Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Forecasting the Cost and Volume of Uranium Mining for different World Nuclear Energy Development Scenario

3/18/2024 2024 - #01 Economics of nuclear power

Mirkhusanov U.T. Semenova D.Yu. Kharitonov V.V.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2024.1.10

UDC: 621.039, 553.495 (063, 470)

The paper presents a new analytical methodology for predicting the volume and cost of natural uranium production depending on uranium resources and scenarios for the development of traditional nuclear energy. The proposed methodology is based on a mathematical model of the dynamic process of exhaustion of fossil resources previously developed at MEPhI and uses the parameters of the explored mass of the fossil resource, the annual volume of production and the set rate of production growth. The three parameters known at the beginning of forecasting make it possible to describe the change in the resource base over time and solve a number of economic problems related to the extraction of valuable minerals. The paper provides forecasts of the NPP’s demand for natural uranium, depending on the scenarios for the development of global nuclear energy developed by the World Nuclear Association (WNA), uranium resources and volumes of its production with different costs for 2021–2022. It is shown that at a low rate (1.8%/year) of the installed capacity of nuclear power plants, uranium resources will last for more than a century, but the contribution of nuclear energy to electricity production will continuously decrease from the current 10%. Under high scenarios for the development of nuclear energy (>5%/year), which is possible under the conditions of intensification of the «green energy transition», the peak of uranium production may occur before the middle of this century. Based on these data, forecasts of the dynamics of uranium exhaustion and annual production volumes at fields with different costs are presented until the second half of this century, depending on the initial production growth rates determined by the scenario of nuclear energy development.


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natural uranium cost of uranium mining nuclear energy development scenario uranium production

Link for citing the article: Mirkhusanov U.T., Semenova D.Yu., Kharitonov V.V. Forecasting the Cost and Volume of Uranium Mining for different World Nuclear Energy Development Scenario. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2024, no. 1, pp. 119-131; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2024.1.10 (in Russian).