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France's nuclear sector to be okay in short term as Niger halts uranium supplies — expert

On Monday, the BBC reported that the new Niger authorities had suspended uranium and gold exports to France

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. The cessation of uranium exports from Niger will not have a significant immediate impact on the French nuclear power sector but uranium prices may eventually rise globally, Editor-in-Chief of the website Alexander Uvarov told TASS.

"The halted uranium exports from Niger will not have an immediate impact. Firstly, uranium, unlike gas, is supplied in discrete batches. Secondly, the nuclear power industry traditionally keeps uranium reserves in case of potential interruptions and the French will also have such reserves on hand," the expert said.

However, if the export ban becomes a permanent and not a temporary measure, France's nuclear power sector will have to find a replacement for Niger’s uranium in Canada or Australia, Uvarov said. "Accordingly, the government of Niger will also have to find a new buyer for its uranium, and this will most probably be China. This means profound changes for the global uranium market and the uranium price may eventually rise as a result," the expert added.

On Monday, BBC reported that Niger’s new authorities had suspended uranium and gold exports to France.

Niger is the seventh-largest uranium producer worldwide accounting for 5% of global production. According to French mass media, Niger accounts for 15% - 17% of the uranium used to generate electricity in France.