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Uran - et gigantisk bull marked
00:26 06.12.2010

China's uranium demand may rise to 20,000 tons annually by 2020, more than a third of the 50,572 tons mined globally last year, according to the World Nuclear Association. China Guangdong agreed to buy 29 million pounds of uranium through 2025 from Cameco Corp. last week after striking a deal with the miner's larger rival Kazatomprom earlier this month.

One million pounds of uranium translate into about 385 tons of the radioactive material, according to Macquarie's Layton. The metal is processed into fuel for atomic power plants.

Nuclear Target

China hosted its first International Nuclear Symposium last week at which the country's nuclear agency's vice chairman, Zhao Chenkun, said the target to install 40,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020 will be increased, TradeTech reported. China may double its current 2020 target, TradeTech and Cameco said.

"Sellers were encouraged by the announcement this week that China made further long-term commitments," TradeTech said in the report.

China Guangdong, one of the nation's two main nuclear utilities, plans to triple its 17,000 megawatts of capacity by the end of this decade, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco said Nov. 24.

China has stockpiled 17,000 tons of uranium over the last five years and may buy at least 35,000 tons more over the next decade to maintain stock that is a multiple of the country's annual need, Macquarie's Layton said. About 40,000 tons of uranium would fuel 100,000 megawatts of capacity over two years, he said.

"China's gone aggressively and secured all of the Uzbek, roughly half of the Kazakh and some Namibia material just for this year," Layton said. Although China does not buy uranium in the spot market, its purchases have drained the material available in that market, he said.

Deals with Kazakhstan, the world's biggest supplier of the material, Uzbekistan, and Namibia has taken more than 6 million pounds out of the spot market, according to Layton's estimates. "I see uranium's new floor at $55 now," he said.

Gratis, kort U-markedsrapport om canadisk-listede Juinor-selskap

Beat The Market Investment Newsletter

Uranium Special Report

November 2010

Følgende selskap er omtalt:

Top picks:
Denison Mines (CA:DML)
Mega Uranium (CA:MGA)
Hathor Exploration (CA:HAT)

Taking advantage of HEU in the US midwest.
Strathmore Minerals (CA:STM)
UR Energy (CA:URE)
Uranez Energy (CA:URZ)
Titan Uranium (CA:TUE)

Materially Undervalued.
U3O8 Corp (CA:UWE)
First Uranium (CA:FIU)
Strateco Resources (CA:RSC)

Athabasca Explorers
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PurePoint Uranium (CA:PTU)
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Men mange selskap er det.


China raises 2020 nuclear capacity target by 62 per cent to 114 GW

Dec 3, 2010

China has reportedly raised its target for the construction of new nuclear reactor to 114 GW by 2020, a 62.8 per cent rise on an earlier target of 70 GW.

The figures released by the National Development & Reform Commission represent a significant increase from a prior target of 70 GW issued last May by Zhang Guobao, head of China's National Energy Administration, according to an American Nuclear Society blog.

Reuters reported that the China Nuclear Energy Association, headed by Zhao Chenkun, said that the 70 GW target is too low.

Endret 06.12.2010 00:26 av OldNick
00:27 06.12.2010

China currently has a reported 23 reactors under construction and another 140 on drawing boards in various stages of readiness to proceed. Chinese nuclear energy officials, however, later said that 80 GWe was a more likely target.

According to the China Daily, Geng Zhicheng, a spokesman for the commission, told a nuclear energy conference in Beijing that if this target (114 GW) is met, nuclear power will account for just 7 per cent of the nation's estimated need for 1600 GW of power by 2020.

According to Steve Kidd, of the World Nuclear Association, speaking at the same conference, China has targeted increasing total non-fossil energy to 15 per cent of the total by 2020.

China Nuclear Boom Sees Reactor Builders Risk Know-how for Cash

Dec. 3, 2010 (Bloomberg)

The ballroom of the Grand Hyatt on Beijing's East Chang An Avenue was packed. The occasion: the first-ever China International Nuclear Symposium, a gathering of China's top nuclear players and the world's nuclear power companies, including Westinghouse, Areva SA, and Hitachi-GE.

What brought the Chinese to the Hyatt on Nov. 24 and 25 was a hunger for the latest technology, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Dec. 6 issue. What brought the foreigners was money: According to Michael Kruse, consultant on nuclear systems for Arthur D. Little, the Chinese are ready to spend $511 billion to build up to 245 reactors.

"The market is being driven by the construction of new reactors, and it is no secret that most of those are right here in China," says Fletcher T. Newton, an executive vice-president of Uranium One, a mining company.

The global nuclear industry is willing to take big risks to get a piece of China's nuclear budget. The danger is that in landing those fat contracts -- and sharing technology with Chinese partners -- the industry will help build a formidable rival. Even though they lack the most advanced technology, the Chinese are rapidly becoming self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The industry has the backing of the deep-pocketed Chinese state, an ambitious plan to train an army of nuclear engineers, and the leverage that comes from being the biggest market around.

"They are going to use a bunch of different [suppliers] with the goal of being a developer themselves," says Jeffrey Holzschuh, a Morgan Stanley vice-chairman.

