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Global Outlook for Nuclear Energy

By Michael Angwin

Despite the Fukushima disaster, Australian uranium miners are confident that the growing demand for electricity in a carbon-constrained world will drive an increase in nuclear power generation.

Michael Angwin is CEO of the Australian Uranium Association.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

A small uranium development company, Toro Energy, believes it’s worth spending 6 years and countless millions in remote Western Australia preparing to mine and export the radio­active metal that the industry needs for fuel. This signals the confidence some people have in the future of the global nuclear energy business.

Toro hopes to be in a position to start shipping uranium in 2014 for use in reactors overseas. It hopes that by then China’s and India’s reactor expansion will be well underway again. It hopes that Japan’s paralysis will have passed, and its sizeable reactor fleet, or a good part of it at least, will be operating again after being “shuttered” since the Fukushima disaster.

Are Toro and its peers, along with a considerable number of international energy officials and analysts, justified in their confidence that the nuclear industry is not only still alive but indeed will grow in coming decades?

Or, as Greens and Greenpeace would have it, is the nuclear industry for all intents and purposes dead and beyond resurrection?

Ballooning demand for electricity is a certainty, rising by as much as 80% by 2035 in official estimates. The key driver is economic growth, mostly driven by population growth and the wealth aspirations of people in less-developed countries.

Some believe this demand could be met by renewables alone, but on cool...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.