Saturday, March 08, 2008

NUCLEAR NEW MEXICO

Cannon considered for nuclear reactor The secretary of the Air Force says Cannon Air Force Base could be the future home of a nuclear reactor, but other Air Force officials cautioned Friday that it’s too early to speculate on location, even if a reactor is built. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne was quoted in a copyrighted story by InsideDefense saying, “The thoughts are, right now, we’re talking about Cannon out in New Mexico and Mountain Home up in Idaho.” InsideDefense is an Internet news service covering defense and the aerospace industry. The story also reported Air Force officials plan to sign a letter of intent with members of the nuclear power industry by November in the hopes of ensuring “at least one small, next-generation nuclear-power plant on an Air Force base in the coming decades,” will be maintained by the next presidential administration. The Air Force said U.S. Sens. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Pete Domenici, R-N.M., suggested nuclear energy to the military branch about a year ago and they began exploring the possibility....
N.M. among sites considered for uranium enrichment factory A company is considering building a $2 billion uranium enrichment factory in southern New Mexico, the same general area where another company already is building one. The proposed factory would enrich uranium provided by utilities to fuel their commercial nuclear reactors, said Nancy Lang, external communications manager of Areva Inc., based in Bethesda, Md. Areva Inc., a subsidiary of Paris-based Areva, also is mulling possible sites in Idaho, Ohio, Texas and Washington state, she said Friday. The company hopes to select a site "in the coming weeks," said Lang, who declined to pinpoint the New Mexico site under consideration. Areva Inc. would employ about 1,000 people during the factory's construction and about 250 people when the facility is in regular operation, she said. The market for nuclear fuel is expected to increase as global warming concerns make nuclear energy more popular. Mining companies have been showing renewed interest in uranium in the Grants area of northwestern New Mexico as the price has hovered around $90 to $100 a pound. Louisiana Energy Services is building its $1.5 billion National Enrichment Facility on one square mile of desert in southeastern New Mexico five miles east of the small community of Eunice. The factory will make fuel for commercial nuclear power plants....

2 comments:

djysrv said...

With regard to Areva, the NM site is near Hobbs. That's been reported in the news media. Why Areva still claims it is a secret is a mystery to me. Other sites are noted on my blog. See URL below.

The latest from Areva contains news that will not bring smiles to other states. An Areva executive spoke about the Richland site in very positive terms. Is the the firm tipping its hand before the decision?

http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2008/03/is-areva-tipping-its-hand-for-richland.html

The USAF has kept its eye on self-sufficiency for electricity for its bases because on foreign shores reliance on local infrastructure is a threat to readiness. The problem has been developing a "nuclear battery" small enough and light enough to fit in a USAF cargo plane and which can also power an entire flight wing and all of its infrastructure. Then there is the political question of bringing a nuclear reactor into a host country especially one that doesn't have any. RTGs have been used by the military and CIA in remote locations for unmanned surveillance equipment.

The Westerner said...

Thanks for the info. For those who want to follow this issue, check out Dan's blog at http://djysrv.blogspot.com/