Technical Documents

Westinghouse, for example, says it has handed over more than 75,000 technical documents to its Chinese customers as part of its agreement to license reactor technology.

"We look at this as a long-term opportunity and partnership," says Jack Allen, Westinghouse Asia's president. "But there are no guarantees."

Just 13 nuclear plants operate in China today, and until recently the Chinese were building only one or two reactors a decade. Now they are building 25 facilities, accounting for close to half the reactors under construction worldwide.

"This shows the rapid momentum of China's nuclear power development," says Zhang Shanming, president of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, the country's No. 2 builder and operator of reactors.

China's energy planners say they aim to have 40 reactors by 2020 and, by 2030, enough additional reactors to generate more power than all 104 reactors in the U.S., the leader in nuclear energy. Westinghouse, Areva, and other foreign companies will profit by licensing their reactor technology, consulting on safety and other issues, supplying components, and helping with construction.

'Deadly Serious'

"Money is not an issue, which is different from the rest of the world. The Chinese have the capacity to deliver and they are deadly serious about achieving it," says Steve Kidd, director of strategy and research at the London-based World Nuclear Association, the industry trade group.

Endret 06.12.2010 00:27 av OldNick
11:33 19.12.2010

President Hu Jintao wants non-fossil fuels to produce 15% of China's energy by 2020. Although the Chinese have spent plenty on wind turbines and solar panels, only a buildup of nuclear power can make that target reachable.

"Developing clean, low-carbon energy is an international priority," says Zhao Chengkun, vice-president of the China Nuclear Energy Association. "Nuclear is recognized as the only energy source that can be used on a mass scale to achieve this."

Getting Contracts

Foreign companies are already getting contracts. On Nov.23, Cameco Corp., the miner, agreed to supply 29 million pounds of uranium to Guangdong Nuclear through 2025. Thomas Mundy, president and chief executive officer of Exelon Nuclear Partners, whose parent company runs 17 nuclear reactors in the U.S., says he hopes to reach an agreement by mid-2011 to help the Chinese manage their reactors.

Westinghouse designs are being used for four reactors now under construction. Areva has sold two latest-generation reactors now under construction, as well as nuclear fuel. Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon told the French Senate on Nov. 24 that she expected another deal on two more.

According to Lauvergeon and Allen, China is building reactors faster and at a lower cost than the rest of the world. State ownership of the industry guarantees capital and relatively quick approvals of new plants. Low-cost labor and experience in major infrastructure projects, whether power plants or subway systems, also help.

As a result, building a Western-designed reactor in China costs about $4 billion, 40 percent less than one in Normandy, and can be completed in 46 months, versus 71 months in France, according to Areva.

Locking in Supply

One challenge for the Chinese is locking in a supply of components, including reactor vessels (which protect the nuclear fission core), steam generators, and nozzles produced in large-size forges. Just a few companies make these parts, says Westinghouse's Allen.

"You end up in a queue for these long-lead specialized materials," he says. "That is a constraint on how fast you can build."

How long will it take for the Chinese to become tough competitors? Guangdong Nuclear says it would like to be selling its reactors abroad by 2013 (to date, China has supplied commercial reactor technology only to Pakistan). The Chinese ability to complete large civil engineering projects is already "very worrying" for Europe's companies, Lauvergeon told the French Senate on Nov. 24. Yet Areva, like every other Western company, still wants those China deals.

Uranium Leap: The Biggest Bull Market in History

The Daily reckoning, 2010


Uranium investors cheer Cameco deal

Jonathan Ratner, Financial Post
Nov. 25, 2010


Russia's nuclear energy sector gaining momentum

Elena Kovachich, Voice of Russia
Nov 24, 2010

Russia has become a key player on the international nuclear power stations building market and nuclear fuel market. This is stated in a report presented to the Upper House of the Russian parliament by the state-run "Rosatom" Corporation. According to senators, the release of the report shows the sector's transparency that will pave the way for winning new foreign contracts.

The release of such a report is a significant event at a time when Russia's nuclear industry which has long been considered a secret sector. Moreover, the "Rosatom Corporation" has actively promoted its activity in other countries. The corporation, which considers itself a reliable provider of services in the nuclear energy area, is actively involved in building nuclear power stations abroad.

Endret 19.12.2010 11:33 av OldNick
11:37 19.12.2010

At present, its zone of interests embraces about 50 countries. The successful implementation of the contracts and the promotion of strategic partnership with the leading nuclear companies have made the Russian nuclear physicists welcomed partners in the countries that are determined to promote their peaceful nuclear energy, says the deputy general director of the "Rosatom" Tatyana Elfimova.

"The company is building nine nuclear power stations in Russia and another nine abroad at the same time," says Tatyana Elfimova. "This is the only company capable of doing such a giant piece of work. Moreover, one of the most important recent events is the signing of a first intergovernmental agreement on the enrichment of uranium from the U.S. and Japan. Notably, it is quite difficult to work with these countries on the nuclear market because each tries to be the first. Proceeding from this, the given agreement is a major political event rather than an economical one. About 30 such agreements on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes were signed in the past year," says Tatyana Elfimova.

