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December 19, 2010

Reviewing three bets on uranium production and nuclear power generation

Michael Dittmar wrote a series of posts about nuclear energy that was published on The Oil Drum in 2009. In the first post of the series, he said that uranium "civilian uranium stocks are expected to be exhausted during the next few years" and "the current uranium supply situation is unsustainable". Basically lack of uranium production from uranium mines would cause lack of nuclear fuel which would result in steadily dropping nuclear power generation. I made a series of three bets with Dittmar

1. World Uranium production
2. World Nuclear power generation bets going to 2018
3. Uranium production in Kazakhstan

All three bets should be handily won by me this year and I should be winning by larger and larger margins for future years of the bets.

Michael Dittmar's incorrect articles were also featured in an MIT Technology Review blog about arxiv articles.

Dittmar also was cited in an article in the Economist (Green View - Fuelling fears : A uranium shortage could derail plans to go nuclear to cut carbon emissions)




Reviewing The Nuclear Generation Bet Series

Dittmar won the nuclear power generation bet for 2009. He said 2575 TWH and I said 2600 TWhe

Dittmar              Brian                  Midpoint

2009   2575 TWhe            2600 TWhe               2587.5
2010   2550 TWhe            2630                    2590
2011   2550                 2650                    2600
2012   2550                 2700                    2625
2013   2525                 2750                    2637.5
2014   2250                 2800                    2525
2015   2250                 2900                    2575
2016   2250                 3200                    2725
2017   2250                 3500                    2875
2018   2250                 3800                    3025

Actual generation was 2559 TWH - lower because of some problems in France

World nuclear generation for 2010 appears likely to be trending to 80 tWh more than in 2009 (2558 tWh) which would put it at about 2640 tWh.

Ukraine and China have already passed their 2009 nuclear generation and still have their December generation to add. The USA is generating at 95% in December.

There will be 11-14 new nuclear reactors that will be completed and starting generation in 2011. There will also be about 13 reactors completed in 2012. If three of the reactors do not complete in 2011 they will shift to 2012. So 27 nuclear reactors completing over 2011 and 2012 (about 21 GWe which would add about 160 TWH per year).

The Kazakhstan uranium bet were as follows

The predictions and the bet is for the uranium production of the country of Kazakhstan. So not just Kazatomprom, although that is most of the production.
Again we use the World Nuclear Association numbers of uranium production when reported.

Brian Wang      Dittmar               Midpoint
2010   16500 tons      15000 tons            15750 tons
2011   18000 t or more 17,999.9 tons or less 18000 tons

Kazakstan is on track for 17800 tons of uranium.

Industries and New Technologies Vice Minister Berik Kamaliyev predicted October 12, 2010 at a cabinet session that Kazakhstan will mine 17,800 tonnes of uranium in 2010, according to newskaz.ru.

World uranium production bets for 2010 through 2018
Uranium predictions
      Brian Wang  Dittmar            midpoint
2010  56000 tons  45,000 tons        50,500 tons
2011  60000 tons  45,000             52,500 tons
2012  64000 tons  45,000             54,500 tons
2013  68000 tons  45,000             56,500 tons
2014  72000 tons  45,000             58,500 tons
2015  76000 tons  45,000             60,500 tons
2016  80000 tons  45,000             62,500 tons
2017  84000 tons  45,000             64,500 tons
2018  88000 tons  45,000             66,500 tons

(Cameco) Canada's 2010 uranium production is up about 17% over 2009.


This will mean 3700 more tons of production in Kazakstan and 1000 more tons of production in Canada. Australian uranium production will be lower by close to 2000 tons.

World uranium production looks on track for 54,000-56,000 tons in 2010.

Big Husab mine could be open by 2014 in Namibia (5600 tons/year)

China is targeting 112 GWe of nuclear power in 2020.

Cameco in Canada is targeting doubling uranium production by 2018


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