Why doesn’t Spain use its uranium? There are reserves to cover the entire supply and not depend on Russia

Spain has the largest uranium reserves in the European Union, with the capacity to meet national demand and not depend on imports from Russia and “other countries whose legal reliability is questionable,” according to data from Berkeley Minera España.

In this sense, the Australian mining company has considered that Spain could be “energy independent” of this material for the supply of national nuclear power plants for more than 10 years and, in 18 months, supply enough uranium to cover imports.

Now we have to import uranium

Spain currently imports almost 40% of its uranium from Russia (38.7%). It also consumes 22.3% from Canada, 19.5% from Niger, 11% from Kazakhstan and, to a lesser extent, from Namibia and Uzbekistan, 3.7% and 2.5%, respectively.

On the other hand, the price of uranium has undergone a significant increase in recent months and is currently at 55 dollars per pound, 30% higher than the estimate by Berkeley.

“If we were to exploit the uranium available in our country, Spain would have a guaranteed supply of this critical raw material and would be independent from Russia and other countries with unstable jurisdictions,” assured Francisco Bellón, president of Berkeley Minera España, which has the rights exploitation of most of the uranium reserves in Spain.

The Retortillo plant

Berkeley requested authorization from the Ministry of Ecological Transition to build a uranium concentrate manufacturing plant in Retortillo (Salamanca), a proposal that was rejected last November.

This resolution came after the unfavorable report from the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) presented in July. Consequently, Berkeley sent various documentation to the Ministry in which he argued all those reasons that have served as the basis for the denial of the license, an appeal that has not yet received a response.

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If accepted, they assured from Berkeley, it would provide Spain with the capacity to supply domestic fuel for its nuclear power plants and, therefore, not depend on third parties that could cause instability in the markets.

As Berkeley has requested and if the clarifications provided to the Ministry were taken into account, we could begin construction of the Retortillo plant immediately,” explains Bellón.

With regard to local development, the Retortillo Project may create a total of 500 direct jobs in the construction and development phase of the project, and increase to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs as the project progresses.

In total figures, Berkeley Minera España could invest close to 400 million euros in this town in Salamanca, which would mean a collection of 23 million euros for the Public Treasury and revenues for the local councils of the area of ​​around 1.5 millions of euros.

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