"Rosatom" is also building the world's first floating nuclear power station. The power unit "Academician Lomonosov" was launched at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg last year, says Tatyana Elfimova.

"This is a new facility that assures the corporation a competitive advantage," says Tatyana Elfimova. "The low capacity nuclear reactor uses 20 percent enriched uranium. At present, the construction of the ship has been completed, and the installation of energy units is now going on. The use of these mobile nuclear power stations will help in solving energy problems in many remote regions and guarantee them a stable supply of electricity," Tatyana Elfimova said.

The unique floating nuclear power station will be commissioned in 2011. Meanwhile, the corporation plans to build another seven stations by 2015. The first two will be used on the Chukchi and Kamchatka peninsulas. The construction of a series of such stations is a key trend in Russia's nuclear energy sector. An advantage of these is that they can be towed to the destination point in coastal waters, including in the permafrost regions. They can also be used to supply heat and produce distilled water. "Rosatom" believes that these qualities will increase the demand for floating nuclear power stations abroad.

Uranium price gains are demand driven, Cameco says

By: Liezel Hill, miningweekly.com
Dec. 6, 2010

Toronto - The recent run-up in the uranium spot price is being driven by demand for the nuclear fuel, not speculation, a senior executive from Canadian producer Cameco said on Monday.

The uranium spot price has increased 40% in the last three months, to around $61/lb.

Higher demand, especially from China, was masked over the last couple of years because of rising uranium mine production in top producer Kazakhstan, senior vice-president for corporate services Grant Isaacs said at a Montreal conference hosted by Desjardins Securities. His remarks were broadcast over the Internet.

The expanded output from Kazakhstan meant Chinese buyers had opportunities to purchase uranium on the spot market, but the situation is unsustainable because of China's big nuclear build plans and accelerating demand for uranium to feed its plants, Isaacs said.

This means the country is looking to enter into long-term agreements with uranium suppliers. Cameco signed its first two long-term agreements this year with Chinese companies for uranium supply.

"And you can imagine the pressure that this is putting on the rest of the consumers in the marketplace, who are looking for uranium," Isaacs commented.

"They see China tying up a significant amount of the long-term supply at a time when their own long-term coverage is decreasing."

Endret 19.12.2010 11:36 av OldNick
11:37 19.12.2010

China has 26 reactors under construction, representing a third of the global total.

India is also expected to add 12 new facilities by 2020, while other countries like Japan, Korea, Russia and Egypt are also building and planning new reactors.

Overall, Cameco expects the number of operating nuclear reactors to increase by 20% in ten years' time, to about 527 commercial reactors, Isaacs said.

Based on these estimates, global uranium consumption could rise by about 3% a year over the next decade, which would increase annual consumption from 170-million pounds in 2009 to approximately 230-million pounds by 2019.

With more than two-billion pounds likely to be required over the next decade, about 75% of the demand should be met by supply from mines that are currently in commercial operation, Isaacs said.

"And existing secondary supplies will meet about 20% of the demand, leaving a cumulative supply gap of 135-million pounds over the next decade," he said.

"It's certainly clear that more uranium will be required, but bringing new production on line is a lengthy process and it's also a capital intensive process," Isaacs added.

Cameco, which has mines in Canada, the US and Kazakhstan, has forecast uranium production this year of 22-million pounds.

The company plans to grow production to at least 40-million pounds a year of uranium by 2018, including expected output from its delayed Cigar Lake project, in Canada's Saskatchewan province.

Last week, the firm announced a 43% increase in its annual cash dividend, beginning in 2011.

M&A 'inevitable' in uranium junior space

By: Liezel Hill, MiningWeekly.com
Dec. 10, 2010


China Doing to Uranium What It Has Done To Copper

Dec. 8, 2010


Uranium Spot Market Trading Volume Hits Record on Asian Demand

Bloomberg News
Dec. 13, 2010

The volume of uranium sold in the spot market, used by utilities to have material delivered within a year and by investors to speculate on the price of the fuel, hit a record this year on Asian demand.

Some 41.6 million pounds of uranium-oxide concentrate was sold in the market for the week ending Dec. 10, breaking a previous 1990 record of 40.6 million pounds, Denver-based pricing service TradeTech LLC said in a Dec. 10 report. The spot price rose 25 cents to $60.50 and new demand has emerged from a non-U.S. utility, TradeTech said.

Uranium, processed into fuel for nuclear plants, rebounded to the highest in more than two years as Asian utilities secure material for the next decade and China builds stockpiles, according to Macquarie Bank Ltd. Asia may operate 300 nuclear power reactors by 2030, up from 115 units today, inspection and certification agency Lloyd's Register Group said last week.

"Currently, spot supply is extremely thin with most sellers now holding firmly to their offer prices and looking ahead to rising demand during the first quarter of 2011," TradeTech said.

This year's record volumes in the spot market represent the third straight year of growth. About 10 million pounds of uranium were sold in spot transactions in 2007, the lowest in at least 12 years, according to TradeTech data. One million pounds of uranium equal about 385 tons of the radioactive material.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co. last month agreed on long-term supply with Kazatomprom and Cameco Corp., the two largest uranium mining companies. China's imports this year equal about 20 percent to 25 percent of global consumption, according to Macquarie Bank.

