Growing concern about global warming, driven by the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, prompted governments around the world to recognise nuclear power as a viable production option for competitively priced, clean baseload electricity.
As approximately 60 countries embark on the road to nuclear power, which involves 15 years of planning before construction even begins, one of their most basic concerns is uranium supply well into the future.
The latest edition of Uranium 2009: Resources, Production and Demand, commonly known as the “Red Book”, indicates that at 2008 rates of consumption, total identified uranium resources are sufficient for over 100 years. The Red Book reflects the situation up to 1 January 2009.
And as world nuclear electricity generating capacity is projected to grow, reactor-related uranium requirements are also projected to rise.
Regardless of the role that nuclear energy ultimately plays in meeting rising electricity demand, the uranium resource base is adequate to meet these needs. Even with the highest anticipated demand for uranium, less than half of the identified resources described in this edition of the Red Book would be consumed by 2035.