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National Aboriginal Day in Canada – June 21

Did you know: The Canadian uranium industry is the leading employer of Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan, and Cameco is the leading industrial employer in Canada overall?

Our industry takes great pride in the communities in which it operates. We know our neighbors and we contribute to the economic, environmental, and social prosperity of the cities and towns where we work and live.

Today, on National Aboriginal Day, TalkNUclear would like to highlight the contributions of three of our members who rely on Aboriginal communities as a valuable part of their workforce and for input into their planning and projects for the benefit of all of Canada’s people, including its First Peoples.

Did you know: Canada produces 18% of all global uranium, making us the second largest producer in the world. Our uranium industry directly and indirectly employs about 14,000 people in Saskatchewan.

Cameco is a proud sponsor of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) fourth National Event in Saskatoon, taking place from June 21-24 at Prairieland Park. “The TRC Saskatchewan National Event is an opportunity for all Canadians, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to learn more about and bear witness to the legacy of the residential school system,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the TRC.

Did you know: The province of Saskatchewan has the largest number of Residential School Survivors in Canada.  Approximately 10 per cent of them reside in Saskatoon.

Visit www.trc.ca for more information.

If you’re in the area, join the AREVA office in La Ronge for the AREVA Celebration BBQ! Celebrate Summer and National Aboriginal Day, Thursday, June 21 at 4:00pm. Enjoy a burger and a pop while you meet some of AREVA’s employees and management, and learn more about AREVA’s operations, jobs and contracting opportunities.

Don’t know La Ronge? La Ronge is the largest community in Northern Saskatchewan with over 3500 people residing in the town itself and about 2000 people on the adjacent First Nations lands of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and some 1000 people residing in the bordering settlement of Air Ronge.
Learn more here: http://www.townoflaronge.ca/Welcome/Introduction.php

Bruce Power is providing its employees an opportunity to learn about the cultures of Canada’s Aboriginal people with a celebration that includes a tradition drum circle, Native dancers, and cedar tea and cake. The event is hosted by the Bruce Power Native Circle, which is a group of 30 self-identified employees of Aboriginal heritage. “The day will be about sharing our rich and beautiful culture,” said Sismo – Pam Schwartzentruber, the chair of Bruce Power’s Native Circle. “I find not everyone in our area is aware of the unique parts of our First Nations and Métis communities.” Festivities and learning takes place June 21 from 10am-12pm at Bruce Power. More details here: http://www.brucepower.com/6124/news/bruce-power-to-celebrate-aboriginal-day-on-june-21/

Guest Blog Mining Nuclear Education Nuclear Energy Nuclear Pride Nuclear Safety

Going Deep Underground: Cameco and AREVA Uranium Mine and Mills Tour

This is a guest blog by the CNA’s Regulatory Affairs Officer, Matthew Hickman. Looks like it was a great tour at a truly impressive set of facilities!

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

On June 13, 2012 AREVA and Cameco hosted the staff and Board of Directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association on a tour of their mining facilities in northern Saskatchewan.  Tour participants had the incredible opportunity to see the mining and milling operations at the McArthur River uranium mine and McClean Lake mill.

 

The day started at AREVA’s McClean Lake site after a quick flight from Saskatoon. The McClean Lake site is located approximately 700 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, and is comprised of several uranium mines and the newest, most technologically advanced uranium mill in North America.  Our tour guide Glenn was very knowledgeable and provided us with a tour of the entire uranium milling process, from extraction to final packaging.  The milling facility was as impressive as it was complex and the safety features and processes were evident.

Cameco's McArthur River Operation: The main McArthur River head frame houses the hoist over the main (Pollock) shaft which deliver miners and equipment as deep as 680 metres below surface.

 

Our next stop was the Cameco McArthur River site, which is also located within the Athabasca Basin approximately 60 kilometers west from the McClean Lake site.  The first thing that stuck out to me was the small footprint of the entire mining operation – only about 4 square kilometers.  Equally fascinating was that the McArthur River site is the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine, with the average ore grade of 16.89%.