Endret 19.12.2010 11:37 av OldNick
11:38 19.12.2010

Chinese purchases from Kazakhstan, the world's biggest supplier of the material, Uzbekistan, and Namibia have taken more than 6 million pounds out of the spot market, Macquarie Bank analyst Max Layton said Nov. 29.

Uranium trading volume hits record

Dec. 13, 2010

The uranium spot market hits record trading volumes this year as Asian demand for the fuel has jumped. It is the third straight year of growth, from 10mlb of uranium sold in 2007 - a 12-year low.

Asian requirements for uranium rose considerably during 2010 as Asian utilities secured material for the next decade and China builds stockpiles. The region may operate as many as 300 nuclear power stations by 2030, more than doubling today's 115 units, according to Lloyd's Register Group.

Last month, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co concluded a long-term supply contract with Kazatomprom and Cameco Corp, the world's two largest uranium mining companies. This year, the country's imports equal about 20-25% of global consumption, said Macquarie Bank. Chinese spot purchases from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Namibia totaled 6 mill lb.

Reveille for the American Nuclear Industry

France just signed a landmark deal with the Indian government to sell billions of dollars of nuclear reactors and fuel for the next 25 years, but the US is falling behind in the sector

By Jeb Handwerger, Minyanville.com
Dec 16, 2010

A few days ago the French upstaged the US mighty nuclear reactor construction industry under our very noses in broad daylight, making us appear as Homer Simpson napping at the control plant of Mr. Burns' atomic energy plant in Springfield. Most of the media never mentioned the event. Only one gave it token coverage hidden on page A13 without realizing its true significance.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed a landmark deal with the Indian government to sell billions of dollars of nuclear reactors and fuel for the next 25 years, while the US is battling in hard economic times, beset by unemployment to maintain a grip on India's extremely profitable and growing nuclear industry.

The French, Japan, Korea, and China are actively building reactors. In fact, India desires to develop nuclear electricity as a cleaner alternative to coal-based energy to satisfy the country's increasing needs. India is on record as having about 4,560 Megawatts of nuclear power now, but wants to multiply that about 14 times by 2032.

President Sarkozy recently returned from Mumbai saying that the nuclear agreements are "very favorable to the French nuclear industry." Moreover the French are building a state-of-the-art, new generation nuclear reactor in Finland.

The United States is constantly laboring to court India's very profitable and blossoming nuclear energy industry. President Sarkozy has invaded the marketplace, which has been historically commanded by America. Admittedly, it is important to protect polar bear habitats, but simultaneously we should defend a sector in which we were pioneers going way back to the Manhattan Project led by Einstein, Bohr, Oppenheimer, and Meitner. These visionaries were thrown out of the "Fatherland" because they espoused a new physics that was antagonistic to the classical German rocket technology. This erroneous decision was later regretted by the Nazis as they failed in the race to build the atomic bomb.

There is another major crisis over the near term. America is one of the largest users of uranium and a lot of the uranium comes from Russia. More than 90% of uranium consumed in this country is imported.

Endret 19.12.2010 11:38 av OldNick
11:39 19.12.2010

However, that program with Russia is coming to an end by the end of 2013 and the US will need to find alternate supplies. Time to wake up, Homer.

Yesterday, the Russian mining arm ARMZ purchased Mantra for almost $10 a pound of uranium in the ground. Mantra controls the Nyota deposit and will be able to produce 5 million pounds of uranium a year. This transaction signals that governments and institutional investors are scrambling for control of uranium assets in the ground. These transactions should continue over the next few months as alert foreign nations such as China and Russia are realizing the dire supply-demand constraints.

Russian uranium requirements have increased, evidenced this year by several acquisitions including Uranium One (UUU:TSX), which has just received its NRC license on its Moore Ranch project. Other miners in Wyoming are likely targets. The trend is signaling that the suitors will come from overseas as China, with its recent take-off agreement with Cameco (CCJ:NYSE, CCO:TSX,), and Russia, with its recent purchase of Mantra, seem to be the most active investors. I'm surprised that the US seems asleep at the switch with many danger signs being alerted.

Back in October I wrote about building positions in the promising uranium mining sector, especially domestic assets and specifically assets found in Wyoming. Wyoming is a mining-friendly jurisdiction and there are a lot of miners nearing production.

Some of the miners out of Wyoming nearing production have made huge percentage gains, such as Uranerz (URZ), UR Energy (URG), Cameco, and Uranium One (SXRZF.PK) as more mines are expected to receive permits to begin operation.

Uranium Investors Enriched by China

Dec. 17, 2010
By Edward Welsch, Online.wsj.com

A tiny event in a nuclear reactor-the collision of a neutron with an atom of nuclear fuel-triggers enormous energy through a powerful chain reaction. Something similar happened in the uranium markets last month.

The tiny event was in China, where an official for the country's nuclear power agency gave a speech in which he estimated China could build 112 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020. Though he stressed that 80 gigawatts was the more likely target, that cautionary nuance was lost in translation, and the price of uranium shot up to $65 a pound within a few days, after languishing near $40 a pound since the onset of the global recession.

