As nations move away from Russia’s civilian nuclear power supply chain Canada can easily step in as the 4th largest producer of uranium in the world, writes David Olive
The July 26 coup d’état in Niger could eventually spur dynamic growth in Canada’s uranium industry. The degree of Kremlin involvement in the military ouster late last month of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum is unclear.
But pro-coup demonstrators in the streets of Niamey, the Nigerien capital, wave Russian flags to express their anti-American and anti-French sentiment. That sentiment has been stoked for years in the former French colony by Russian propaganda.
If Niger is drawn into the Kremlin’s embrace, Russia and its allies, notably the big uranium producers Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, would control more than 60 per cent of the world’s uranium supply. In enriched form, Niger’s output of raw uranium accounts for about 25 per cent of the fuel used in the nuclear power industry of the European Union (EU).
And Russia is the world’s sixth-largest uranium producer. But Russia’s real power derives from enriching almost half of the uranium used in the world’s more than 430 nuclear power reactors.