Red Book reveals plenty of uranium

23 July 2010

The latest edition of Uranium 2009: Resources, Production and Demand (ISBN 978-92-64-04789-1), commonly known as the "Red Book," echoes the last few issues. Based on 2008 rates of consumption, the total identified uranium resources as of January 2010 are sufficient to last over 100 years, it says.

The total identified uranium resources are up 15% on 2007, but so are exploration costs, which have more than doubled despite the declining uranium market price (The uranium price has fallen from a high of $137/lb U3O8 in mid-2007 to around $40/lb U3O8 today.)

However, even with the highest anticipated demand for uranium (based on 785GW installed capacity), less than half of the identified uranium resources (6,306,300tU) listed in the latest issue of the Red Book would be consumed by 2035.

“The challenge remains to develop mines in a timely and environmentally sustainable fashion as uranium demand increases,” the publication concludes. A strong market will be required for these resources to be developed within the time frame required to meet future uranium demand.

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency publish the book every two years.

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