"That really got people's juices going," says Edward Sterck, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets. "It was a 'maybe' scenario, and when it got reported in the English press, they only reported that top-line figure."

To put the official's high estimate in perspective, 112 gigawatts is about a third of the world's current nuclear capacity, and 60% above the "high" estimate for China's growth forecast by the London-based World Nuclear Association last year. China is currently building 26 new reactors, more than twice as many as the nearest contender, Russia.

Suspicions Confirmed

Although the Chinese official later played down the top-line figure, uranium prices and the stocks of uranium producers have kept their gains. This is largely because people were already seeing signs in the market that China is preparing for a bigger nuclear-power expansion than previously estimated.

Yellowcake is packaged into special steel drums for shipping from a Cameco facility in Canada

A week before the speech, China's largest nuclear-power utility signed a decade-long agreement to purchase uranium from Areva SA, France's state-owned nuclear power company.

Endret 19.12.2010 11:39 av OldNick
11:40 19.12.2010

Earlier in the year, another Chinese utility signed a similar contract with Canada's Cameco Corp., the world's largest publicly traded uranium producer. Also, China's uranium imports this year through August tripled from the year-earlier period to 9.9 million metric tons.

Shortly after the speech, mining analysts at RBC Capital Markets predicted that China's moves to lock up long-term supplies would mark "the beginning of a multiyear bull-market cycle," and forecast prices of $75 to $80 a pound by 2012. "We think that betting against China's ability to attain its goals is dangerous," they added.

Balance Seen

BMO's Mr. Sterck, however, is more skeptical that prices will rise much above their current $65 a pound, which he sees as a rich enough price for producers to ramp up production over the next decade. He doesn't doubt China's rapid growth rate, but he thinks it will just offset the declining demand for nuclear power in the developed world.

"Demand is being suppressed by the ongoing economic problems in the West, slow growth following the great recession, and as a result of plentiful [natural] gas supplies" which will prompt more natural-gas power plants rather than costly nuclear reactors, Mr. Sterck says.

Uranium prices have soared before, only to melt down shortly afterward. At the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, a pause in demand and a large new supply from decommissioned Russian and U.S. warheads helped depress prices below $20 a pound. When Russia said it would end its nuclear-weapons decommissioning program in 2013, prices rose steeply through 2006 and reached $136 a pound in the summer of 2007. Then the bubble burst and the global economic crisis took hold.

The recent upswing looks encouraging to Amir Adnani, chief executive of Austin, Texas-based Uranium Energy Corp., the world's newest member of the small club of uranium producers. Mr. Adnani has been anticipating a revival in the industry since he created his company five years ago, and says the industry fundamentals look better now than they did in 2007.

"The Russian deal is still ending in 2013," he says. "China's not even taking a breather in constructing reactors.. They are starting to prove to everyone that they are quite serious about creating a nuclear fleet."

Says Mr. Adnani, "Overall, you've got the same fundamental drivers [as in 2007], except today they are a lot more real, a lot more within reach."

Mr. Welsch is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in Calgary, Alberta . He can be reached at edward.welsch@dowjones.com.

Uranium investments have the power to light up portfolios

Tony D'Altorio, Investment U

Many investors now think it could be entering a multi-year bull run

While most commodities continued surging earlier this year, uranium didn't budge. Once a hedge fund darling, it languished at four-year lows instead. until now.

Uranium's spot price has risen 45% to $60.50 per pound in the past four months. Thanks to China, many investors now think it could be entering a multi-year bull run.

Last year, China moved copper costs by building up stockpiles when prices were low.

Today, it's doing something similar with the uranium market. With prices grounded, the Chinese government is planning ahead for the rapid expansion of its nuclear industry.

The deputy director-general of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, Li Junfeng, knows how important those efforts are. In China's push for clean energy, nuclear, he says, comes first.

China's nuclear capacity

So far, China has 11 operational nuclear power reactors with a total capacity of around 9,100 megawatts.

Endret 19.12.2010 11:40 av OldNick
11:42 19.12.2010

That only makes up about 1% of the country's total energy capacity. But China expects its nuclear power capacity to touch 70,000-80,000 megawatts by 2020.

That would account for about 5% of China's total installed power capacity.

Consultancy firm UxC says that would quadruple its annual uranium consumption to 50-60 million pounds. Meanwhile, the world goes through a mere 190 million pounds a year.

China currently has a mere annual uranium domestic capacity of around two million pounds. So it's moving aggressively to secure uranium supplies around the world.

State-owned China National Nuclear Corporation and China Guandong Nuclear Power Corporation have already signed long-term supply agreements with outside miners such as Cameco (NYSE:CCJ, TSX:CCO). And they're strongly pursuing joint ventures too.

China needs it too, considering that it imported 20-25% of global uranium usage this year.

Future uranium prices

Of course, all of those purchases have sent spot uranium prices skyward. So have production shortfalls, which have forced some mining companies to buy uranium on the sport market to meet their long-term contract commitments.

Those factors will likely push up uranium prices further on long-term supply contracts. That matters a lot, since such contracts account for the large majority of uranium trade.

Uranium miner Paladin Energy (TSX:PDN) recently noted that "initial base prices" for new, long-term contracts has "risen markedly" to "at or above $80 per pound."

