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May 23, 2011

World nuclear energy production and uranium demand to 2020

1. Bloomberg: the biggest drop in prices of uranium in two years may be ending as China and India plan atomic power developments that will more than double global production even after Japan’s nuclear disaster.

China and India will lead a 46 percent increase in consumption by the world’s five biggest atomic-power developers by 2020.



China’s Nuclear Energy Association said May 12 it will boost atomic capacity as much as eight times by 2020. A day later, India’s Atomic Energy Commission said it will increase production 13-fold by 2030.

Even if Japan develops half of its proposed 19 gigawatts of nuclear power this decade, the country, together with China, India, Russia and South Korea, will add a combined 160 gigawatts by 2020, according to Bloomberg data based on figures from the World Nuclear Association, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan and South Korea’s economy ministry.

South Korea may almost double its nuclear-fired capacity to about 36 gigawatts by 2024, accounting for 48.5 percent of the nation’s power generation up from 31.4 percent today, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The country may add 10 reactors by 2020 totaling 12.8 gigawatts.

This global nuclear reactor build will require an extra 32,000 metric tons of uranium a year, according to calculations based on data from the World Nuclear Association. Global use will be about 69,000 tons in 2011. So 2020, uranium demand will be about 101,000 tons.

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