Reactors are shielded with concrete. It is cheap. If you shielded a reactor with lead it would be so heavy that it would not support itself. They use some lead but not enough to cause the shortage. BTW how much lead is mined in the USA now? Used to be a lot in Missouri around Ironton. None anymore, thanks to your friendly evviron whackos.
I heard that the reason shot is so high is because the price of lead is high !!!!!! Imagine that !!!!! It seems that the price of lead is high because the Chinese have started making toilet paper out of it and selling it through Wal-Mart. I should add that this consipiracy was concocted by none other than Bush.
Assuming using extra hard shot: 6 lbs. antimony @ $2.40 lb = $14.40. 94 lb. lead @ $0.90 lb. =$84.60. Total raw material = $99 per 100#. Add in manufacturing cost, middleman and dealer profits and you get the answer why it's over $30 a bag. All metals are high now and it may take some time before any relief is in sight.
I posted the US Mining Bu. site here several months ago. What it shows is that the lead mining industry has let their production just match consumption for about the last 3 years. Personally, I believe that they have discovered the "Oilman's" secret - "produce less and charge more, road to riches.."
It's a greed-creed and it's beginning to take the fun out of the shooting that I do.