The EU nuclear agency Euratom stated on Tuesday that it perceives no immediate risk to nuclear power production in Europe in the event of Niger reducing its deliveries of uranium.
Euratom informed media that Niger, a West African country where a junta recently took control, was the European Union’s second-largest supplier of natural uranium last year.
Euratom added that utilities within the European bloc possess sufficient uranium inventories to fuel their nuclear power reactors for a period of three years.
“If imports from Niger are being cut, there are no immediate risks to the security of nuclear power production in the short term,” said Euratom.
On Tuesday, France, a prominent nuclear power producer in Europe and Niger’s former colonial power, announced its decision to evacuate French and European citizens following the overthrow of the country’s democratically elected government.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, confirmed that the 27-nation bloc possesses “sufficient inventories of uranium to mitigate any short-term supply risks.”
rewrite news line “Medium and long-term, there are enough deposits on the world market” to cover EU needs, a spokesman for the executive said.
According to Euratom, in 2022, Niger supplied 2,975 tU of natural uranium, accounting for 25.4% of the EU’s uranium supplies. The largest supplier for the bloc was Kazakhstan, with Canada ranking third.
The agency reported that the natural uranium equivalent in inventories owned by EU utilities in the previous year amounted to 35,710 tU, while the average annual consumption was approximately 12,500 tU.
The agency mentioned that the bloc has the potential to diversify its imports within a timeframe of up to three years, which includes sourcing from presently idled production sites in Canada, Australia, and Namibia, along with exploring new deposits.