1. Qinshan Phase II unit 3 has become China’s 13th nuclear unit to enter commercial operation.
The 650 MWe CNP-600 pressurised water reactor was connected to the grid at the beginning of August. It had been pencilled in for commercial operation for early 2011, but has now become the second Chinese reactor to go commercial this year, following on from the first unit at Ling Ao II which entered commercial operation in September.
My most recent summary of world nuclear energy for 2010 is here
2. Industries and New Technologies Vice Minister Berik Kamaliyev predicted October 12 at a cabinet session that Kazakhstan will mine 17,800 tonnes of uranium in 2010, according to newskaz.ru.
Earlier, Kazatomprom CEO Vladimir Shkolnik estimated his state-owned company would extract 18,000 tonnes this year. Kazakhstan leads the world in production of natural uranium.
3. Uranium prices will average $52.25 a pound next year, 19 percent higher than this year, as new supplies are expected to lag behind an increase in demand for the nuclear fuel, Morgan Stanley said in a report.
This year through mid-October, uranium oxide concentrate for immediate delivery averaged $43.78 a pound (0.45 kilogram), and in 2012 prices are forecast to rise to $60, Morgan Stanley analysts Peter Richardson and Joel Crane said in a report today.
Demand for fuel was expected to rise by 24 percent through 2015 as new nuclear plant capacity “is rapidly coming online and the planned project pipeline is briskly increasing,” according to the report.
China is planning to increase its nuclear capacity six-fold and India aims to add 20 to 30 new reactors by 2020, according to the WNA. In addition, demand from developed economies is also set to rise on “concerns over carbon-emission costs and energy-supply security,” according to the report.
Over the next decade there will be an additional 147 nuclear plants coming online, according to Morgan Stanley.
These plants will require 32,900 tons of nuclear fuel, almost half of the demand from this year’s 443 commercial reactors, according to the report
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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