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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 672060, 11 pages
Review Article

China and the Global Uranium Market: Prospects for Peaceful Coexistence

1Department of Political Science, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
2School of Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China

Received 7 November 2012; Accepted 14 February 2013

Academic Editors: T. Kojima, J. Niu, and D. M. F. Santos

Copyright © 2013 Pascale Massot and Zhan-Ming Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


China's recent reemergence has resulted in a significant increase in the global demand of commodities and is already having major impacts on the dynamics of global commodity markets. In the case of the global uranium market, we stand at the very beginning of a period of change. However, interesting trends are already emerging. Whereas China has had many policy reversals, and some difficulties in taking control of its procurement strategy in other commodity markets, it is seemingly more successful in managing its uranium procurement strategy. Why? The argument presented here is that a mixture of domestic and international level variables has allowed China more room for maneuver in fulfilling its uranium procurement strategy. On the domestic level, a centralized industry, and, on the international level, a geographically dispersed and uncoordinated market have allowed China to forge ahead with an ambitious civilian nuclear power plan and triple its total uranium imports, all within the span of a few years. Many challenges remain, not the least that of negative public opinion, which has surged since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Nevertheless, should uranium demand continue to grow, this paper will consider the potential for continued peaceful coexistence among uranium market participants worldwide.