With all that said, inventories of uranium still remain plentiful. And Kazakhstan has more than doubled its output since 2008 to become the world's largest producer.

Yet even so, Russia's probably won't sell highly enriched uranium from its nuclear warheads past 2013. This has been an important source of uranium supply for many years.

Once those are used up, mine supply will likely fall short of demand. And new ones could take up 10-15 years to develop.

Outlook for uranium investments

Barring a large nuclear accident, uranium's outlook looks very good. So do the portfolios of anybody who knows how to play it.

The aforementioned Cameco and Paladin Energy both make good investments. But for really broad exposure to the commodity, ETFs usually work best.

In this case, the purest ETF play would be Global X Uranium (NYSE:URA). It holds 23 different uranium companies, with its largest position being in Cameco.

Or for slightly less exposure in still-solid ETFs, there's

* Market Vectors Nuclear Energy (NYSE:NLR), which has 38% in uranium miners, 24% in nuclear generation and 17% in infrastructure
* Powershares Global Nuclear Energy Portfolio (NYSE:PKN), which has 45% in industrials, 21% in nuclear generation and 17% in uranium miners
* iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index Fund (NASDAQ:NUCL), the weakest choice, has a full 44% in power generation companies

One way or the other though, investing in uranium has the power to light up portfolios. And light them up for a long time too.

Disclosure: The author does not own positions in any of the stocks mentioned
11:47 27.12.2010

En litt datert artikkel, men absolutt av interesse.

Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

13m shed-size reactors will be delivered by lorry

John Vidal and Nick Rosen, The Observer
Nov. 9, 2008

Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.

The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.

The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. 'Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a kilowatt hour anywhere in the world,' said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. 'They will cost approximately $25m [16m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home.'

Deal claims to have more than 100 firm orders, largely from the oil and electricity industries, but says the company is also targeting developing countries and isolated communities. 'It's leapfrog technology,' he said.

The company plans to set up three factories to produce 4,000 plants between 2013 and 2023. 'We already have a pipeline for 100 reactors, and we are taking our time to tool up to mass-produce this reactor.'

The first confirmed order came from TES, a Czech infrastructure company specialising in water plants and power plants. 'They ordered six units and optioned a further 12. We are very sure of their capability to purchase,' said Deal. The first one, he said, would be installed in Romania. 'We now have a six-year waiting list. We are in talks with developers in the Cayman Islands, Panama and the Bahamas.'

The reactors, only a few metres in diameter, will be delivered on the back of a lorry to be buried underground. They must be refuelled every 7 to 10 years. Because the reactor is based on a 50-year-old design that has proved safe for students to use, few countries are expected to object to plants on their territory. An application to build the plants will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission next year.

'You could never have a Chernobyl-type event - there are no moving parts,' said Deal. 'You would need nation-state resources in order to enrich our uranium. Temperature-wise it's too hot to handle. It would be like stealing a barbecue with your bare hands.'

Other companies are known to be designing micro-reactors. Toshiba has been testing 200KW reactors measuring roughly six metres by two metres. Designed to fuel smaller numbers of homes for longer, they could power a single building for up to 40 years.

Endret 27.12.2010 11:47 av OldNick
21:36 18.01.2012

China, South Korea Affirm Commitment to Nuclear at Energy Summit

by Timothy Hurst
Jan. 16, 2012

In front of a packed house of dignitaries, delegates and energy industry leaders assembled for the 2012 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik each independently reaffirmed their country's commitment to nuclear power as an essential part of a low carbon future. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on Monday morning, the two leaders outlined their country's clean energy and energy efficiency accomplishments over the last several years, and outlined the framework for transitioning to a low carbon energy economy in the years to come.Chinese nuclear power plant

"We will gradually change the current energy mix dominated by coal," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at the opening session of the 2012 World Future Energy Summit, by raising the output of "natural gas, renewable energy and nuclear energy," referring to nuclear as "safe, reliable and technologically mature."

Premier Wen outlined a long list of Chinese accomplishments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, capping them off by reporting that China now gets 11% of its electricity from renewable energy.

But Premier Wen underscored that the transition to clean energy would not be sudden. "Fossil fuels will continue for a long time," Wen told conference attendees. "So we need to follow a low-carbon approach to carbon-intense technologies," Wen said.

Mer på link over.
20:06 09.02.2012

Under statsminister S.Harpers besøk i China denne uken, er det inngått en rekke avtaler mellom de to landene.

Bl.a. har Canada forpliktet seg til å tillate økte leveranser av U til kjernekraft formål.

China, Canada reach deals on oil, uranium and air travel

By Jason Fekete, Montreal Gazette
Feb. 9, 2012

Beijing - China and Canada declared Thursday that bilateral relations have reached "a new level" following a series of multibillion-dollar trade and business agreements to ship additional Canadian petroleum, uranium and other products to the Asian superpower.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Chinese leadership said Thursday their new energy and economic co-operation agreements - as well as billions of dollars of private-sector deals - signed by the two countries over the past few days are unprecedented and will only open the door to additional trade and investment.

