Uranium market

Uranium market

Overview

The uranium market, like all commodity markets, has a history of volatility, moving not only with the standard forces of supply and demand
Supply and demand
Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers will equal the quantity supplied by producers , resulting in an...

, but also to whims of geopolitics
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

. It has also evolved particularities of its own in response to the unique nature and use of this material.

The only significant commercial use for uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 is to fuel nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

s for the generation of electricity. There are 440 reactors operating worldwide, and a total of 60 new reactors that are under construction, with over 150 power reactors (with a total net capacity of some 172,000 MWe) planned and over 340 more proposed (as of August 2011).

Before uranium is ready for use as nuclear fuel
Nuclear fuel
Nuclear fuel is a material that can be 'consumed' by fission or fusion to derive nuclear energy. Nuclear fuels are the most dense sources of energy available...

 in reactors, it must undergo a number of intermediary processing steps which are identified as the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle
Nuclear fuel cycle
The nuclear fuel cycle, also called nuclear fuel chain, is the progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. It consists of steps in the front end, which are the preparation of the fuel, steps in the service period in which the fuel is used during reactor operation, and steps in...

: mining
Uranium mining
Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. The worldwide production of uranium in 2009 amounted to 50,572 tonnes, of which 27% was mined in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia are the top three producers and together account for 63% of world uranium...

 it (either underground or in open pit mines), milling it into yellowcake
Yellowcake
Yellowcake is a kind of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Yellowcake concentrates are prepared by various extraction and refining methods, depending on the types of ores...

, enriching it
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

 and finally fuel fabrication
Nuclear fuel
Nuclear fuel is a material that can be 'consumed' by fission or fusion to derive nuclear energy. Nuclear fuels are the most dense sources of energy available...

 to produce fuel assemblies or bundles.
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Encyclopedia

The uranium market, like all commodity markets, has a history of volatility, moving not only with the standard forces of supply and demand
Supply and demand
Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers will equal the quantity supplied by producers , resulting in an...

, but also to whims of geopolitics
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

. It has also evolved particularities of its own in response to the unique nature and use of this material.

The only significant commercial use for uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 is to fuel nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

s for the generation of electricity. There are 440 reactors operating worldwide, and a total of 60 new reactors that are under construction, with over 150 power reactors (with a total net capacity of some 172,000 MWe) planned and over 340 more proposed (as of August 2011).

Before uranium is ready for use as nuclear fuel
Nuclear fuel
Nuclear fuel is a material that can be 'consumed' by fission or fusion to derive nuclear energy. Nuclear fuels are the most dense sources of energy available...

 in reactors, it must undergo a number of intermediary processing steps which are identified as the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle
Nuclear fuel cycle
The nuclear fuel cycle, also called nuclear fuel chain, is the progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. It consists of steps in the front end, which are the preparation of the fuel, steps in the service period in which the fuel is used during reactor operation, and steps in...

: mining
Uranium mining
Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. The worldwide production of uranium in 2009 amounted to 50,572 tonnes, of which 27% was mined in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia are the top three producers and together account for 63% of world uranium...

 it (either underground or in open pit mines), milling it into yellowcake
Yellowcake
Yellowcake is a kind of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Yellowcake concentrates are prepared by various extraction and refining methods, depending on the types of ores...

, enriching it
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

 and finally fuel fabrication
Nuclear fuel
Nuclear fuel is a material that can be 'consumed' by fission or fusion to derive nuclear energy. Nuclear fuels are the most dense sources of energy available...

 to produce fuel assemblies or bundles. This technologically complicated and challenging process is simple in comparison to the complexity of the market that has evolved to provide these three services.

Available supply



The world's present measured resources of uranium, economically recoverable at a price of USD$130/kg, are enough to last for some 80 years at current consumption.

In 1983, physicist Bernard Cohen proposed that the world supply of uranium is effectively inexhaustible, and could therefore be considered a form of renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

. He claims that fast breeder reactors, fueled by naturally-replenished uranium extracted from seawater, could supply energy at least as long as the sun's expected remaining lifespan of five billion years. These reactors use uranium-238
Uranium-238
Uranium-238 is the most common isotope of uranium found in nature. It is not fissile, but is a fertile material: it can capture a slow neutron and after two beta decays become fissile plutonium-239...

