Following the Fukushima incident in March 2011, a small group of countries which collectively consume modest amounts of uranium by global standards, have renounced nuclear energy whilst new programs are emerging in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Routine maintenance and standard procedure has seen nuclear power plants in Japan systematically shut down. Numerous regional authorities are considering the restarting of those nuclear reactors, with Sendai 1 & 2 reactors approved for resuming operations.
Importantly, the nuclear power growth engine countries including China, India, Russia and South Korea have reiterated their commitment to nuclear power. Globally, there are 490 new reactors planned or proposed (June 2015).
In the US, 104 nuclear power plants producing 33% of the world’s nuclear energy will continue operation with a further 28 in the pipeline. World Nuclear Association (WNA) show China’s intention to increase nuclear capacity from 23 GWe to 253 GWe by 2030.
The emphasis on nuclear energy by China, and India, has led to a large uptick in proposed and planned nuclear reactor, which in the medium term will lead to large increases in demand for uranium. These planned reactors are complementary to the progressive restart of the Japanese reactor fleet, with these factors weighing heavily towards the forecasted uranium price jumps in the coming years.
Further information on uranium demand can be found here: http://world-nuclear.org/info/Facts-and-Figures/World-Nuclear-Power-Reactors-and-Uranium-Requirements/