By Greg Peel
The EU's nuclear energy goals continue to evolve in a variety of ways, notes an extensive report from industry consultant TradeTech, depending on individual member states' nuclear strategies, with a common goal of enhanced safety and security standards in the post-Fukushima era. Despite Germany's planned departure from nuclear power over the next decade and uncertain plans for a new nuclear plant in Lithuania, several member states are pursuing nuclear build opportunities, TradeTech notes, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, and the UK.
China is also pressing on with its nuclear build and Japan should be soon turning back on its capacity, based on the policy intentions of Prime Minister Abe, although the path for Japan is as uncertain as it has ever been post the disaster. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is intended as a "thank you" to all who helped out after the tsunami, with promises made there will be no fear of Fukushima fallout, despite those reactors till leaching radioactive material.
Will Japan start turning the reactors back on to power the Games?
The spot uranium market was very quiet last week after the frantic sell-down of the week before. Only four transactions totalling 400,000lbs of U3O8 equivalent were conducted. The Labor Day weekend in the US helped to reduce interest but the World Nuclear Association Annual Symposium will be held this week in London and the market typically goes quiet before and during this event.
At the very least TradeTech's spot uranium price indicator stopped spiralling downward after the previous week's panic and indeed closed the week US10c higher at US$34.10/lb. The spot price has not been this low since 2005, and a number of utilities are evaluating potential entry into the spot market given the low prices, TradeTech reports, which encouraged the sellers to retreat somewhat last week.
It would be a brave man who called the bottom in prices nevertheless, given it looked like 50 was it last year and surely 40 would have to be it.
There were no new transactions in the term market last week, leaving TradeTech's term price indicators unchanged at US$38/lb (mid) and US$53/lb (long).