The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan may have spooked the uranium mining sector, forcing even some nations to forego nuclear programs in light of its effectiveness, safety and efficiency, but these factors will not permanently kill nuclear power.
A fire broke out at the Number 4 reactor on Monday, but was extinguished the next day.
In fact, what with the development and growth of nuclear power programs in rapidly developing countries, global demand for uranium is set to stage a strong comeback, according to a report published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nuclear energy agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"Although the accident at Fukushima has had repercussions for nuclear power in several countries, the ever-increasing global demand for electricity and the need to decarbonise electricity generation means that nuclear energy is set to experience strong growth in rapidly developing parts of the world. Alongside this demand for nuclear power, the demand for uranium - the fuel which powers nuclear energy production - is also set to rise," findings of the new report 'Uranium 2011 - Resources, Production and Demand' said.
According to IAEA, global nuclear power capacity will increase to 429 GW in 2020 and 501 GW in 2030 from 375 GW. With this scenario, industry experts project global uranium demand to hit 100,000 metric tonnes per annum by 2020, way above compared from an estimated 68,000 metric tonnes in 2012.
China, India, the Republic of Korea and Russia will be the main drivers for this uranium demand growth spurt. China, in 2011 alone, generated 82.6 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from nuclear power stations, representing already 10 per cent of the 800 billion kilowatt-hours US reactors produced in the same year.
India, which approved recently the construction of a new nuclear power facility, has actually seven projects under way, plus some 15 nuclear power plants in the planning stage.
Russia, meanwhile, has 10 reactors under construction and 17 in the planning stage.
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