, which is more common than the uranium-235
Uranium-235
- References :* .* DOE Fundamentals handbook: Nuclear Physics and Reactor theory , .* A piece of U-235 the size of a grain of rice can produce energy equal to that contained in three tons of coal or fourteen barrels of oil. -External links:* * * one of the earliest articles on U-235 for the...

 required by conventional reactors.

Market operations


Unlike other metals such as copper or nickel, uranium is not traded on an organized commodity exchange
Commodity exchange
Commodity exchange may refer to:* Commodities exchange, any exchange where various commodities and derivatives products are traded.* Commodity markets, for the markets trading on commodities in general....

 such as the London Metal Exchange
London Metal Exchange
The London Metal Exchange is the futures exchange with the world's largest market in options, and futures contracts on base and other metals. As the LME offers contracts with daily expiry dates of up to three months from trade date, along with longer-dated contracts up to 123 months, it also...

. Instead it is traded in most cases through contracts negotiated directly between a buyer and a seller. Recently, however, the New York Mercantile Exchange
New York Mercantile Exchange
The New York Mercantile Exchange is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange. It is located at One North End Avenue in the World Financial Center in the Battery Park City section of Manhattan, New York City...

 announced a 10-year agreement to provide for the trade of on and off exchange uranium futures contracts.

The structure of uranium supply contract
Contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

s varies widely. Pricing can be as simple as a single fixed price, or based on various reference prices with economic corrections built in. Contracts traditionally specify a base price, such as the uranium spot price, and rules for escalation. In base-escalated contracts, the buyer and seller agree on a base price that escalates over time on the basis of an agreed-upon formula, which may take economic indices, such as GDP or inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 factors, into consideration.

A spot market
Spot price
The spot price or spot rate of a commodity, a security or a currency is the price that is quoted for immediate settlement . Spot settlement is normally one or two business days from trade date...

 contract usually consists of just one delivery and is typically priced at or near the published spot market price at the time of purchase. However 85% of all uranium has been sold under long-term, multi-year contracts with deliveries starting one to three years after the contract
Contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

 is made. Long-term contract terms range from two to 10 years, but typically run three to five years, with the first delivery occurring within 24 months of contract award. They may also include a clause that allows the buyer to vary the size of each delivery within prescribed limits. For example, delivery quantities may vary from the prescribed annual volume by plus or minus 15%.

One of the peculiarities of the nuclear fuel cycle is the way in which utilities with nuclear power plants buy their fuel. Instead of buying fuel bundles from the fabricator, the usual approach is to purchase uranium in all of these intermediate forms. Typically, a fuel buyer from power utilities will contract separately with suppliers at each step of the process. Sometimes, the fuel buyer may purchase enriched uranium
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

 product, the end product of the first three stages, and contract separately for fabrication, the fourth step to eventually obtain the fuel in a form that can be loaded into the reactor. The utilities believe – rightly or wrongly – that these options offers them the best price and service. They will typically retain two or three suppliers for each stage of the fuel cycle, who compete for their business by tender. Sellers consist of suppliers in each of the four stages as well as brokers and traders
Merchant
A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

. There are fewer than 100 companies that buy and sell uranium in the western world.

In addition to being sold in different forms, uranium markets are differentiated by geography. The global trading of uranium has evolved into two distinct marketplaces shaped by historical and political forces. The first, the western world marketplace comprises the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. A separate marketplace comprises countries within the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, or the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 (CIS), Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. Most of the fuel requirements for nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant
A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...

s in the CIS are supplied from the CIS's own stockpiles. Often producers within the CIS also supply uranium and fuel products to the western world, increasing competition.

The SWU (separative work unit)


Separative Work Unit (SWU) is a complex unit which is a function of the amount of uranium processed and the degree to which it is enriched, i.e. the extent of increase in the concentration of the 235U isotope relative to the remainder. Separative work is expressed in SWUs, kg SW, or kg UTA (from the German Urantrennarbeit )

The unit is strictly: Kilogram Separative Work Unit, and it measures the quantity of separative work (indicative of energy used in enrichment) when feed, tails and product quantities are expressed in kilograms.

