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Monday, July 13, 2009

More Uranium Facts for the Greeley Coffee Table

Skimming through past promises to dig up more information, I found the following link to some easily read points about Uranium. I wanted to find out what Uranium is used for other than military purposes and nuclear energy and scout out why a Canadian company finds it lucrative to be mining in Colorado. I haven't found any clarity, or a list of products, as of yet. Apparently uranium has been used in pottery glazes in the early 20th century. There are some other nonspecific uses cited below. This content is published by The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. It is text that goes with a documentary. I did not read through every bullet point here so I can't attest to any perceived bias. It doesn't mean there isn't any of course.

I think the investment angle of uranium mining is interesting. I would think it must be a controlled industry, if not on operational practices, then on the distribution end and I have noted that investors also put their dice into diamond mining--another industry that depends on quantities being controlled by governments or political forces to ensure a scarce supply. There are various grades of uranium used for different purposes. Whether they all face heavy controls or just specific grades I don't know yet. Less supply, higher demand, higher price, etc. means more profit. Who wouldn't like to have government controlling their competition? An attractive, and powerful (I'll take the pun), place for investors. Ethical though is still a matter of taste.

Gains will be nothing less than astounding, exceeding 2,689% or more in the coming months… Enough to turn $10,000 into over $250,000… Or fund a comfortable retirement in the Bahamas over the next 34 months… Or the freedom to live anywhere in the world you choose.

But considering Powertech's promise for good operational processes, I have to ask what check this company will have on it to make good on those promises. It will have limited competition. It may, or may not, have limited regulation (Canada has a longer history with uranium so regulation oversight there is better developed). And Powertech will be driven by investors potentially looking for a very high return.

Of course maybe Powertech is going to hire Priests to run the local branch so executives won't be under pressure to bend politically and ethically to the above mentioned, lack of, forces to keep it clean. (Yes, that is called sarcasm).

B.5. Are there other uses for nuclear reactors?

Nuclear reactors fuelled with uranium can be used to produce artificial radioactive substances called "radioisotopes" for use in industry, scientific research and medicine. Alternatively, many of these radioisotopes can be produced in special machines called accelerators, which do not require the use of uranium.

Nuclear reactors also serve to drive the propulsion units of nuclear submarines. In addition, special military reactors are used to produce most of the nuclear explosive materials used in nuclear weapons.

. . . back to [ TABLE OF CONTENTS ]

B.6. Are the peaceful and military uses of uranium incompatible?

Nuclear reactors fuelled with uranium automatically produce plutonium as a byproduct. If that plutonium is chemically separated from the rest of the radioactive garbage in the spent reactor fuel, it can be used as a nuclear explosive. So, the spread of nuclear power around the world gives more and more countries the option of producing nuclear weapons at some future time.

In 1974, India exploded a bomb that was made from plutonium produced in a reactor given to the Indian government as a gift by the Canadian government. It was not an electricity-producing reactor, but a smaller machine called a "research reactor".

Canada has also given or sold reactors to Taiwan, Pakistan, South Korea, Argentina and Romania. Several regimes in these client countries have displayed an interest in either developing nuclear weapons themselves, or in sharing their nuclear technology with other countries having such military ambitions (e.g. Iraq and Libya).

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