Uranium Report 2023/03
Nuclear power is on the rise again worldwide. Not only the current energy crisis in Europe, including the prospect of possible blackouts, but above all the view of the future energy supply of many millions of electric vehicles from sources that are as CO2-free as possible have recently brought energy generation by means of nuclear fission back into the focus of politics and society, and even made it downright respectable. Many established nuclear power nations such as China, India, Japan, Great Britain, France and the USA are working on restarting, extending the operating lives of or building new nuclear reactors, which are the only energy source that can continuously supply emission-free electricity at a consistently high level. Other nations that have not had nuclear power plants to date have begun building new ones. Although the focus is currently still on the well-known, large nuclear reactors, in the future it will be far smaller reactors - so-called "Small Modular Reactors", or SMRs for short, which can be manufactured modularly in factories and installed at almost any desired location - that will ensure an explosion in demand for the raw material that is essential for generating energy by means of nuclear fission: uranium.
How the expected high demand (increase) for the important fuel uranium will be met in the process is still written in the stars. For example, at last count, a supply of about 140 million pounds of triuranoctoxide (U3O8) was matched by a demand for 190 million pounds of U3O8. While the uranium sector still has additional production capacity, it will take a lot of new mines to meet what the World Nuclear Association expects to be an additional 3 to 4% per year increase in demand. However, these take an average of at least 10 years from the discovery of a deposit through permitting and construction to the start of production. This glaring undersupply of uranium, plus other problems such as the fact that Russia enriches a good 45% of global uranium production and will now cease to be a supplier for many countries, opens up excellent opportunities for interested shareholders to participate in the uranium market.