Nuclear-capable countries hastened to secure uranium deals. Nuclear-capable nations across the world are hurrying to make sure that they have long-term access to supplies of uranium. Many countries in Europe and Asia, including India and China, are in the race to lock in their supply of uranium in order to fuel several new reactors that they will build over the next decade.
Recently, a deal was struck between the Russia-based Rosatom, the state-owned producer of uranium, and the Canada-based producer Uranium One. Rosatom won a 17% stake in Uranium One as well as a long-term deal for supply in exchange for a half stake in the Karatau mine in Kazakhstan. Uranium One is also reportedly trying to close a 20% (worth $240-million) share sale and supply pact with Japan’s Toshiba Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company and Japan Bank for international Cooperation.
Denison Mines, the uranium miner, recently agreed to sell 20% of itself to Korea Electric Power Corporation.
According to analysts, Russia is striving to expand its influence in the nuclear industry, especially in Asia.
China, which has embarked on very ambitious plans to expand nuclear power, has held talks with major uranium miner Cameco about a potential supply deal.
Australia, on its part, is considering selling uranium from BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine to China, on condition that Beijing will not use the uranium for its nuclear weapons program.
It has been estimated that, led by China, India and Russia, over 100 new nuclear reactors will be constructed over the next decade as a part of worldwide efforts to decrease dependence on greenhouse gas-producing energy sources like coal. The new nuclear reactors are expected to be larger, on average, than the 426 reactors in operation at present.