It is often incredibly difficult to forecast the future of human society. How would people three decades have known that everyone would be walking around with a smartphone that could access something known as the Internet? Even a couple of years ago, most people were unfamiliar with the term “the cloud” and how it could impact human lives. Advances in technology have led to solar energy, electric cars, and home automation systems. All of these things would have sounded like something out of a science fiction movie to people in the 1950’s.
The truth of the matter is, of course, that societies and technologies do change, and often it happens very quickly. However, the difficulty of forecasting these changes remains. Fortunately, there are some things that forecast models and experts are able to predict, often with extreme precision. One such thing is a rise in uranium production over the coming decades. There are numerous signs that point to this rise, from energy demand to environmental concerns.
First, let’s discuss the energy demands. The majority of the world’s people live in countries that are currently developing, trying to reach the standards of Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and other Western, developed countries. Nearly 3 billion of the planet’s 7 billion people live in India and China alone, countries that are on pace to develop at incredible rates over the coming half century. As these countries develop, and infrastructure is put in place, their energy consumption and demand are going to skyrocket. The same can be said for much of Africa and South America. As the countries continue to develop, increases in cars, electricity, and water will occur. To meet this growing energy demand, countries and societies are going to have to look at energy sources other than fossil fuels. Since fossil fuels are non-renewable, at some point they will run out. To meet this energy demand, solar, wind, and nuclear power will be needed.
Also, environmental concerns will change energy production across the planet. It is becoming clear that not only does the burning of fossil fuels put toxins into the air that people are then forced to breathe in, but it is also warming the planet. Such warming will change landscapes and the climate, creating irreversible damages that could put humanity (or at least portions of it) at risk. To mitigate this threat, countries and societies will have to look for ways to power the world that don’t result in the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
For these two main reasons, uranium production should skyrocket over the coming decades. Uranium is the primary mineral used in the creation of nuclear energy, an energy source that can produce a huge amount of energy without releasing massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. As global energy demand increases and environmental concerns grow, more countries and people will turn to uranium mining and production to create greater amounts of nuclear energy. Humans are creative problem solvers, and nuclear energy will be one of the solutions to the problems the world will face in the 21st century.