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Resource World - Apr-May 2016 - Vol 14 Iss 3

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34 A P R I L / M A Y 2 0 1 6 T he short answer is yes. Numerous supply and demand statistics clearly point to that conclusion. The real question is not will the uranium price will rise but when? "Uranium is trading around US $30/ lb," said Peter Dasler, President and CEO of CanAlaska uranium [CVV-TSXV; CVVUF-OTCQB; DH7-FSE] in an interview. "There is a lot of extra supply in the mar- ket because of stockpiles created when Japanese reactors were taken off-line for safety concerns after Fukushima." "These stockpiles are being reprocessed and enriched so that they effectively do more work," said Dasler. "This enriched uranium is being sold onto the market and also helping to depress the price." According to the World Nuclear Association, the effect of Japanese reac- tor shut-downs was dramatic. In 2010, just before the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami, demand for uranium for nuclear power plants was 167 million lbs. About 142 million lbs U 3 O 8 came from mines and 23 million lbs were sourced from second- ary supply. This left a 2 million-lb deficit. In 2014, demand from reactors was 175 million lbs, 148 million lbs were mined and 43 million lbs were sourced from sec- ondary stockpiles. This left a 16 million lb surplus. This drop in demand has been devastating to the uranium market However, fundamentals are chang- ing and a supply-side deficit is being predicted by analysts. The Japanese government approved plans to source 20-22% of its electrical needs from nuclear power. Towards that end, Japan's National Regulation Authority has received 24 reac- tor restart applications and five have been approved for restart. Dasler believes the market is just now considering the impact the restart of Japanese reactors will have on the supply side. When you add that to the Chinese commissioning a new reactor every month Dasler feels that we will see speculators come into the market long before stock- piles are used up. "Don't forget, in order to start up a reactor you will need twice as much uranium in the first year as you will in ongoing use. Most reactors won't even start up operations until they have stockpiled at least seven years of uranium," he said. "I believe we will see a sudden increase in demand to secure a guar- anteed uranium stockpile supply." When we look at some of the statis- tics compiled by various sources like the World Nuclear Association, IAEA country profiles and the European and American nuclear societies, the facts all point to sig- nificant increases in future demand. This increase in uranium demand cannot be met by current mine supply. • There are 440 commercial nuclear power reactors operable in 31 countries with over Is uranium poised for a renaissance? by Thomas Schuster uRANIuM Cameco Corp.'s underground Rabbit Lake uranium mine in the Athabasca Basin about 700 km north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Photo courtesy Cameco Corp.

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