Uranium - A Secure Raw Material for a Secure Power Supply

Berlin, 11.08.2010

The worldwide supply of nuclear power plants with uranium is assured for at least 100 years. This is emphasised by recently published publications of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA). Their calculations are based on requirements in recent years and exhaustion of known deposits and those assumed so far. If one also considers the resources that are to be estimated from indirect geological indications then uranium will be available for approximately 300 years. This estimate does not factor in the extraction of uranium from phosphates and other non-conventional resources. This would at least double the period of use. At the same time, there is no need for the use of uranium for electricity generation to compete with other applications.

The 60-year operating time widely acknowledged internationally for safe nuclear power plants and extensive plans for the construction of new plants in Asia, Europe and America will not call the stable availability of uranium into question in the long-term. Quite the reverse, rising demand for this nuclear fuel is more likely to increase the profitability of extracting the raw material and thus to increase the supply. The ESA emphasised in its report that the nuclear fuel uranium is extracted in a large number of countries and it only accounts for up to 5 percent of the costs of generating electricity using nuclear energy. In addition, EU experts point out that the efficiency for uranium will rise by a factor of approximately 30 when state-of-the-art 4th generation nuclear reactors that are even safer and more efficient come into commercial use worldwide from the middle of the century.

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