Q: What drives space travel, medical miracles and is the world’s largest source of clean energy?
A: Nuclear science
Nuclear powers cities and towns, and drives many of the high-tech things we love. And the source of nuclear power is uranium. This is why Laramide’s strategy is to develop high value, high-quality uranium deposits in the safe, stable jurisdictions of the United States and Australia. The need for clean reliable nuclear energy is growing around the world, and in particular, nuclear sectors in China, India, Russia and the Middle East are flourishing.
Fast Facts on Uranium and Nuclear Technology
- Nuclear power is by far the largest, clean-air energy source and available 24/7 in all weather conditions
- Due to increasing electricity needs from nuclear power, market analysts forecast in upper case scenarios of nuclear capacity growth that a uranium supply-demand deficit may occur as early as 2021/2022.
- Nuclear power currently contributes about 11% of world electricity supply and is projected by the International Energy Agency to grow steadily in the next 20 years.
- Largest uranium mines in 2015-2016 are located in Canada (22% world production), Kazakhstan (39% world production), Australia (10% world production) and Africa (13% world production).
- Uranium output by producer in 2016 (latest research available) in order: Kazatomprom, Cameco, Areva ARMZ-Uranium One, BHP Billiton, CNNC/CGN, Rio Tinto Uranium, Navoi Mining, Energy Asia, Sopamin, Paladin Energy, General Atomics/Quasar, and Sumitomo.
- Countries around the world consider nuclear energy to be an important part of the clean energy mix. Nuclear supplies more emission-free power than all the others combined.
- In the United States, 99 commercial reactors generate nearly 20 percent of the country’s total electricity, all of it free of carbon emissions.
- U.S. clean energy sources in 2016 are: Nuclear, 60%; Hydro, 19%; Wind, 17%; Solar, 3%; and Geothermal, 1%.
- China and India alone account for over half the projected new reactors. As of September 1, 2017, China has 37 reactors, 20 reactors under construction, 40 reactors planned, and 143 reactors proposed; India has 22 reactors, 6 reactors under construction, 9 reactors planned and 46 reactors proposed.
- The UAE has successfully completed construction of its first reactor while Bangladesh has started the construction of its first.
- In 2016, electricity generated by nuclear power in Asia was 11.5% higher than in 2015 and 35% higher than in 2012.
Fast Facts Sources: World Nuclear Association, International Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Institute, US Energy Information Administration, Market Analyst reports.
How do nuclear plants operate?*:
Nuclear plants, like plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas, produce electricity by boiling water into steam. This steam then turns turbines to produce electricity. The difference is that nuclear plants do not burn anything. Instead, they use uranium fuel, consisting of solid ceramic pellets, to produce electricity through a process called fission.
Nuclear power plants obtain the heat needed to produce steam through a physical process. This process, called fission, entails the splitting of atoms of uranium in a nuclear reactor. The uranium fuel consists of small, hard ceramic pellets that are packaged into long, vertical tubes. Bundles of this fuel are inserted into the reactor.
*Definition provided by the Nuclear Energy Institute.