From the February 01, 2011 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Using uranium stocks to exploit the metal

Uranium prices are poised to rise

  • The U.S./Russian honeymoon is strained as Russia’s use of nuclear power is to jump from 17% to 25% by 2030.
  • Kazakhstan, the largest producer of uranium, is looking to diversify its economic dependence on energy.
  • South Africa, which holds 7% of the world’s uranium reserves, appears on the verge of cutting uranium exports to ensure sufficient domestic energy supply.
  • India will see its electricity needs jump a whopping 10X to about 8,000 tons by 2020, according to officials at the state-owned Nuclear Power Corp.
  • The World Nuclear Association has said China will see its demand for electricity soar to 85 gigawatts by 2020 (that is nine times its present capacity).
  • The November U.S. Congressional elections may kick-start legislation that favors nuclear energy to satisfy a growing American appetite for electricity.
  • Any cap-and-trade legislation in 2011 will make the economics of nuclear power more favorable.
  • Global population growth and industrial development will lead to a doubling of electricity consumption by 2030.
  • The demand for electricity in the United States is expected to increase by 20% by the end of the next decade and secondary supplies of uranium are dwindling.
  • In the past 30 years, the percentage of electricity generated by nuclear power plants in North America has grown from 4.5% to more than 20%.
  • Given that it takes about 10 years to permit and construct new mines, the industry will be challenged to meet demand (similar to the crude oil market).
  • In 2010, there were 59 reactors under construction (up from 49 in 2009).

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