The two sides are also finalizing details on China loaning a pair of bamboo-munching giant pandas to zoos in Toronto and Calgary for a period of five years each, with more details expected this weekend.

The new trade deals further solidify a "strategic" partnership between the two countries, particularly on natural resources, with China's top political leaders calling for "more large-scale co-operation" with Canada on oil and gas to feed its seemingly insatiable energy appetite.

Harper announced Thursday, following bilateral meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, that the two partners have struck an agreement that will allow Canadian uranium companies to "substantially increase exports to China" to help the world's most populous country meet its growing need for nuclear power.

The protocol to ship additional uranium to China is a legally binding agreement that supplements a 1994 pact between both sides for peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

It meets Canada's nuclear non-proliferation policies and obligations, the federal government said, and "will ensure that Canadian supplied uranium is being used in China's nuclear program strictly for peaceful, civilian purposes."

Mer på link over

Ingen tvil om at besøket har vært vellykket for begge parter.

Harper won praise from the Chinese president during their bilateral meeting for his commitment to the Sino-Canadian relationship.

"Mr. prime minister, you put a lot of value on Canada's relationship with China and are strongly committed to promoting the practical co-operation between our two countries. I appreciate your efforts," Hu said through a translator. "I believe your visit will go a long way to promote the growth of the strategic partnership between China and Canada."
19:09 10.02.2012

Første U-reaktorer godkjent for bygging i USA siden 1978!

First new U.S. nuclear reactors in decades approved

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves construction and licensing of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, the first such approval in the U.S. since 1978

Ralph Vartabedian and Ian Duncan, LATimes.com
Feb. 9, 2012

A consortium of utilities in the South won government approval Thursday to construct two new atomic energy reactors at an estimated cost of $14 billion, the strongest signal yet that the three-decade hiatus of nuclear plant construction is finally ending.

Several new projects will test whether new technology and streamlined government licensing can help the industry avoid the economic and safety disasters that have tainted its past, nuclear experts say, though critics condemned the action by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The commission's 4-1 approval of the construction and operating license to expand the capacity of a Georgia nuclear power plant came 11 months after the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi facility left a wide swath of radioactive contamination.

Despite broad international concern that the safety risks of nuclear power are unacceptable even after half a century of widespread use, proponents have argued successfully that a new generation of reactors and strong U.S. regulations justify making it part of the mix to meet the nation's energy needs.

Mer på link over
14:33 12.03.2012

Det kan bli en tung periode fremover for Japan.

Med enorme problemer;

- Fiskalt (verdens største statsgjeld)
- Demografisk (folketallet krymper, mens de gamle blir stadig eldre)
- Og så råvare situasjonen. Japan er et veldig råvarefattig land, spesielt på energisiden, som for det meste må importeres.

Så får de jordskjelvkatastrofen i fanget, med påfølgende destruksjon og nedsmelting av Fukushima.

Nå kan vi så lese at av deres 54 kjernekraft reaktorer, er kun 2 i drift, et tap av el.generator kapasitet på 25-30%.

Utsiktene er ikke lyse.

økonomien krympet 0.9% i fjor, og veksten i år må nedskaleres til ca. 0.

Den japanske økonomien er nå på samme nominelle nivå som i 1995. Etter 20 år med mer eller mindre deflasjon.

Nuclear-Free Summer Looming Over Japan's West Is Growth Risk

By Andy Sharp and Toru Fujioka, Bloomberg
Feb. 29, 2012

Japan's economic rebound from the deepest contraction among advanced nations after Greece and Portugal may be stunted this year as power shortages threaten its western region.

The Kansai area, which accounts for about a fifth of Japan's economy and escaped the worst of electricity cutbacks after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, last week lost its final operating nuclear plant. Power supply may be up to 25 percent less than peak summer demand if plants are not restarted, according to Kansai Electric Power Co.

Shortages drive up costs and force manufacturers to shift work schedules to lower-use periods, disrupting supply chains and adding to reasons to go abroad. The yen's 47 percent climb against the dollar in the past five years has already hurt competitiveness enough to prompt firms from Nissan Motor Co. to Kansai-based Panasonic Corp. to move some operations overseas.

"Higher energy costs come on top of a strong yen and a shrinking domestic market for industries from steelmakers to major manufacturers," said Martin Schulz, a senior economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo who has done research for the Bank of Japan. "It's another reason to shift production overseas -- another brick in the wall."

Only two of 54 reactors in Japan are operating after meltdowns at three of six at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima plant in last year's disaster. By late April, a nation that received about 30 percent of its power from atomic stations before the quake may be at least temporarily nuclear-free.

'High Uncertainty'

Nationwide electricity rationing could cut gross domestic product growth by 1.8 percentage point to 0.1 percent in the fiscal year starting April by capping industrial production, discouraging investment and limiting exports, the Institute of Energy Economics, a government affiliated think-tank estimated in December.

The potential hit to growth would affect an economy just starting to gain momentum after contracting for three of the past four years. The government reported today a larger-than- forecast gain in industrial production in January after retail sales data yesterday also exceeded estimates.

