Albany, New York (PRWEB) August 23, 2013
Uranium is mostly used in nuclear power plants to generate electricity. The rising demand for electricity and the capacity of nuclear reactors is driving the uranium market. The global uranium market is expected to witness significant growth in next six years. Nearly 75% of uranium supply is through mining activity and it is expected to grow further in the coming years.
Other secondary sources of uranium include civil stockpiles, recycled uranium, and ex-military weapons-grade uranium. It is expected that there will be a balance between the demand and the supply as the number of new reactors being constructed and old plants retiring is nearly the same.
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In the next six years, it is expected that China, Russia, India, the Middle East, and Europe will expand their use of nuclear energy, creating intense competition for mined uranium. China and Russia are the fastest growing markets and they have already started buying huge stakes in uranium mining operations.
In 2011, after the incident of Fukushima Daiichi reactor owing to Japan’s tsunami and earthquake, the uranium market might witness slow growth. Shortage of uranium may be experienced in the next few years in spite of the abundance of uranium in the earth’s crust, but it takes many years to build and finance uranium mining operations.
Some of the major factors driving the market are the growing demand for nuclear energy, the economic advantage associated with uranium production, oil price fluctuations, and increased awareness regarding reducing carbon emissions. The restraint faced by the industry is the high entry barrier because it is a highly capital intensive industry and requires a long time to obtain mining permits. Owing to environmental concerns, obtaining a uranium mining permit is a major challenge.
The global uranium industry is highly concentrated as very few players are operating in relatively few countries. Russia’s Rosatom and Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom have entered into a joint venture to dominate the uranium market. Some of the key participants in the market are Cameco Corp., African Energy Resources Ltd, Energy Resources of Australia Ltd, American Uranium Corp. Inc., National Atomic Company Kazatomprom, China National Nuclear Corp., Gulf Mines Ltd., and JOGMEC.
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