New Uranium Export Agreement with China Offers Environmental and Economic Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 9, 2012 2012-02-07-OTHER The Prime Minister's announcement today of an agreement with China on Canadian uranium exports means that Saskatchewan can make a valuable contribution to reducing the global carbon footprint, while increasing opportunities for jobs with our wealth of uranium resources, says the head of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI).

"It is very encouraging to see that nuclear energy will be part of the mix for fast-growing China, displacing some of the energy production that would otherwise mean more coal burning," said John Root, interim director of the new CCNI, recently established by the Saskatchewan government at the University of Saskatchewan.  
"This choice will reduce the future load of carbon dioxide and pollutants released to the air we all share." 
Under existing regulations, China is prohibited from purchasing Canadian yellowcake (Uranium U3O8). This new agreement will help Canadian uranium companies substantially increase exports to China but will call on the Chinese government to verify that Canadian uranium is being used for appropriate civilian purposes.
"This agreement supports China's energy needs while contributing to the use of clean, reliable energy in China," Root said. "For people in China and the rest of the world who are striving to reach Western standards of living, we need to figure out how to sustainably produce about five times the energy that is consumed in Europe and North America." 
As well, increased extraction activity in Saskatchewan will continue to require the most advanced knowledge to support industry and northern communities in addressing environmental challenges.
The new CCNI will help find technological and policy solutions to these pressing challenges, while placing Saskatchewan among global leaders of nuclear research, development and training. 
"With the CCNI in place, Saskatchewan will be well able to generate and interpret knowledge in the nuclear domain, hold fact-based conversations and make informed decisions about nuclear science and technologies," he said. "We will use nuclear facilities and methods to make positive impacts in medicine, materials, energy and the environment for decades to come," he said
For more information, contact:
John Root
Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation
(306) 966-7338
Kathryn Warden
Research Communications
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-2506

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