Uranium is most commonly used as a nuclear fuel. Uranium-235 is the key to utilizing the element as a nuclear fuel, because it is fissionable enough with slow neutrons that it can create a self-sustaining fission chain reaction. Unfortunately, 235U is quite rare, but small amounts of the isotope can be used to enrich natural Uranium, creating the substance that is most commonly used to fuel nuclear power plants. Additional uses of Uranium can be found in high-energy x-rays, gyro compasses, counterweights for aircraft control surfaces, inertial guidance devices, and in some shielding materials.
As most investors know, the Uranium market experienced a massive seven-year boom from 2000-2007, during which time the world realized that the demand from nuclear power plants for Uranium far exceeded the supply. Since 2007, the outlook for the Uranium market has not changed, but the price for the metal has greatly decreased, along with the rest of the economy. The fact remains though, that in 5-10 years from today, the world must develop many new Uranium properties to meet the energy demands in the future.