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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cameco Told to Pay More for Uranium

Itar-TassA technician processing uranium ore at a desalination point in the Priargunsky metals plant in Krasnokamensk.
Cameco, the biggest uranium producer, said the company that supplied it with atomic fuel recovered from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons is demanding that their contract be revised to reflect higher global prices.

Cameco, which buys about 7 million pounds per year of uranium from state-run Tenex, will make a decision after consulting with two of its partners in the contract, the company said in a statement Wednesday. It previously amended the accord in 2001 and 2004.

"Tenex has asked the parties to consider a new pricing structure to share in the improved uranium market prices," the company said.

Uranium has risen more than tenfold since the contract was signed in 2001. Nations including China and India are increasing use of nuclear power to cut fossil-fuel reliance, and production delays are adding to a shortage that propelled the price to a record $138 per pound in June.

"Russia would like the contract price to closer reflect market levels," a spokesman for Tenex said Thursday, declining to be identified because of company policy. Discussions are continuing with no deadlines set, he said.

Uranium sold at $90 per pound over the past week on the market for immediate delivery, according to industry pricing service TradeTech in a report published Wednesday.

Paris-based Areva, the world's biggest maker of nuclear reactors, and Germany's RWE Nukem signed a contract with Tenex in 1999 that runs through 2013. Nukem's contract is held by U.S. uranium trader Nukem.