Russia-Ukraine war makes it difficult for Europe to denuclearize, uranium prices hit a 10-year high

Since Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, uranium prices have surged 40 percent to their highest in more than a decade. The reason is that Western countries have imposed strong sanctions on Russia, tried to reduce their dependence on imports of Russian oil and natural gas, and made nuclear TV one of the options for energy diversification, driving uranium prices to respond in advance.

Uranium prices climbed to $59.75 a pound on March 10, the highest level since March 2011, according to nuclear fuel consultancy UxC, Barron’s reported. The 311 earthquake in Japan that year led to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, prompting countries to reassess the safety of nuclear energy.

UxC President Jonathan Hinze pointed out that the factors behind this surge in uranium prices are obviously the Russian-Ukrainian war and changes in the energy market. Countries won’t build new nuclear reactors overnight to replace fossil-fuel power generation, Hinze said, but there are signs that some European countries may change their stance on phasing out nuclear power, extend the life of existing plants, or accelerate their embrace of nuclear power. In order to get rid of the shackles of relying on imported Russian energy.

Belgium, for example, intends to cancel the phase-out of seven nuclear power plants in the country by 2025. Earlier this year, Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control issued a statement saying that some nuclear power plants could be extended if the phase-out of nuclear power would jeopardize the supply of energy security.

Russia is an important exporter of oil and natural gas in the world. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the global oil price soared to a new high since 2008, and the price of natural gas in the Dutch TTF also recently hit an all-time high.

Since its listing in July 2021, the world’s largest physical uranium fund, the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust ETF (SRUUF), has increased its assets from US$630 million to more than US$3 billion, as of March 17 this year. , the stock price rose 28.68%.

A report published by the World Nuclear Association in 2019 predicted that from 2020 to 2030, the global demand for uranium ore will grow by 26%, because countries have turned to the development of clean energy such as nuclear energy in response to the trend of energy saving and carbon reduction demand will rise.

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