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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Historical perspective

Nuclear Energy Agency

The history of the Red Book dates back to January 1965, when the European Nuclear Energy Agency (ENEA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) established a Study Group on the long-term role of nuclear energy in Western Europe. A “Working Party”, the precursor of the Uranium Group was formed by the ENEA to compile worldwide uranium and thorium resource estimates. The Working Party, which became a joint effort between the ENEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about a year later, was responsible for preparing a series of 10 assessments of worldwide uranium supply between 1965 and 1982. A number of working groups were subsequently established under the direction of the NEA/IAEA to gather and publish information on a broad range of topics related to uranium exploration, resources and extraction.

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