Uranium & Fuel

Nuclear Fuel Report / Uranium Demand Expected To Surge By 28% By 2030

By David Dalton
8 September 2023

WNA says interest in nuclear has risen since Russia invaded Ukraine

Uranium Demand Expected To Surge By 28% By 2030
Drums of uranium at a warehouse in Kazalhstan. Courtesy Kazatomprom.

Demand for uranium in nuclear reactors is expected to climb by 28% by 2030 and nearly double by 2040 as governments ramp up nuclear power capacity to meet zero-carbon targets, the World Nuclear Association (WNA) said in a report on Thursday (7 September).

The biennial Nuclear Fuel Report said demand for uranium for nuclear plants is expected to rise to 83,840 tonnes by 2030 and 130,000 tonnes by 2040, from 65,650 this year.

Interest in nuclear power has also risen since Russia invaded Ukraine and many nations want alternatives to Moscow’s energy supplies, the report added.

“From the beginning of the next decade, planned mines and prospective mines, in addition to increasing quantities of unspecified supply, will need to be brought into production,” the report said.

Global uranium production dropped by a quarter to 47,731 tonnes from 2016 to 2020 and recovered slightly to 49,355 tonnes last year.

After an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed Japan's Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years earlier, countries closed dozens of reactors.

Global nuclear capacity at the end of June 2023 was 391 GW from 437 units, with another 64 GW under construction, the report said.

Nuclear capacity is expected to rise by 14% by 2030 and by 76% to 686 GW by 2040.

Capacity will grow through not only new reactors, the bulk of which are planned in China and India, but by extending the operating lifetimes of existing plants.

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