Supplying an Expanded Nuclear Future
Supply in a Post-Fukushima Era
In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, many reactor projects worldwide have been delayed, and in some cases, new reactors have been cancelled. The reduction in demand stemming from the Fukushima accident essentially negates much of the reduction in supply resulting from the end of the U.S.-Russia HEU deal next year. Inventories are currently playing a larger role in the near term as some reactors have shutdown permanently while others are being kept offline temporarily to address safety concerns.
Given current downward pressure on U3O8 prices, planned production and exploration are being delayed/deferred until inventories are absorbed. To the extent that production growth stalls, this sets up for a potentially volatile second half of this decade since uranium demand is projected to recover rapidly with China’s nuclear generation expanding at a rapid rate and new countries, such as the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, advancing their nuclear power programs. Additionally, HEU feed material is no longer available as a backstop should any production disruptions occur.
With uranium demand expected to increase 20% by 2020 and 61% by 2030, it is critical for new projects to be developed. But, meeting this higher demand could prove challenging given the difficulty of financing new projects in the current economic environment. And as exploration slows, this pushes off the development time for the next wave of new uranium projects.
There is also the complex economic, environmental, strategic and geopolitical issues facing various uranium projects over the next 10 years, which must be understood and risks evaluated by buyers to protect themselves in the future.
Preparing for the Future
In assisting utilities in this endeavor, The Ux Consulting Company (UxC) has revised the Uranium Suppliers Annual, containing comprehensive data and information on all of the world’s uranium suppliers, including detailed sections on planned producers and resource and exploration companies. Included in the Annual are future production forecasts, operation considerations, supplier/project risk analysis, updated production cost estimates, mill capacities, project reserves, and supplier/facility summaries.
The Uranium Suppliers Annual also examines supplier marketing strategies, allowing buyers to understand the capabilities and motivations of suppliers, as well as the political, social, and economic environments in which they operate. In addition, the annual is supported and updated via UxC’s Subscriber Services website, giving subscribers the opportunity to retrieve the latest supplier information.
For each primary and planned producer, detailed tables are provided on mill and mine data, which include:
- Ownership Interest
- Nominal Capacity (Mills)
- Process (Mills)
- Estimated Reserves (Mines)
- Percent Average Ore Grade (Mines)
- Mine Type
- Estimated Production Cost
Additional information covered on each primary and most planned producers include:
- Company Overview
- Driving Force
- Projected Production Based on Ownership Share
- Marketing Strategy
And given the numerous risks affecting uranium producers today, we provide a Project Risk Assessment Matrix for each
primary producer to assess a number of risk factors – Geopolitical, Regulatory, Resource Base, Operational,
Product Dependency, Exchange Rates, and Transportation. Also provided is a Company Risk Matrix, featuring a
comparative aggregate overview of all primary suppliers with aggregate project-specific ratings and
company-specific risks – Resource Diversity, Financial Strength, and Customer Relations.
For more information on the Uranium Suppliers Annual, please contact Nick Carter.
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