Uranium prices hit 12-year high as governments warm to nuclear power

September 15, 2023

Uranium prices hit 12-year high as governments warm to nuclear power

Uranium prices have surged to their highest level in 12 years, underlining a global renaissance in nuclear power as utilities race to lock in fuel supplies.

Prices for the commodity dubbed “yellowcake” have jumped about 12 per cent to $65.50 per pound over the past month, breaching last year’s peak to reach heights not seen since 2011, according to data from UxC, a pricing data provider.

Uranium demand has been lifted by governments from Washington to Seoul and Paris seeking energy independence by extending the lifetime of the existing fleet of nuclear reactors as they contemplate building new plants after gas prices skyrocketed due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The milestone for uranium prices marks a big step towards nuclear power’s re-emergence as a critical carbon-free source of baseload power in global efforts to tackle climate change, a role that had been undermined by Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

“You have a focus on energy security colliding with a focus on clean energy,” said Grant Isaac, chief financial officer at Cameco, the world’s second-largest uranium producer.

“The days of buying $40 uranium are over — and probably also for $50 or $60. We’re going to need new supplies,” he added.

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