Archive for September 11th, 2014

11/09/2014

Nuclear — Despite Price Dip, Uranium Demand, Production Continue to Rise

Human Wrongs Watch

A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published on 10 September 2014 found that demand for uranium, the raw material used to fuel nuclear power stations, will continue to rise, despite declining market prices since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan in March 2011 and lower electricity demand as a result of the global economic crisis.

Uranium ore is processed into a concentrate known as yellowcake and packed in special, tightly sealed steel drums similar in size to oil barrels. Photo: IAEA

The Red Book, as the report is known, is a recognized global reference on uranium jointly prepared by the IAEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (NEA/OECD).*

It found an increase in uranium supply, exploration and production. Some seven per cent more uranium resources have been identified since the last report was published in 2012, adding almost 10 years to the existing resource base.

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11/09/2014

UN Officials Call for Renewed Global Commitment to Ending Nuclear Tests

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations officials on 10 September 2014 called for renewed commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear tests, noting that nearly 2,000 such tests have taken place since 1945.

Atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States on 18 April 1953 at the Nevada Test Site. Photo: US Government | UN

Atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States on 18 April 1953 at the Nevada Test Site. Photo: US Government | UN

“Our collective aspiration for a world free of nuclear weapons must be reflected in a firm and formal commitment to ban nuclear tests,” Charles Thembani Ntwaagae, Vice-President of the General Assembly, said in a message delivered on behalf of President John Ashe.

“To test such weapons is to play with proverbial fire, takes us further down the treacherous path we seek to avoid and damages both human health and the environment,” he told the informal meeting convened by the Assembly to mark the observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

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11/09/2014

Ozone Layer on Track to Recover by Middle Century But Remains Threatened

Human Wrongs Watch

The Earth’s protective ozone layer is on track to recover by the middle of the century, the United Nations on 10 September 2014 reported, urging unified action to tackle climate change and curb continued fluctuations to the composition of the atmosphere.

The Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades. Photo: UNEP

The Earth’s protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades. Photo: UNEP

That is according to the assessment of 300 scientists in the summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014, published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).*

“International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a news release. “This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of climate change.”

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, thus helping to preserve life on the planet.

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