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Renewed push for nuclear power as global temperatures continue to rise

November 25, 2020

Renewed push for nuclear power as global temperatures continue to rise

New research from the CSIRO has reinforced the need for governments around the world to curb their carbon emissions as global temperatures continue to rise. The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s biennial State of the Climate report for 2020 – released on Monday – cautioned Australia’s temperature will continue to rise, as increasing greenhouse gas emissions push global temperatures up.

New research from the CSIRO has reinforced the need for governments around the world to curb their carbon emissions as global temperatures continue to rise. The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s biennial State of the Climate report for 2020 – released on Monday – cautioned Australia’s temperature will continue to rise, as increasing greenhouse gas emissions push global temperatures up.

“Australia has warmed on average by 1.44 ± 0.24 °C since national records began in 1910, with most warming occurring since 1950 and every decade since then being warmer than the ones before,” the report said.

“Australia’s warmest year on record was 2019, and the seven years from 2013 to 2019 all rank in the nine warmest years.”

The country could face higher instances of drought, a greater number of dangerous fire weather days, and acidification of the oceans as a result, the report cautioned.

Source: CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, State of the Climate 2020 report

 

Governments look for new power sources

The research comes as governments around the world – notably China, the US and UK – reaffirm their commitment to cutting carbon emissions. It’s against this backdrop that all three are either presently – or planning to in the future – invest in nuclear power as a means of providing low-emitting but reliable baseload power.

The carbon emissions produced by a nuclear power station are comparable to solar and wind generation, while its power output is more reliable than renewables as it doesn’t depend on the sun shining or the wind blowing.

The feedstock for nuclear power stations is uranium. There is currently a global supply-side deficit of uranium into the existing nuclear fleet of power stations and with the number of new nuclear stations that are planned or being built, securing future uranium supply could become a significant environmental issue.

Making mining cleaner

Amid this push for more environmentally-friendly energy, Australian listed uranium explorer Marenica Energy (ASX: MEY) has completed proof-of-concept testing of a new uranium beneficiation process, designed to reduce acid consumption during the production process.

The patented U-pgradeTM process – developed in concert with the CSIRO – reduced acid consumption by up to 77 percent at the company’s Angela project in the Northern Territory – down from 104 kg per tonne of ore to 24 kg per tonne.

The company expects this reduction will deliver “significant potential environmental benefits”.

“We have not only demonstrated a potential substantial reduction in acid consumption and costs, but have isolated the calcite mineral component of the ore so that it could potentially be used to neutralize and render the leach residue inert, by neutralizing any remaining acid and precipitating soluble metals, a significant environmental benefit,” Managing Director Murray Hill said.

 

“The reduced acid consumption could potentially reduce capital and operating expenses significantly”, Mr Hill said.

 

The test also suggests the U-pgradeTMprocess has potential for broader applications than the calcrete-hosted uranium ores found at the company’s flagship Marenica project in Namibia, which the process was developed for.

 

“These are great results for the Angela project and for Marenica. We are helping the environment by looking to become a uranium producer for low carbon emission power, but also at the project level,” Mr Hill said.

 

If you’d like to learn more about ASX:MEY and stay up to date on company activities, register your details on their Investor Centre.

Reach Markets have been engaged by MEY to help manage their investor communications.

 

Sources:

 


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