December 2022
2022 has been an eventful year for both the nuclear industry and uranium market. Global sentiment towards nuclear power started a shift in 2021 and continued to improve over 2022.
The uranium spot market, which was illiquid and relatively inactive until 2020, became much more active and volatile this year as interest in the nuclear sector returned. The uranium spot price started trading at US$43/lb in January 2022, up 45% from January 2021.   Shifting Nuclear Policies As governments announced ambitious decarbonisation goals, it became clear that nuclear power would play an important role in achieving a net-zero future. A major catalyst was the US Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) providing US$6bn to prevent existing nuclear power plants from shutting down. About 50% of the US’s carbon-free electricity is generated from nuclear power. The Diablo Canyon power plant, California’s only nuclear plant, is the latest recipient of the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program. US$1.1bn will support Diablo Canyon to operate until 2030 instead of its planned retirement in 2025. US nuclear plants will also benefit from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Existing plants will receive a production credit of up to US$15/MWh for zero-emission electricity.