Tag Archives: Saskatchewan

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Partnering for the Future

Northern Saskatchewan; remote and rugged, this part of the prairies is known for its pristine lakes, tall arching trees and outdoor adventures.

It is also home to the largest high-grade uranium deposits in the world.

Approximately five hours north of Saskatoon is where you will find the community of Pinehouse Lake, Saskatchewan. The Kineepik Metis village of almost 1,500 is nestled on the Churchill River system.pinehouse

For practically three decades, this community has had a close relationship with Cameco Corporation; the largest private employer in Canada of First Nations and Metis people.

“More or less our community can have a future. Because of our young populations we need to be more sustaining and more certain, and this is one of the things that industry has brought to us, a lot of hope,” states Mike Natomagnan, the mayor of Pinehouse Lake and a former Cameco worker.

For him, hope has translated into real change, including more involvement with the environment, and better educational opportunities for young people. Community dollars have been invested into education through scholarships and partnerships with local schools.

“We want our kids to have a better opportunity to see the world,” Natomagan states, “Push education on top of everything else. It makes for better outcomes.”

Those outcomes can already be seen in the halls of the local high school which boasts a high graduation rate including 37 people pursuing post-secondary studies. For Natomagan it’s a big deal.

The knowledge of elders to provide the community with a better understanding of where they have been and where their world is going through the promotion of culture and language is another key component to educational investment.

Thanks to their partnership with Cameco, Pinehouse Lake has been able to address some health challenges.  Concerned over the rates of diabetes in young people, they invested in a breakfast program and the construction of a community arena to help promote a healthy lifestyle.

He believes in long-term collaborations based on open dialogue and participation. Working closely with industry means more involvement with the environment including visiting the mine site, holding public meetings and providing reports on activities in the area.

Economics is critical to the future of Pinehouse Lake for Natomagan. The mayor sees investments today as the cornerstone of tomorrow.

“Collaborate with industry that wants to be there for a long time. Work with us,” he says. “I hope (Cameco) will be here for a long time. They have stepped up to the table for us.”

In early June, Cameco and First Nations and Metis leaders from across northern Saskatchewan will converge in Ottawa to “celebrate 25 years of partnerships between company and communities.”

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Saskatoon Shines

By John Stewart
Director, Policy and Research
Canadian Nuclear Association

Cobalt-60 machine
Sylvia Fedoruk and Dr. Harold Johns with an early cobalt-60 machine.

Northern Saskatchewan has been leading in nuclear technology since the early 1950s.  That’s when researchers at the University of Saskatchewan pioneered cobalt-based therapy for cancer.

One of those researchers was a student named Sylvia Fedoruk, the medical physicist and oncologist who also contributed to the development of nuclear medical scanning systems.

Today, the Saskatoon-based Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation funds a wide range of research initiatives in nuclear technology, many of them in the health sciences.

Fedoruk centre
The 2014 nuclearFACTS event on November 20.

Last week the Fedoruk Centre hosted two back-to-back events.  On November 20, nuclearFACTS presented funded projects in nuclear research, development and training in Saskatchewan in the areas of nuclear medicine, nuclear energy and safety, materials  research and environmental studies.  It drew a total of about 80 participants.

And the following day, the Accelerate workshop, which CNA proudly sponsored, provided a day of discussion of nuclear research, innovation and financing.  The researchers shared knowledge of fields from veterinary medicine to applied physics to venture finance.

Accelerate workshop
The inaugural Accelerate workshop on November 21.

A central theme coming out of this wide-ranging discussion was that nuclear technologies are “both new and old.”  Like steam engines in the 1820s, electricity in the 1920s, or telephony in the 1980s, nuclear today has been around for decades – yet may be just beginning to find its most powerful applications.

 

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A Look at the Women-in-Mining and -Nuclear Sask Networking Event

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Great turn out at the WiM/WiN Networking Event
win_wim2
Member of WiM and WiN Saskatchewan get together to make connections and have fun.

Thanks to the Saskatchewan Geological Society (SGS), Women in Mining & Women in Nuclear Saskatchewan had a second successful networking event this year.  WIM/WiN-SK was recently launched in June of this year.  The SGS provided the room and advertising at the SGS annual conference.  More than 60 women attended the event which also saw an increase in memberships!  Thanks to all the sponsors who made the event so successful and to all the people who attended the event.

 

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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.

Mining Nuclear Energy Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

Launch of WiN-Saskatchewan

We here at TalkNUclear.ca are very pleased to be sharing this news with you. Today Women-in-Nuclear Canada (WiN) is launching its very first chapter west of Ontario! Congratulations to all involved in this great achievement signalling a growing engagement among the industry and commitment to nuclear all across Canada.

Thanks to WiN-Canada for allowing us to repost this event information from their website.

June 11, 2012

All aboard!!  Yes, the first chapter west of Ontario is about to be launched in Saskatchewan.  Together with Women in Mining, WiN-Saskatchewan will host a networking opportunity for women in nuclear medicine, academia and science to officially announce the launching of the Saskatchewan Chapter of WiN.  This opportunity will provide an important venue for other members of WiN-Canada to interact with the new WiN-Saskatchewan chapter members and to meet the members of our sister organization, Women in Mining (WIM).  WIM is a logical group to join forces with in Saskatchewan since so many of our members will have ties to both organizations.  We invite as many of the WiN members in other parts of Canada to come and join in with the celebration.

As many of you may know, Saskatchewan has a history with nuclear.  Last year, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the development of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan.  In addition, this province is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium and employs a large number of women in that sector.  The University of Saskatchewan pioneered the use of cobalt 60 in cancer treatments.  And, Saskatchewan also has the Canadian Light Source synchrotron and a slowpoke reactor!  Nuclear is not new to Saskatchewan but having a WiN chapter will be!

The Canadian Nuclear Society has been very supportive and has presented us with this opportunity to get together and celebrate the launching of the new chapter at TCU Place during the CNS 33rd Annual Conference and 36th Annual Student Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Important to note, you can attend the WiN meeting without attending the CNS Conference.  Hence, we will need to have members RSVP in advancetheir attendance so we can arrange entry with the CNS conference registrar.  A letter of welcome and an invitation to the meeting is attached to this email.  The formal part of the agenda will be kept short to allow time for networking and interaction.  So, the more people that can attend the better.  This is an exciting milestone for Saskatchewan!

As the chapter gets organized, there will be an announcement on the WiN-Canada website (www.wincanada.org) introducing the new leadership group.  However, until the leadership is in place for WiN-Saskatchewan, all inquiries or comments can be sent to Kathryn Black by email at kblack@saskpower.com or by phone at 306 566-3127!  RSVPs for the event can also be sent to Kathryn at the same contact email.

We are looking forward to welcoming all of the WiN-Canada members who can attend to join us in Saskatoon for this important chapter launch and networking event.

Launch of WiN-Saskatchewan

Location
TCU Place
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)

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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.