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May 16, 2012

Uranium production for 2011 was 53,494 tons

The World Nuclear Association reports 53,494 tons of uranium produced for 2011.

The WNA reference scenario projects world uranium demand as about 72,680 tU in 2015.


Some of the new mines expected to reach substantial production in the next few years are:
Vitimsky        Russia          2012
Four Mile       Australia       2013
Cigar Lake      Canada          2013
Imouraren       Niger           2014
Husab           Namibia         2014
Valencia        Namibia         2015
Omahola         Namibia         2015
Trekkopje       Namibia         2017
Morocco (phosphate by-product)  
                Morocco         2017
Dornod          Mongolia        2018

WNA expects 2012 production to be 52,221 tU. UxC predicts about 63,600 tU in 2012.




Kazakstan had 4666 tons of uranium production for the first 3 months of 2012. This was 5% higher than in 2011.

Cameco's uranium production was up 2% for the first three month of 2012 compared to 2011.


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 (I won in 2010, 2011)
2. World Nuclear power generation bets going to 2018 (I won in 2010, lost 2009 and 2011)
3. Uranium production in Kazakhstan (I won 2010, 2011)

So out of 8 bets, I have won 6 bets and lost 2.

Dittmar              Brian                  Midpoint

2009   2575 TWhe            2600 TWhe               2587.5   Actual 2558 twh
2010   2550 TWhe            2630                    2590     Actual 2630 twh
2011   2550                 2650                    2600     Actual 2518 twh
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

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 19,450 tons in 2011

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 53,494 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


The world nuclear generation bet is likely to be won by Dittmar due to Japan and Germany turning off operational reactors because of public fears after Fukushima. Other nuclear generating nations actually did quite well, so the actual miss on generation will not be that large.

Japan is talking about turning on some of their reactors again and will have power shortages this summer if they do not.

There are about 14 nuclear reactors getting started in 2012.

14 more nuclear reactors starting in 2013 and 19 nuclear reactors in 2014

I am expecting some of Japans reactors to get restarted in 2012 and most of the operating reactors to restart in 2013.


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