The number of Separative Work Units provided by an enrichment facility is directly related to the amount of energy that the facility consumes. Modern gaseous diffusion plants typically require 2,400 to 2,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per SWU while gas centrifuge plants require just 50 to 60 kilowatt-hours of electricity per SWU.

Example:

A large nuclear power station with a net electrical capacity of 1,300 MW requires about 25,000 kg of enriched uranium annually with a 235U concentration of 3.75%. This quantity is produced from about 210,000 kg of raw uranium using about 120,000 SWU. An enrichment plant with a capacity of 1,000 kSWU/year is, therefore, able to enrich the uranium needed to fuel about eight large nuclear power stations

Cost Issues

In addition to the Separative Work Units provided by an enrichment facility, the other important parameter that must be considered is the mass of raw uranium that is needed in to order to yield a desired mass of enriched uranium. As with the number of SWUs, the amount of feed material required will also depend on the level of enrichment desired and upon the amount of 235U that ends up in the depleted uranium
Depleted uranium
Depleted uranium is uranium with a lower content of the fissile isotope U-235 than natural uranium . Uses of DU take advantage of its very high density of 19.1 g/cm3...

. However, unlike the number of SWUs required during enrichment which increases with decreasing levels of 235U in the depleted stream, the amount of raw uranium needed will decrease with decreasing levels of 235U that end up in the tails.

Example:

In the production of enriched uranium for use in a light water reactor it is typical for the enriched stream to contain 3.6% 235U (as compared to 0.7% in raw uranium) while the depleted stream contains 0.2% to 0.3% 235U. In order to produce one kilogram of this enriched uranium it would require approximately 8 kilograms of raw uranium and 4.5 SWU if the tails stream was allowed to have 0.3% 235U. On the other hand, if the depleted stream had only 0.2% 235U, then it would require just 6.7 kilograms of raw uranium, but nearly 5.7 SWU of enrichment. Because the amount of raw uranium required and the number of SWUs required during enrichment change in opposite directions, if raw uranium is cheap and enrichment services are more expensive, then the operators will typically choose to allow more 235U to be left in the tails stream whereas if raw uranium is more expensive and enrichment is less so, then they would choose the opposite.

History


The world's top uranium producers are Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 (28% of world production) and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (23%). Other major producers include Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 and Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

 http://www.uxc.com/fuelcycle/uranium/production-uranium.html. Purification facilities are almost always located at the mining sites. The facilities for enrichment, on the other hand, are found in those countries that produce significant amounts of electricity from nuclear power. Large commercial enrichment plants are in operation in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, USA, and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, with smaller plants elsewhere. These nations form the core of the uranium market and influence considerable control over all buyers. The uranium market is a classic seller's market
Market
A market is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers...

. The uranium cartel
Cartel
A cartel is a formal agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products...

, as it became known, was the alliance of the major uranium producing nations. Representatives of these five countries met in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in February, 1972 to discuss the "orderly marketing" of uranium. Although sounding innocuous, they had, amongst themselves, a monopoly in the uranium market and were deciding to exercise it.

Global demand for uranium rose steadily from the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, largely driven by nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s procurement programs. This trend lasted until the early 1980s, when changing geopolitical circumstances as well as environmental, safety, economic concerns over nuclear power plants reduced demand somewhat. The production of a series of large hydro-electric power stations has also helped to depress the global market since the early 1970s. This phenomenon can be traced back to the construction of the vast Aswan Dam
Aswan Dam
The Aswan Dam is an embankment dam situated across the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. Since the 1950s, the name commonly refers to the High Dam, which is larger and newer than the Aswan Low Dam, which was first completed in 1902...

 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and to a certain extent with the ambitious Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, located in the Yiling District of Yichang, in Hubei province, China...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. During this time, large uranium inventories accumulated. In fact, until 1985 the Western uranium industry was producing material much faster than nuclear power plants and military programs were consuming it. Uranium prices slid throughout the decade with few respites, leaving the price below $10 per pound for yellowcake by year-end 1989.