The primary themes that I have extracted from this tour are the unique and innovative mining techniques, employee pride and evident safety culture.  I can definitely say that the tour surpassed my expectations and would highly recommend it to anyone if they ever have the opportunity.  Finally, I would like to graciously thank our hosts, AREVA and Cameco for providing such an amazing opportunity to the CNA.

Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

AREVA’s Jean-François Béland Receives Award for Excellence

Jean-François Béland, executive vice president of AREVA Canada

Jean-François Béland, executive vice president of AREVA Canada Inc., received on May 11 an award for excellence from HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales) Montréal, one of Canada’s leading business schools. This award is presented annually to younger alumni of HEC Montréal for significant achievement in business.

Béland noted the role that the AREVA team has played in his accomplishments.

“In particular, I want to thank my colleagues at AREVA Canada who are to me like a family. This especially so because we travel so often to visit customers and our industrial sites.”

Béland is based in AREVA Canada’s Pickering, Ont., office and makes his home in Gatineau, Que.

Félicitations Mr. Béland!

Mining Nuclear News

AREVA Canada on AREVA in Canada (and Why They’ll be Sticking Around)

AREVA Canada Exec VP Jean-Francois Béland

AREVA Canada Executive Vice President Jean-Francois Béland appeared on Business News Network (BNN) today.

Mr. Béland talked about AREVA Canada’s involvement in the Canadian nuclear industry. They employ roughly 600 employees in Canada with projects on the go or planned in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nunavut, Quebec and New Brunswick. AREVA Canada services nuclear facilities in all the nuclear provinces.

The interviewer asked about the “big business” of nuclear (i.e. the economic contributions of the nuclear industry). We know that through the efforts of our people, the Canadian nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenues and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

And, as Mr. Béland mentioned, it provides roughly 71,000 direct and indirect jobs.

We also know that refurbishing nuclear facilities at Bruce and Darlington will create 25,000 jobs in the next decade and inject $5 billion into the Ontario economy annually. Big business, indeed!

The Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan, the world’s second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, is on track to start producing in 2013. 100% of its production will be processed at the McClean Lake mill.

AREVA Canada’s has some exciting mining projects in Saskatchewan too. The Cigar Lake mine, which they partner on with Cameco, contains what is considered among the best grade uranium in the world. AREVA and its partners are also investing $150 million to improve the McClean Lake mill, a project that when completed will create over 100 jobs in Northern Saskatchewan.

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

Mr. Béland also talks about AREVA’s international business and the politics of energy in France, after the recent election that saw a change in the head of state.

Watch the full interview here.

CNA Responds Guest Blog Nuclear News

Minister Calls for New Regulatory Processes

A guest blog from our friends at AREVA.

Minister Calls for New Regulatory Processes

Joe Oliver, Canada’s minister for natural resources, said that new, more efficient regulatory processes are needed or the nation could miss out on vital economic opportunities. This issue is of major significance for Saskatchewan’s natural resources industry, which includes uranium mining. Saskatchewan is home to the world’s best uranium deposits and responsible for 17% of the world production.

“No one will stand around and wait for Canada to get its act together, and I doubt I’ll get much argument about that from this audience,” said Oliver before about 50 people at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Centre on Tuesday in Regina. Oliver’s 20-minute presentation was hosted jointly by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and the Saskatchewan Mining Association.

Oliver noted that Saskatchewan stands to benefit from exporting uranium to countries such as China which are building new nuclear power plants. But, he noted, that under the current regulatory structure the country is at a disadvantage.

Click here to read the full article.

What TalkNUclear thinks:

A more efficient regulatory process has the potential to bring many benefits to Canada. The benefits are economic and social, but also environmental. We made this point when the CNA presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development when they were looking at how to improve the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Environmental Assessments (EA), under the Act, are very important in our industry; they are a valuable planning tool. We think it’s important to remove process steps that add little or no value to the environment, and have the potential to draw attention away from what really matters.

