China Looks to Foreign Uranium to Meet Future Demand

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China is still standing firm by its statement that it will be able to meet its own domestic uranium demand until 2020, although some Chinese companies are scuttling to develop overseas uranium supplies as a result of the country's ambitious nuclear power development plan, released last year.

China is still standing firm by its statement that it will be able to meet its own domestic uranium demand until 2020, although some Chinese companies are scuttling to develop overseas uranium supplies as a result of the country's ambitious nuclear power development plan, released last year.

Under the government plan, the country will have an installed capacity of 40 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2020, though there has been talk of raising the target to 60 GW. To meet the current target, China will need 4,058.4 tonnes of natural uranium in 2010, which will double to 8,769.4 tonnes in 2020, according to Chen Yuehui, deputy president of China Nuclear International Uranium Corp. (SinoU), the overseas uranium development-focused subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC)

Speaking at the 2008 China Nuclear Energy Congress in Beijing, Chen did not reveal China's current annual uranium output, though he said that by the end of 2007, China had over 300 uranium mines with total proven reserves of more than 300,000 tonnes. He predicted that the country's uranium production capacity will balloon by around 350% over the next 10 years.

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