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Global Uranium Supply Can Meet Projected Demand, NEA and IAEA Say in New Report

Vienna, Austria

IAEA experts explain sustainable practices in phosphate mining and the potential extraction of uranium as a by-product at the Benguerir Mine in Morocco in 2014. (Photo: IAEA)

The world’s supply of uranium is more than adequate to meet projected requirements for the foreseeable future, regardless of the role that nuclear energy ultimately plays in meeting future electricity demand and global climate objectives. However, significant investment and technical expertise will be required to ensure these uranium resources can be brought into production in a timely manner, including from mines currently under care and maintenance.

These are among the main findings of the latest edition of Uranium 2018: Resources, Production and Demand, also known as the “Red Book”, a world reference jointly prepared every two years by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

The 27th edition of the Red Book provides the most recent review of world uranium market fundamentals and presents a statistical profile of the world uranium industry, including data from 41 uranium producing and consuming countries.

The world’s identified uranium resources are reported to be 6 142 200 tonnes of uranium metal (tU), which can be recovered at a cost of USD 130 per kilogram or less. These are recoverable, reasonably assured and inferred resources and this represents an increase of 7.4% on the total reported in 2016. Though some of these increases are due to new discoveries, the majority results from re-evaluations of previously identified uranium resources. Strong market conditions will be fundamental to attracting the required investment to the industry.

The 2018 Red Book offers updated information on established uranium production centres and mine development plans, as well as projections of nuclear generating capacity and reactor-related requirements through 2035, in order to address long term uranium supply and demand issues. Individual country reports offer detailed information on recent developments in uranium exploration and production, on environmental activities, regulatory requirements and on relevant national uranium policies.

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