Uranium and nuclear energy

Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom reported their uranium production increased 4.3 percent in 2015, to 23,800 tonnes uranium (52.5 million pounds). This was an increase of over 970 tonnes (2.1 million pounds) from the 22,829 tonnes that Kazakhstan produced in 2014.

Idling Japan’s reactors for a few years caused Japanese utilities to accumulate about 120 million pounds of uranium since they still had to honor their existing supply contracts. This is enough to fuel its restarting fleet for the next decade.

The price of uranium has little effect on the price of nuclear power since the fuel is such a small part of the total cost and the cost of fuel itself is dominated by the fabrication costs, not the cost of uranium. Decisions to build nuclear power plants do not hinge on uranium supplies. And there are sufficient uranium deposits in the world to provide nuclear energy at any level for many thousands of years.

Eighty-nine percent of the fuel requirements of the current fleet of nuclear reactors worldwide, totaling some 377 million pounds U3O8 (yellowcake), will be met in 2016 by Canada, Australia, and Kazakhstan.

Japan will restart about 40 of its nuclear reactors over the next few years.
China will build out over 100 nuclear reactors over the next ten years
India, Russia will also build out nuclear reactors.

SOURCES – Forbes James Conca, Kazatomprom