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« Mega Uranium: Needs to Find a Support Level | Main | 750,000 deaths in China from Pollution: Enter Nuclear Power? »

UK Uranium Stockpiles: Not Enough

In a report entitled Uranium and Plutonium: Macro-economic Study, the stockpiles of uranium held by the United Kingdom, is enough to fuel three 1000 MWe reactors for their entire 60-year lives

UK Uranium Stockpiles Not Enough

However, how many nuclear reactors does the UK have? Its a lot more than three!

The UK currently has a grand total of 19 nuclear reactors in operations, providing about one fifth of its electricity. The combined power of all of these reactors is 10,982 MWe so the UK may have enough uranium in their stockpiles to supply about 27% of what is needed over the next sixty years.

That still leaves a large gap of 73% in supply that needs to be filled, and this will require the buying of more uranium or the acquisition of uranium mining companies (perhaps some of our favourite uranium stocks) to fill the supply gap.


25,000 tonnes of depleted uranium from enrichment activities in the form of uranium hexafluoride. This is solid and stored in steel cylinders.
30,000 tonnes of depleted uranium powder from the recycling of used fuel from the Magnox power reactors.
5000 tonnes of 'Thorp product uranium' powder resulting from the recycling of used fuel from Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs).
100 tonnes of plutonium dioxide from the recycling of Magnox and AGR used nuclear fuel.

In addition to this the UK will have to buy more uranium if it is to expand its nuclear industry, in a effort to combat global warming and reduce the reliance on middle eastern or political unstable fossil fuel supplies. (Support for the nuclear programme was again reiterated by Gordon Brown, the new British Prime Minister, in the House of Commons yesterday, as part of Britains Energy Security policy)

This will lead to more uranium buying by governments and utilities and perhaps the buying of uranium mining companies, as it the case of Areva buying Uramin (a uranium stock that was on our BUY list), to ensure the supply of U3O8 to the nuclear power plants.

One of the biggest mistakes a government could make right now is sell their uranium stockpiles to raise some quick cash to buy some popularity in the opinion polls. They should be buying up uranium and uranium mining companies yesterday.

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Reader Comments (2)

I have found your reports very helpful at times, allso
very interesting.
Thank you,

July 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwilliam millar

Since the UK has about 60,000 tonnes of DU available, and advocates of the Integral Fast Reactor state it uses one hundredth as much as a conventional reactor, if the UK switched over to generating 100% of its electricity by Hitachi's IFR, it should have enough uranium in stock to generate its present electricity consumption for 500 years. This is based on the WNP claim that the present 19% of UK electricity generated by nukes requires 2096 tonnes of uranium per year. One percent (or using the IFR, 100%) would therefore require about 110 tonnes, which comes to 55,000 tonnes for 500 years. If the Brits adopt Hitachi's proposal to build a couple of IFR's to burn their plutonium, and things work out ok, the generation of all their electricity by nukes would lead to a drastic drop in uranium imports. However to start up the IFR's at that speed, they would need lots of highly enriched uranium extracted from the freshly mined stuff. They wouldn't have enough plutonium, and couldn't get enough HEU by running the DU through the enrichment plant again, to build the power stations on a reasonable timetable. So the IFR is good news for uranium miners for the next 20 years or so.

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

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