Niger is the provider of 15 percent of France’s uranium needs and accounts for a fifth of the EU’s uranium stock.
The military coup in Niger is raising fears, especially in France, over its potential impact on the import of uranium to power nuclear plants. Niger supplies 15 percent of France’s uranium needs and accounts for a fifth of the EU’s total uranium imports. Orano, France’s state-controlled nuclear fuel producer, is continuing its activities in Niger and monitoring the situation, a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to POLITICO, stressing that “our priority is to maintain the safety of our employees in the country.”
The French government and energy experts were quick to stress that the tensions will not have any immediate impact on France’s needs for uranium as extraction is continuing and, should it stop, existing stocks could still cover approximately two years.
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Update: Niger coup raises questions about uranium dependence (AFP).
WNU Editor: The official line is there is nothing to worry about and they are probably right …. EU sees ‘no immediate risks’ if Niger cuts uranium supplies (Reuters). But Niger is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium, and if this export ban continues prices are going to increase even more than the current spike in prices …. Uranium price ticks up after Niger coup, more gains expected (Reuters).