Uranium as Raw Material for Nuclear Energy

V. Lelek / NRI Řež plc. / Czech Republic

16th Symposium of AER on VVER Reactor Physics and Reactor Safety (2006, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Actinide Transmutation and Spent Fuel Disposal


There is lot of information bringing our attention to the problem of limited raw material resources. Fortunately uranium for nuclear energy is very concentrated source and that is why its transport brings no problems and could be realized from anywhere.
Second question is if overall resources are available for current nuclear energy development. Data documenting reasons for nowadays price growth are presenting and it is clearly shown that the most probable explanation is that there is gap in new uranium mines preparation and the lot of smaller mines were closed in the period of low uranium prices.
Conclusion is that there is at least for the first half of this century even for thermal reactors enough uranium. Situation could be changed if there will massive production of liquid fuel using hydrogen, produced through nuclear heating.
Public information about former military uranium resources are also included. Contemporary about one half of US nuclear power-stations is using high enriched uranium diluted with natural uranium – it is expected to continue this way up to 2012. Uranium is complicated market.

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