Uranium is a heavy metal that has been used as an abundant source of concentrated energy for over 60 years.
Nuclear provides safe and reliable, emissions free baseload power and is a key pillar in the clean energy transition. Nuclear power is important to achieve net zero goals.
About 10% of the world’s electricity is generated from uranium in nuclear reactors. This amounts to over 2500 TWh each year, as much as from all sources of electricity worldwide in 1960.
It comes from about 440 nuclear reactors with a total output capacity of about 390,000 megawatts (MWe) operating in 32 countries. About 55 more reactors are under construction and about 100 are planned.
The world’s existing nuclear fleet and new build reactors require an increasing supply of uranium, yet uranium production has declined.
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine all get 30% or more of their electricity from nuclear reactors.
Emmanuel Macron recently announced a renaissance for the French Nuclear Industry:
‘What our country needs is the rebirth of France’s nuclear industry’
The US nuclear power industry is still the world’s largest uranium consumer, with little domestic supply, providing a domestic opportunity for Aurora. The USA has about 90 reactors operating, supplying 20% of its electricity.
Over the past decade, uranium production from mines in the United States has declined from ~1,596 tonnes of uranium in 2012 to ~6 tonnes in 2020, resulting in the US having to import nearly all of its uranium requirements. The Aurora Energy Metals Project in southeast Oregon is well placed to potentially become a future supplier of locally mined uranium for the US nuclear sector.