As uranium prices fell, producers began curtailing operations or exiting the business entirely, leaving only a few actively involved in uranium mining and causing uranium inventories to shrink significantly. Since 1990 uranium requirements have outstripped uranium production. World uranium requirements are expected to increase steadily throughout the next decade to a peak of over 200 million pounds of yellowcake.

However several factors are pushing both industrialized and developing nations towards alternative energy
Alternative energy
Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels....

 sources. The increasing rate of consumption of fossil fuel
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years...

 is a concern for nations lacking in reserves, especially non-OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 nations. The other issue is the level of pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 produced by coal-burning plants, and despite their vastness, an absence of economical methods for tapping into solar, wind-driven, or tidal reserves. Uranium suppliers hope that this will mean an increase in market share and an increase in volume over the long term.

Uranium prices reached an all-time low in 2001, costing US$7/lb. This was followed by a period of gradual rise, followed by a bubble culminating in mid-2007
Uranium bubble of 2007
The uranium bubble of 2007 was a period of nearly exponential growth in the price of natural uranium, starting in 2005 and peaking at roughly 300$/kg in mid-2007. This coincided with significant rises of stock price of uranium mining and exploration companies...

, which caused the price to peak at around 137$/lb. This was the highest price (adjusted for inflation) in 25 years. The higher price during the bubble has spurred new prospecting and reopening of old mines. Cameco
Cameco
Cameco Corporation is the world's largest publicly traded uranium company, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 2009, it was the world's second largest uranium producer, accounting for 16% of world production.-History:...

 and Rio Tinto Group
Rio Tinto Group
The Rio Tinto Group is a diversified, British-Australian, multinational mining and resources group with headquarters in London and Melbourne. The company was founded in 1873, when a multinational consortium of investors purchased a mine complex on the Rio Tinto river, in Huelva, Spain from the...

 are the top two producing companies (with 20% of the production each), followed by Areva
Areva
AREVA is a French public multinational industrial conglomerate headquartered in the Tour Areva in Courbevoie, Paris. AREVA is mainly known for nuclear power; it also has interests in other energy projects. It was created on 3 September 2001, by the merger of Framatome , Cogema and...

 (12%), BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton is a global mining, oil and gas company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and with a major management office in London, United Kingdom...

 (9%) and Kazatomprom
Kazatomprom
Kazatomprom is a state-owned nuclear holding company in Kazakhstan, which operates in the field of Uranium and nuclear fuel cycle services, production of Beryllium, Tantalum and Niobium, and power production...

 (9%).

See also

  • List of countries by uranium reserves
  • Uranium mining
    Uranium mining
    Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. The worldwide production of uranium in 2009 amounted to 50,572 tonnes, of which 27% was mined in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia are the top three producers and together account for 63% of world uranium...

  • List of uranium mines
  • Used nuclear fuel
  • Reprocessed uranium
    Reprocessed uranium
    Reprocessed uranium is the uranium recovered from nuclear reprocessing, as done commercially in France, the UK and Japan and by nuclear weapons states' military plutonium production programs. This uranium actually makes up the bulk of the material separated during reprocessing...

  • Special nuclear material
    Special nuclear material
    Special nuclear material is a term used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the United States to classify fissile materials. The NRC divides special nuclear material into three main categories, according to the risk and potential for its direct use in a clandestine nuclear weapon or for its...

  • Megatons to Megawatts Program
    Megatons to Megawatts Program
    The Megatons to Megawatts Program is the name given to the program that implemented the 1993 United States-Russia nonproliferation agreement to convert high-enriched uranium taken from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into low-enriched-uranium for nuclear fuel.-Extent of program since 1995:From...

  • Uranium bubble of 2007
    Uranium bubble of 2007
    The uranium bubble of 2007 was a period of nearly exponential growth in the price of natural uranium, starting in 2005 and peaking at roughly 300$/kg in mid-2007. This coincided with significant rises of stock price of uranium mining and exploration companies...

  • Uranium Participation Corporation
    Uranium Participation Corporation
    Uranium Participation Corporation is a Toronto-based holding company investing nearly all of its assets in uranium, both in the form of uranium oxide or uranium hexafluoride , with the primary investment objective of achieving capital appreciation in the value of its uranium holdings. The common...


External links