The world energy economy is a complicated and interesting thing that is currently changing and evolving as much as any industry in the world. Alternative and traditional energy sources are both the focus of many ongoing debates, and there are many people with very strong feelings regarding the matter. Regardless though, nuclear power is still a part of the energy economy and despite it’s well and overly publicized (some believe) news reports about infrequent nuclear plant meltdowns like Fukushima most recently, the industry is alive and well. Uranium mining continues to fuel nuclear energy plants, submarines and other technologies in many countries across the world. Many countries who have turned to nuclear power to help them with their energy demands have become very dependent upon it, unlike some others who have a much more diverse energy economy. Mining for one element or another, has been occurring for thousands of years just about anywhere that the inhabitants valued gold and precious metals or gems. With the advancement of technology that’s occurred since, every element known to man that has been discovered, cataloged, and experimented with in order to find a useful application for it whenever possible. Many elements have very little known, if any, applicable uses but none-the-less, they are important pieces of this earthly puzzle that help us understand how this all came together. I’ll leave all that stuff up to the geologists, miners and scientists, but the fact of the matter is that no matter how it is that we’re able to generate power, it usually involves us using fossil fuels or things that we’ve mined or extracted from the earth somehow.
Even solar power is a technology that is only made possible by using the efficient and effective natural conducting power of several precious metals. Nuclear power is mostly dependent upon uranium production and it is subjected to the basic economic rules of supply and demand like anything else. Nuclear meltdowns, no matter how infrequent or the reasons for them, are always bad publicity for nuclear power. This impacts the production and demand for uranium across the world and plans for the construction of nuclear power plants. Uranium mining companies do most of their work out of the largest uranium producing countries in the world, Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. The sector remains depressed since the Fukushima disaster and prices for uranium have fallen 50% over the last several years, so the industry is looking into other options to keep them profitable while they find a way through this rough patch. Mining exploration for uranium may shift into Africa, because of the reduced costs it takes to operate there and the loosely regulated, sometimes considered poor governance in the region. The energy debate rages on, but for every unfortunate example of a nuclear power technology mishap that exists, there are many more success stories to make up for them. We obviously have a lot of work to do, as a human race, when it comes to meeting our world energy needs, but we need to consider and continue to experiment with and improve all available options.
Energy Fuels Resources Corp.
225 Union Blvd., Suite 600
Lakewood, Colorado, 80228