02.11.2018_No218 / News in Brief

China To Increase Investment In Overseas Uranium Mines To Meet Expected Demand, Says Official

Uranium & Fuel

2 Nov (NucNet): China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) is looking to increase investment in overseas uranium mining to ensure fuel supply for the expected growth in its domestic nuclear power generation, Reuters reported a company official as saying.

Ni Tao , deputy manager of CNNC subsidiary China National Uranium Co., told a conference in Melbourne that his company is striving to become “the world’s leading uranium company”.

“We are open to taking a minority stake in a partnership or to taking a whole company,” he told Reuters.

According to Mr Tao, China’s uranium demand is expected to grow to around 10,800 tonnes of uranium (tU) by 2020, rising to 88,000-100,000 tU by 2025.

In October 2018, Shanghai-based energy research company Nicobar told NucNet that China, the only uranium producing country in East Asia, reported a small but steady increase in production from 1,450 tU in 2012 to 1,500 tU in 2013 and 1,550 tU in 2014 with six production centres in operation.

However, according to the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency, annual uranium requirements amount to about 5,300 tU. If the total capacity of nuclear power plants reaches between 40 GW and 58 GW by the end of 2020, uranium requirements will be about 12,000 tU.

With uranium demand from nuclear plants expected to increase rapidly in the coming decade, China has accelerated the pace of domestic uranium mining.

“Uranium supply will be guaranteed through a combination of domestic production, development of non-domestic resources and international trade to ensure a stable supply of nuclear fuel,” the NEA said.

China has acquired 70% of its uranium imports from Kazakhstan, with the remainder coming from other countries including Australia, Canada, Namibia and Uzbekistan.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • China Announces Plans To Increase Nuclear Cooperation With Africa (News in Brief No.176, 05 September 2018)

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