the publisher nor the editors are registered investment advisors. Subscribers should not view this publication as offering personalized legal or investment counseling. Investments recommended in this website and publication should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company in question. Unauthorized reproduction of this newsletter or its contents by Xerography, facsimile, or any other means is illegal and punishable by law.

Copyright © 2009-2016 Richard Mills

All Images, XHTML Renderings, and Source Code Copyright ©