Forty Years of Uranium Resources, Production and Demand in Perspective

The Red Book Retrospective

image of Forty Years of Uranium Resources, Production and Demand in Perspective
The biannual Uranium Resources, Production and Demand, also known as the "Red Book," was first published in 1965 and has since grown to be a recognised world reference on uranium. Over the 40 years of its existence, the Red Book has collected an impressive quantity of official data supplied by governments. This Red Book retrospective was undertaken to collect, collate, analyse and publish all of the key information collected in the 20 editions of the Red Book published between 1965 and 2004. Additionally, every effort has been made to fill in gaps in the record to provide the most complete and exhaustive information possible. As a result, the Red Book retrospective gives a full historical profile of the world uranium industry in the areas of exploration, resources, production, reactor-related requirements, inventories and price. It provides in-depth information relating to the histories of the major uranium-producing countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany (including the former German Democratic Republic), the Russian Federation (including the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and the United States. For the first time, for example, a comprehensive look at annual and cumulative production and demand of uranium since the inception of the atomic age is possible. Besides reporting and documenting the historical data, expert analyses provide fresh insights into important aspects of the industry including: the cost of discovery, resources to production ratios and the time to reach production after discovery, among others. Taken together, this Red Book retrospective provides the most complete record of the uranium industry publicly available, dating from the birth of civilian nuclear energy through to the dawn of the 21st century.

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Nuclear Energy Agency

The element uranium was discovered by Martin Klaproth in 1789 in the mineral pitchblende derived from Jachymov (Joachimsthal) of the Bohemian part of the Erzgebirge (Kruzne Hory, Ore Mountains) in what is now the Czech Republic. Through the 19th century there were only limited uses for uranium, mainly ceramic glazes and pigmentation of glass (the famous green Bohemian glass) until the discovery of radioactivity by Rutherford at the end of that century. When the element radium was detected by Marie Curie at the beginning of the 20th century uranium was mined to extract radium, thus initiating the first uranium mining “boom”. This early uranium mining activity did not, however, even begin to compare with the activity that took place once the fission of uranium was detected by Otto Hahn in 1938, initiating its use for military and energy purposes.

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