Question asked by Alexandre on June 26
“Where do you think the uranium comes from? Mostly from Russia, to Europe. For us, it also comes from the Russian-controlled countries of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.introduced Yannick Jadot on microphone France InterJune 24, Question Answered “Funding Nuclear Power, Funding Russia?” As international sanctions against Russia continue to strengthen, you ask us about this statement from a former environmentalist presidential candidate. However, while the EU has long debated an embargo on Russian gas and oil, the supply of nuclear fuel has barely been mentioned in exchanges.
In 2020, Russia accounted for 6% of the world’s natural uranium production, lagging behind key fuel supplier Kazakhstan at 40.6%, according to data from a recent report by the European supply agency Euratom (ESA). The company’s website also has a list of Europe’s main suppliers of natural uranium. In 2021, Niger, Kazakhstan and Russia were the top three importers from the EU. Russia is third in this ranking, with 19.69% of the European market, followed by Niger, 24.26% and Kazakhstan, 22.99%. Next is Australia and Canada. These five producing countries alone supply 96% of natural uranium to Europe.
Asked by Czech News, ESA specifies “Market share of uranium controlled by Russia will be slightly higher” By 2021, it is estimated to be around 21%. As for the effects of the conflict in Ukraine on imports of natural uranium, these “2022 figures to be known”. These figures give an overview of the origin of the fuel. However, each country administers its own distribution agreements. Thus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have re-connected with the Russian company Rosatom. Russia therefore occupies an important position in the European uranium supply chain rather than as a supplier “very” Majority.
In France: Australia, Kazakhstan and Niger
In France, since the early 2000s, uranium used for nuclear power plants has been completely imported (after a short period of production in France). Contacted by Czech News, The Ministry of Energy Transition indicates that the French supply is now basic “Diverse resources located mainly in Australia, Kazakhstan and Niger in 2021”, Without giving details of quantities imported. However, he notes “Don’t trust Russia”.
Operator EDF requires an average of 7,800 tons of natural uranium each year to run 56 reactors spread across 18 power plants. Report of the High Commission on Transparency and Information on Nuclear Safety (HCTISN)Published in 2019. Contact person Czech News, EDF does not disclose the origin of the uranium used in its power plants, it simply specifies “EDF’s uranium supplies last up to twenty years, guaranteed for longer periods through contracts diversified in terms of origin and suppliers”. The instruction is clear and there are many suppliers not to miss.
The Orano Group (formerly Areva) uses EDF mainly to supply fuel “Security of Supply”, Thanks “Manufacturing and Projects on Four Continents”. nearby Czech News, The Department of Nuclear Energy says no “No mining activity or mines in Russia”. thereby, “The conflict in Ukraine will not affect [ses] Operational mining operations, or not [ses] Contracts of Sales,” the group says.
As for its product platforms, Orano responds that they are important “In Canada, Niger and Kazakhstan”, And That belongs to him “For example, projects in development in other countries such as Mongolia”. If EDF and Orano were unclear about the origin of the fuel exploited in France, the Euratom Technical Committee (CTE), contacted Czech News, Provides more accurate data. Of the 6,286 tonnes of uranium imported into France in 2020, almost a third came from Niger (34.7%). The rest come from Kazakhstan (28.9%), Uzbekistan (26.4%), and Australia (9.9%). However, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan maintain Ambiguous relations with their Russian neighborsEven as these two countries try to distance themselves from the occupation of Ukraine.
Finally, some European countries, with close ties to Russian nuclear power, have begun a long-term exit from this dependency. Finland, for example, announced in early May that it was terminating its contract with Rosatom to build a new reactor in the west of the country. The Czech Republic excluded Russian and Chinese producers from a tender call to replace old reactors installed in Dugovany in the center of the country. Hungary is the only one with two reactors under construction by the Russian nuclear company Rosatom.