Again and again we have been told that uranium is a limit reserve.
If you look at the facts, you will soon see that it is nothing but a false claim.

The old claim

The Danish anti-nuclear organization OOA described the situation as follows:
Uranium Crisis in 10-20 years.
World uranium amounts are not particularly large.
OECD estimated that there is enough uranium to around the year 2000.

The realities

The industry will of course harvest the low-hanging fruits first.
And there are many “fruits on the tree”.

  • The present price of uranium is below $260/kg
    Global proven uranium reserves, which can be utilized at this price amount to about 4.6 million tons.
    It is enough for about 166000 TWh of electricity – only 7 years of the current total global electricity consumption rate.
  • As soon as there is a demand, new deposits are still to be found.
  • However uranium at $260/kg contributes only $7.2/MWh to the cost of electricity.
    The price of nuclear power is varying.
    Still I will say that it is about 20 % of the cost of nuclear energy.
  • Of course nuclear will remain competitive at higher uranium prices.
    Particularly, prices above $1000/kg could make uranium extraction from the ocean viable, unlocking 100-1000 times the current reserves.
    Uranium at this price level would contribute about $28/kWh to the cost of electricity, which is still viable.
  • Long time before this we will utilize the so-called waste and the depleted uranium just left.
    The necessary processes are known, but need refinements.
    Also here: We will pick the lowest hanging fruits first.
  • Only by unlocking the old waste, we will have access to at least 10 times more compared to what has been used until now.
  • With technology still in the pipeline, we can utilize the depleted uranium stockpiled.
    It will probably be much cheaper.
  • If everything fails, uranium can be extracted from seawater.
  • Thorium is plentiful and can be used almost 100 %
  • Now mankind will have plenty of energy for the next several 1000 years.
  • And now, we are just waiting for fusion-energy to be ready.

May be the ghost of uranium-shortage should come back into the bottle.

More

From World Nuclear.

From The Energy Collective.

Videnskab.dk

Uran og Thorium i jordskorpen

For the Swedish reactor Forsmark costs of fuel amounts to 19 % of all costs excl. tax.
These 19 % is including costs for enrichment and the production of the elements.

From Wikipedia I quote:
The cost of raw uranium contributes about $0.0015/kWh to the cost of nuclear electricity, while in breeder reactors the uranium cost falls to $0.000015/kWh.

From NucNet I quote:
Global Uranium Supply ‘More Than Adequate’ For Foreseeable Future.

The alleged scarcity of uranium may best be stopped by the following from World Nuclear:
Oversupply prompts Kazakh uranium production cut.

Spot Prices

Let me finish with the following from The Energy Collective.
Production of U.S. uranium concentrate decreased 40% between 2014 and 2016 to 2.9 million pounds U3O8 in 2016, the lowest annual total since 2005. Uranium production has been affected by falling uranium prices, with spot prices falling from $34 per pound (lb) in January 2016 to $18/lb in November, the lowest uranium spot price since May 2004.
The term U3O8 stands for 3 Uranium with 8 Oxygen. Better known as Yellow-cake.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_market

Advertisements