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G7’s nuclear fuel pact offers boost for Canadian uranium deals

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson

19th April 2023

By: Bloomberg

  

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A Group of Seven pact aimed at weakening Russia’s influence on the nuclear energy market will likely bolster Canada’s own industry, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

“For Canada, there is a real opportunity in terms of supply of uranium,” Wilkinson said in a phone interview. “There’s also potential for supply of technology.”

Canada is the world’s second-largest uranium producer and home to nuclear fuel maker Cameco. The country is also one of the few offering reactor technology and related services, with a track record of exporting CANDU nuclear power reactors. Last weekend’s agreement, announced when G-7 energy ministers met in Japan, includes the five member nations that still generate nuclear power: Canada, France, Japan, the US and UK.

“The focus was really on nuclear fuel cooperation and trying to ensure that we have resilience in the nuclear fuel supply chains,” Wilkinson said. “Many countries in Europe have been using Russian and Belarusian uranium, and all would like to see a pathway to getting off of that.”

He cited Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic as potential examples, and said some countries are also looking to eventually move off of Russian nuclear technology design. As a model, he pointed to a recent deal signed by Ukraine’s state-owned Energoatom for a fuel-supply contract with Cameco.

Wilkinson said the G-7 agreement is also about building a path for the world to reach net-zero power generation.

Edited by Bloomberg

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