Uranium Prediction by CRU and China Starts its 65 Megawatt Fast Reactor

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1. Uranium supplies will exceed demand through 2012 and there is “limited upside” to prices for at least six months, London-based research company CRU said.

This year production is expected to rise to 55,000 tons from 50,772 tons last year, according to data from the World Nuclear Association.

Demand is expected to increase by 46 percent over the next decade, mainly driven by China, according to CRU. “China’s propensity for heavy and early stockpiling will also influence the market,” Schodde said in the presentation.

Supplies from dismantled nuclear weapons and other sources not directly from mines will fall to 13 percent of demand by 2020 from 27 percent last year, he said.

Pretty much in agreement with my predictions on uranium

My projection on uranium is out to about 2018-2020.
so if there was a shortage in 2030 starting in 2025 that is outside the date range of my prediction.
My prediction for 2010 is 56,000 tons and the WNA is predicting 55,000 tons.

Updated Uranium predictions
      Brian Wang  Dittmar            midpoint
2009  49,722 tons 44,000 tons   ACTUAL 50,572 tons  WINNER Brian Wang, Dittmar WRONG
2010  56000 tons  45,000 tons        50,500 tons  
2011  60000 tons  45,000             52,500 tons             
2012  64000 tons  45,000             54,500 tons
2013  68000 tons  45,000             56,500 tons
2014  72000 tons  45,000             58,500 tons
2015  76000 tons  45,000             60,500 tons
2016  80000 tons  45,000             62,500 tons
2017  84000 tons  45,000             64,500 tons
2018  88000 tons  45,000             66,500 tons

The 30,000 tons of possible shortfall in the CRU forcast could be addressed if Australia’s politics get sorted out and the Olympic Dam expansion was in place to increase production to 19,000 tons from that mine. Get another big Australian or Canadian mines or more from Russia etc… and the gap is closed.

Or more exploration or increasing efficiency of reactors by about 20%. Because the 2030 shortfall is based on about 90,000+ tons of supply


By 2030, miners will need a uranium price of US$58/lb (in real 2009 dollars) to justify bringing these new projects on stream

CRU Group, the leading metals and mining consultancy firm, forecasts a major escalation in uranium mining costs towards $60/lb for the ‘next generation’ of projects required to meet demand projections over the next two decades

Over the next two decades, CRU believes that mine production needs to double to meet forecast demand.


It looks like if price went up to $70-100/lb there would be no supply problem because the next layer of mine projects would be justified.

2. China’s endeavor to increase the use of clean energy got a big boost on Wednesday after an experimental fast reactor using the mostly homegrown fourth-generation nuclear technology reached the critical state.

The successful start up of the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) marked a breakthrough in China’s fourth generation nuclear technology, and made China the eighth country in the world to own the technology, Zhang Donghui, general manager of the CEFR project.

The goal is to eventually produce fast reactors which burn 70% of the fuel.

Compared with the third generation reactors which have an utility rate of uranium of just one percent, CEFR boasts an utility rate of more than 60 percent. A new recycling technology called pyroprocessing is also used to close the fuel cycle by separating the unused fuel from most of the radioactive waste

A 600 MWe prototype fast reactor is envisaged by 2020 and there are outline plans for a 1500 MWe version by 2030.

The 65 MW CEFR sodium-cooled, pool-type fast reactor was constructed with some Russian assistance at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIEA), near Beijing

Fast Reactor design strategy for china
On the first pass the max burn rate for this reactor is 100 GWd/t and for the planned later versions up to 150 GWd/t. There would be offsite pyroprocessing to close the fuel cycle.

Older plan for China fast breeder reactors

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