From yesterday's International Herald Tribune
After decades of sinking prices, a uranium boom is under way as orders for new nuclear power plants in Asia mount and a vast stockpile of fuel from former Soviet nuclear weapons decommissioned after the cold war begins to run down.
The spot price for concentrated uranium oxide, or yellowcake, the form in which uranium is sold, has tripled to almost $21.75 a pound from a 20-year low of $7.10 a pound in December 2000. Some mining analysts expect it to reach $30 a pound or higher next year.
Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, the nation's nuclear energy company announced it was boosting output to meet increased demand:
KazAtomProm said in a statement that it produced 3,719 metric tons (4,000 short tons) of uranium in 2004, a 10 percent increase on the previous year.
It plans to boost output to more than 4,000 metric tons (4,409 short tons) this year, rising to as much as 15,000 metric tons (16,500 short tons) annually in 2010, making it the world's largest uranium producer, the statement said.