The rise in global oil prices over the past few months have nudged an old fear back to life: peak oil, or the belief that the amount of oil the world pumps out of the ground each year has peaked.
Peak oil fears and the huge carbon emissions from coal have given nuclear power a second life. Governments across the world are ready at the starting block of a race to build nuclear reactors. So is India, which is one reason why the civilian nuclear deal with the US is so important.
But nuclear power needs a radioactive input: uranium.
But the world already uses more uranium than it mines every year. The gap is covered by reprocessed fuel, uranium that is re-enriched, and from civilian or military stockpiles.
A blog linked to the MIT Technology Review says that “civilian western uranium stocks will be exhausted by 2013” and many countries will face uranium shortages soon.
The Wall Street Journal says nuclear operators are on edge because of fears about the looming uranium shortage.
Uranium may soon become an important factor in India’s energy security strategy.