Read more about our thoughts on regulatory reform, specifically the CEAA review:

Canadian Nuclear Association Encourages Government to Give Full Consideration to CEAA Report Recommendations, March 2012

Speech on the 7-Year Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Nov 2011

Guest Blog Nuclear Education Nuclear Energy Nuclear Safety

Now is the Time for Canada to Invest in Nuclear Energy

Here’s another great post from our friends at AREVA Canada. Executive VP Jean-François Béland shares his thoughts on the past year since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and why now is the time for investing in nuclear.

Jean-François Béland, Executive Vice-President, AREVA Canada

Now is the time for Canada to invest in nuclear energy

By Jean-François Béland

During the year that has passed since the earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, many have questioned the future of nuclear energy in nations around the world. While a few nations have decided in the wake of Fukushima to move abruptly away from nuclear energy, many others have taken this opportunity to take a long hard look at this technology and have moved forcefully ahead.

Driven largely by internal political concerns, Germany declared it will gradually shutter its nuclear plants, opting instead to depend more on fossil fuels (domestic brown coal and imported Russian gas) and more renewables. But for the near term, Germans can expect higher electricity prices, more carbon emissions and Imports of nuclear produced electricity from France.

Others, such as China, India and the United Kingdom, are moving forward aggressively with plans for new nuclear power plants. China alone has 26 new reactors under construction, including two by AREVA. The U.S. government recently approved the construction for the first new reactor in 30 years, an event that will lead to other projects.

Taishan 1 EPR reactor under construction in China

Here in Canada, we stand at a crossroads. While some politicians have expressed their support for nuclear energy, this has not translated into the concrete actions necessary to spur significant new investments. Canada’s nuclear power plants generate 15% of our electricity safely, reliably and without producing greenhouse gases. But nearly 20 years have passed since a new plant has come online.

In Ontario more than 50% of the electricity comes from nuclear energy, making this technology critical for the economy. Nuclear energy’s low cost and reliability enables our industrial base in Ontario to remain competitive. Let’s face it, nuclear power generation helps maintain industrial and manufacturing jobs in Ontario better than any other fiscal incentive to date.

The refurbishment project at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario has just taken another step forward. This is indeed a positive development. But we must move forward now with the development of new plants to ensure we have reliable power for the future. In addition, each new nuclear plant project would create thousands more jobs and spur billions of dollars in regional investment.

We continue to work with NB Power and other partners on the possibility of developing at the Point Lepreau site in New Brunswick a Clean Energy Park, using a combination of AREVA nuclear energy and renewable technology.

We are delighted to see strong support in Saskatchewan for further development of nuclear technology in the province. Saskatchewan has the world’s best uranium deposits. And for decades, AREVA has been a leading uranium producer in northern Saskatchewan.

Over the past year, the Canadian nuclear industry has thoroughly assessed its systems and operations to ensure its safety. In October, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission concluded that all Canadian nuclear plants could withstand conditions similar to those at Fukushima. But, as an industry, we are still working every day to improve – our operations, our efficiency and our safety. AREVA is likewise constantly striving to help our customers produce cleaner, safer and more reliable electricity.

Canada has an opportunity to regain a leadership position in the one of the world’s pre-eminent clean energy technologies. But to do this, our leaders must take courageous, long-term decisions to invest in new nuclear energy projects today. As a proud Canadian and nuclear industry employee, I look forward to seeing the next new nuclear plant under construction in Ontario. While this may not be the easiest course of action, our leaders will find that new investment in nuclear energy is good for Canadians’ electricity rates, Canada’s industrial base, and Canada’s clean energy future.

Jean-François Béland is Executive Vice President of AREVA Canada.

This post originally appeared on the AREVA North America: Next Energy Blog.