China plans strategic uranium reserves

18 April 2007

[Xinhua, Dow Jones, 18 April] China plans to build strategic reserves of uranium as part of its 11th five-year plan for the nuclear industry, the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for Natural Defence announced. China will also set up a commercial reserve system as part of its bid to develop the nuclear industry. Mainland China currently has nine nuclear power reactors in commercial operation, a further two units grid connected or with construction well advanced, and four more at earlier stages of construction. Additional reactors are planned to give a fivefold increase in nuclear capacity to 40 GWe by 2020. In order to protect the growing industryfrom a sudden supply shortfall, foreign imports of uranium will be usedalongside domestic deposits to bolster stockpiles, the commission said.China will focus on uranium exploration in the Yili Basin in thenorthwestern region of Xinjiang and the Ordos Basin in Inner Mongolia.Building a strategic reserve may distort the global market for uranium,keeping prices high as sellers anticipate abnormal demand from China,especially if a timetable for purchases is not disclosed.

Further information

WNA's Nuclear Power in China information paper

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