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Uranium FAQ's

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Uranium FAQ's

Q: How much Uranium is produced globally each year?

A: Worldwide production of uranium in 2017 was 59.5k tonnes of uranium, the major producers of Uranium are Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Niger and Namibia.

Q: Is nuclear energy a clean and sustainable source of energy?

A: Yes. Despite being left out of the clean energy conversation, nuclear energy is the second largest source of low-carbon electricity in the world. This is mainly due to stigma around the safety of Nuclear power and Uranium.

Q: How much carbon dioxide does nuclear energy emit?

A: Nuclear energy emits zero harmful by-products such as carbon dioxide, only harmless water vapour is released from nuclear power plants.

Q: How is power generated from uranium?

A: Nuclear energy is generated through fission, the process of splitting uranium atoms to produce energy. The released by fission is used to create steam that spins a turbine to create electricity.

Q: Does nuclear waste pose a safety threat to humans and the environment?

A: As nuclear fuel is extremely dense, the amount of waste produced is minimal. Spent fuel is safely and securely stored at a storage site and is either enclosed in storage pools or dry casks.

Q: How much power does nuclear energy produce globally?

A: Civilian nuclear power plants supplied 2,488 terawatt hours of electricity in 2017, equivalent to roughly 10% of global electricity generation.

Q: How many commercial nuclear reactors are there in the world?

A: There are currently 449 civilian fission reactors in the world, with a further 58 under construction and 154 reactors planned. Many of the reactors under construction are in Asia.

Q: Are nuclear power plants safe?

A: In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused fewer accidental deaths than all other major sources of energy. Coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower have all caused more deaths than nuclear.

Q: Are nuclear power plants a reliable energy source?

A: Nuclear power plants are very reliable as they require less maintenance and are designed to operate for longer stretches before refuelling when compared to natural gas and coal plants which require frequent maintenance and refuelling. Nuclear power plants also operate at full capacity more than 92% of the time, nearly twice as reliable as coal and gas.

Source: World Nuclear Association (http://www.world-nuclear.org/)

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