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June 15, 2011

2010 World Nuclear Generation was 2630 TWH - I officially won my three uranium and nuclear 2010 bets

Global production of uranium increased 6% in 2010, compared with the previous year, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Kazakhstan maintained its position as the leading uranium producing country.

Figures compiled by WNA show that worldwide uranium production grew from 50,772 tonnes in 2009 to 53,663 tonnes in 2010, the highest level since the early 1990s.

Kazakhstan was the largest producing country, with output of 17,803 tonnes in 2010, a 27% increase from the 14,020 tonnes it produced in 2009.

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 (official win for 2010)
2. World Nuclear power generation bets going to 2018 (official win for 2010)
3. Uranium production in Kazakhstan (official win for 2010)

I reviewed these bets at the end of 2010 when it was clear but unofficial that I had won all three bets for 2010



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     Actual

2009   2575 TWhe            2600 TWhe               2587.5      2558
2010   2550 TWhe            2630                    2590        2630
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

Global nuclear electricity generation in 2010 totaled 2630 TWh, according to figures from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), representing a 2.8% increase from the 2558 TWh generated in 2009 and taking it close to a peak value in 2006. The energy availability factor of the plants operating in 2010 was 81%, up from 79.4% in 2009.

New reactors amounting to 3722 MWe net boosted the 2010 figure, including Russia's Rostov 2, India's Rajasthan 6, China's Ling Ao 3 and Qinshan II-3, and South Korea's Shin Kori 1.

Just one small reactor - France's 130 MWe Phenix prototype fast reactor - was officially shut down in 2010, although the unit actually ceased power generation in 2009.

Construction of 16 new reactors, with a combined capacity of 15,846 MWe net, started in 2010, according to the IAEA. Ten of these are in China (Ningde units 3 and 4, Taishan 2, Changjiang 1 and 2, Haiyang 2, Fangchenggang 1 and 2, Yangjiang 3 and Fuqing 3). In Russia, the construction of two new units also began (Leningrad II unit 2 and Rostov 4), while two more started construction in India (Kakrapar 3 and 4). In Brazil, work also started on building the Angra 3 unit. Meanwhile, the stalled construction of Japan's 1383 MWe Ohma unit also got back underway in 2010 after re-engineering work for enhanced earthquake protection.

Assuming about five years for construction it can be expected that reactors will be coming online around 2012 at double today's rate of five per year, with this to rise to one per month around 2015.


Kaiga 4 (202 MW(e), PHWR, India) - first grid connection on 19 January
Chasnupp 2 (300 MW(e), PWR, Pakistan) - first grid connection on 14 March
Lingao 4 (1000 MW(e), PWR, China) - first grid connection on 3 May

Kudankulam-1 PWR India 1000 MWe late 2011
BUSHEHR 1 PWR Iran 1000 MWE ---- soon
Shin-Kori-2 PWR South Korea 1000 MWe 2011/08/01
Kusankulam-2 PWR India 1000 MWe late 2011 or in 2012

2009 2575 TWh 2600 2587.5 2558
2010 2550 TWh 2630 2590 2630
2011 2550 2650 2600
2012 2550 2700 2625
2013 2525 2750 2637.5

About 15 TWh ahead of 2010 as of the end of March 2011
-40 TWH Japan and Germany for the rest of 2011
15-20TWh from new reactors

So I am thinking 2610-2630 TWh in spite of the Japan, Germany shutdowns in 2011.
Less margin for me. France and the US cannot have any major operational issues.
2012 A lot of reactors start completing and my margin gets comfortable again.

By 2014-2015, the numbers will show that Dittmar was laughably wrong.

There will be 5-7 new nuclear reactors that will be completed and starting generation in 2011. There will also be about 17 reactors completed in 2012. So 24 nuclear reactors completing over 2011 and 2012 (about 20 GWe which would add about 150 TWH per year).

Reactors in Japan and Germany have been shutdown due to the earthquake or to concerns related to the earthquake in Japan. Thirteen units in Japan - with a combined capacity of 11,545 MWe (23.6% of total nuclear capacity) - have shut down as a direct result of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. Units 1 to 4 at Fukushima Daiichi have been irreparably damaged and, together with the undamaged units 5 and 6, are to be decommissioned. Units 4 and 5 at the Hamaoka plant have been shut down at the government's request and are unlikely to restart for at least several months, while nine reactors - units 1 and 3 of the Onagawa plant, unit 2 of the Tokai plant, all four units at the Fukushima Daini plant - are in cold shutdown and it is not yet known when these will be allowed to resume operation. The accident resulted in Germany imposing a three-month moratorium on the operation of its oldest reactors. This was followed by a decision to permanently shut down the seven units that began operating in or before 1980, plus one reactor that has been in long-term shutdown. Between them these account for up to 55 TWh per year - enough to take 2% off 2010's generation figure. This will have a 45 TWh impact in 2011.

So far 2011 figures up to the end of March show nuclear generation is ahead of 2010 (in spite of the earthquake in Japan.

Japan had a 15% drop in March, 2011 versus March 2010. The Earthquake was on March 11, 2011. So Japan will see about a 20% drop in nuclear generation for 2011. Instead of generating 284 TWh (2010), Japan will generate about 230 TWh in 2011.

Uranium production volume in Kazakhstan for the 1st quarter of 2010 was 4,060 tU.

KazAtomProm reported Kazakh output during the first quarter of 2011 was 4777.4 tonnes, 7.3% above its planned production of 4724.4 tonnes and up some 24% on the same period last year.

Canada's Cameco regained its position as the world's largest uranium producing company, with output of 8758 tonnes in 2010, up from 8000 tonnes in 2009. The company's production represented 16% of world uranium output in 2010. France's Areva, which was the leading producer in 2009 with production of 8623 tonnes, reported output of 8319 tonnes in 2010, putting it in second place. It was closely followed by KazAtomProm, which produced 8116 tonnes in 2010, up from 7467 tonnes in 2009.

Cameco's McArthur River/Key Lake mine in Canada remained the world's largest uranium-producing mine in 2010, with output of 7654 tonnes, up from 7339 tonnes in 2009. Although its output dropped from 4444 tonnes in 2009 to 3216 tonnes in 2010, Energy Resources of Australia's (ERA's) Ranger mine in Australia maintained its second position. Rio Tinto's Rössing mine in Namibia was the third-largest producing mine with production of 3077 tonnes in 2010, down from 3520 tonnes in 2009.
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 17,803 tonnes in 2010
2011   18000 t or more 17,999.9 tons or less 18000 tons tracking to 19500+ tons

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 53,663 tonnes 
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

Although conventional underground and open-pit mining techniques remained the main method for uranium extraction, with 53% of output coming from via these techniques, the use of in-situ leach (ISL) technology has gained popularity. In 2009, some 36% of uranium was extracted using ISL technology, while in 2010 this figure jumped to 41%. In-situ leaching is preferred in Kazakhstan.


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