Think $100 Oil Is Bad? Here Comes $100 Uranium

American firms lag as world prepares for big crunch in supplies
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2011 6:29 AM CST

(Newser) – While we’re worrying about a spike in oil prices, the rising cost of another energy source is being largely ignored: uranium. Last month, the nuclear power source reached $73 a pound, a three-year high—and in the next 10 years, it could approach its all-time high of $136 a pound. While the world uses 180 million pounds of uranium yearly, it produces just 140 million; and an international “nuclear renaissance” is only making matters worse, Fortune reports.

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Meanwhile, a US program to reprocess Soviet warheads—the source of hundreds of tons of uranium since the 1990s—will end next year. With a 10- to 15-year lag between finding new uranium and bringing it to market, we’re headed for a serious crunch in supplies, writes Richard Martin. And while many countries are teaming up with uranium firms to prepare for it, US companies aren’t much considering the long-term. “They’re publicly-traded companies, so they're making decisions to next year or next quarter,” says an expert. Americans are "out of sync with the rest of the world." (Read more nuclear power stories.)

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