home Demand, U Demand for uranium for reactors seen jumping 28% by 2030 -report

Demand for uranium for reactors seen jumping 28% by 2030 -report

Demand for uranium in nuclear reactors is expected to climb by 28% by 2030 and nearly double by 2040 as governments ramp up nuclear power capacity to meet zero-carbon targets, the World Nuclear Association (WNA) said in a report on Thursday.

Interest in nuclear power has also risen since Russia invaded Ukraine and many nations want alternatives to Moscow’s energy supplies, the WNA’s biennial Nuclear Fuel Report added.

“From the beginning of the next decade, planned mines and prospective mines, in addition to increasing quantities of unspecified supply, will need to be brought into production,” it said.

Global uranium production dropped by a quarter to 47,731 tonnes from 2016 to 2020 and recovered slightly to 49,355 tonnes last year, the report said.

After an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years earlier, countries closed dozens of reactors.

Global nuclear capacity at the end of June 2023 was 391 gigawatts of electricity (GWe) from 437 units, with another 64 GWe under construction.

Nuclear capacity is expected to rise by 14% by 2030 and surge by 76% to 686 GWe by 2040, the report said.

Capacity will grow through not only new reactors, the bulk of which are planned in China and India, but by extending the operating lifetimes of existing plants.

“Several countries with large reactor fleets, such as Canada, France, Japan, Russia and Ukraine, are allowing existing plants to operate for up to 60 years, and in the USA, to 80 years,” the report said.

Small modular reactors, which are easier and cheaper to build, are also gaining traction, it said.

Demand for uranium for nuclear plants is expected to rise to 83,840 tonnes by 2030 and 130,000 tonnes by 2040, from 65,650 this year, it said.

The spot price of uranium has more than doubled over the past three years, but is well down from a peak of $140 a pound touched in 2007.

This week uranium was quoted at $60.75 a pound, up from $56.25 about a month ago, according to market research firm and consultancy UxC.

Source: Reuters