Uranium Week: COP26 Puts Nuclear In Focus

Weekly Reports | Oct 26 2021

While the weekly spot uranium price rallied 4% last week, the focus now turns to the COP26 Net Zero Summit.

-Nuclear in focus as countries prepare for the United Nations' COP26 Conference
-ASX-listed Bannerman Energy receives renewed environmental clearance 
-ASX-listed Deep Yellow intercepts significant mineralisation 
-Uranium spot price rises 4% for the week

By Mark Woodruff

Announcements from a number of global leaders leading into the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or the COP26 Net Zero Summit have acknowledged the material role that nuclear will have in assisting global decarbonisation efforts.

While the nuclear industry won't have a formal presence in the Green Zone at COP26, global wealth manager Canaccord Genuity sees substantial upside risk to its in-house uranium demand forecasts.

Media reports in the UK suggest the government is poised to unveil funding for a proposal to develop 16 new small modular reactors (SMRs) in conjunction with Rolls-Royce. Canaccord Genuity feels Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keen to rebuild the nation’s nuclear energy commitment prior to COP26, particularly in light of the recent rise in power and gas prices.

Around 20% of the UK's electricity originates from nuclear, and half of the country’s reactors will potentially be retired by 2025.

Meanwhile in France, where 70% of electricity is generated by nuclear power, President Macron recently announced a US$1.16bn investment directed toward the development of new SMRs. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in the US “One kilowatt of energy you produce in France is six times less carbon intensive than the equivalent in Germany.”

Speaking of Germany, a set of 25 leading public figures recently launched a campaign for the country to change course and reverse a plan to close all of its nuclear power stations. The group says Germany is in danger of missing its climate targets if the “2022 nuclear phase out plan” goes ahead.

Canaccord Genuity also notes Japan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by -46% by 2030 assumes the restart of 30 nuclear reactors. These assumptions were outlined by Akira Amari, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party. The party is also pushing for SMRs.

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