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Cameco Seeing ‘Strong’ Growth in China, Chief Executive Says

Cameco Corp., the world’s largest uranium producer, is seeing “strong growth” in nuclear reactor construction in China, Chief Executive Officer Tim Gitzel said.

“China is becoming the leader of the world” for nuclear energy, Gitzel, who was in Beijing today as part of the business delegation traveling with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said in an interview. Gitzel said Cameco seeks to discuss partnerships with Chinese companies on the possibility of jointly developing uranium projects in China, Canada and other countries. He said there were no deals yet to announce

Harper and Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang announced an agreement in Beijing today that will give Canadian uranium producers more access to China’s civilian nuclear power industry. China, the world’s biggest energy user and its largest polluter, has sought to secure uranium supplies as it searches for cleaner alternatives to coal, which currently fuels more than 70 percent of the nation’s electricity production.

Globally, Gitzel said he expected uranium demand to grow about 3 percent a year in the “next few years.” The “psychological” impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan will be in the “short- to medium-term,” he said.

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