In Osaka, Kansai's biggest city, electric wire manufacturer Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. will spend 5 billion yen ($62 million) on generators and other preparations for power shortages and is also budgeting for energy costs to rise, President Masayoshi Matsumoto says. "With 6 to 7 billion yen, we could build a plant in Vietnam and make profit," Matsumoto said. "Moving production overseas is of course one of the options we are considering."

Rating at Risk

A diminishing manufacturing base and energy constraints threaten to add to deflation, the world's biggest public debt burden, and an ageing population in hobbling an economy that's smaller now in nominal terms than it was in 1995. Gross domestic product shrank 0.9 percent last year, compared with International Monetary Fund estima
17:40 15.04.2012

Legger den inn her også, selv om det omhandler Thorium, ikke Uran kjernekraft.

Kirk Sorensen diskuterer status for utviklingen av Th-energi.

Kirk Sorensen on Thorium−The Magic Elixir That Could Solve Our Energy Needs and Global Warming

The Growing Movement of Thorium Around the Globe−With China in the Lead

April 13, 2012

Podcast, Kirk Sorensen intervjuet av Jim Puplava

Kirk Sorensen blog: Energy from Thorium

Sorensen's egen utviklingsselskap: Flibe Energy

Han hadde også en Facebook-side (som jeg ikke fant lenken til)
08:12 14.06.2012

- Storbritannia kanskje den mest spennande staden i Europa for atomkraftinvesteringar, seier den britiske energiministeren Charles Hendry.

Storbritannia vil bli best i atomkraft

Samtidig som Tyskland og Japan stengjer sine atomkraftverk, ønskjer Storbritannia å vera det mest attraktive landet for nye atomkraftverk. To nye reaktorar er bestemt bygd

Thomas Førde, Aftenbladet.no
13 juni, 2012

Vel vitende om at ein reaktor kan forsyne fem millionar husstandar med straum, og at klimautslippa er null, framhevar den britiske energiministeren Charles Hendry i intervju med Aftenbladet Storbritannia si offensive haldning til nye atomkraftverk.

- Atomkraft var lenge ute av agendaen, men blei relansert i 2007 som ein del av den framtidige energimiksen. Nå fem år etter, er Storbritannia kanskje den mest spennande staden i Europa for atomkraftinvesteringar, seier Hendry.

Han legg til at fleire selskap viser interesse for å investera.

- Nøkkelen er marknadsreforma som skapar vilkår for slike langsiktige investeringar. Me vil fjerna barrierar som kan hindra investeringar. Det er sterk tverrpolitisk støtte for vidare atomkraftsatsing i Storbritannia. Støtta i vårt land er breiare enn i dei fleste andre land. Parlamentet vedtok nyleg å gå inn for utvikling av to nye atomreaktorar. 520 representantar røysta for, berre 20 mot, seier den britiske energiministeren.

Gamle må stenga

Hendry seier vidare at dei første åra kan eventuelt nye atomkraftverk erstatta dei gamle kraftverka, som må stengjast på grunn av alder.

- Alle dagens atomkraftverk, unntatt eitt, må stengja innan 2023. Me har peika på åtte stader som er høvelege for bygging av nye atomkraftverk. Dersom der finst tilstrekkeleg kommersiell interesse vil ei slik samla utbygging kunne skapa 16 gigawatt med installert effekt. Men denne fornyinga av atomkraftverka kan ikkje gi oss ny produksjonskapasitet av elektrisitet på kort sikt, seier Charles Hendry.

Investeringane i nye atomkraftverk kan bli skyhøge. Ifølgje avisa Times kan kvar ny reaktor i Storbritannia kosta 7 milliardar pund eller 65 milliardar kroner. Samanlikna med bygging av gasskraftverk blir investeringane åtte til ni gonger høgare. Men levetida er lang, truleg 60 år, driftskostnadane er relativt låge og klimagassutsleppa fråverande.

Krav frå investorar

Ifølgje energimarknadsanalytikar Chris Rogers i Bloomberg Industries finst selskapa som vil byggja atomkraftverk i Storbritannia.

- Det franske Electricite De France (EDF Energy UK) si avdeling i Storbritannia har slike ambisjonar og planar. Men dei kan ikkje finansiera heile atomkraftverk aleine, seier Rogers.

- EDF treng og finansiering frå bankar og fond. Investorar i ulike fond vil likevel krevja ein slags garanti for prisutviklinga på el-kraft. Ei ny energilov kan bidra til dette. Men det kan framleis ta eit par år før forslaget til ny energilov i Storbritannia er vedtatt, seier Chris Rogers i Bloomberg Industries.

Han peikar samtidig på at dersom investorane i atomkraft får så stor avkasting som ønskjeleg, kan straumprisen til forbrukar bli uakseptabelt høg i dagens vanskelege økonomiske kvardag.

Ventar med vedtak

EDF driv 95 prosent av alle - 8 av 10 - atomkraftverk i Storbritannia. Med seg på laget har dei britiske Centrica, som eig 20 prosent.

Lengst er planane om nybygg komne ved Hinckley i Sommerset. Her har vore to eldre atomkraftverk. Det eine er rive ned. Her planlegg EDF å byggja to nye store reaktorar med til saman 3260 megawatts kapasitet, nok til å kunne forsyna fem millionar hushald med elektrisk straum.

- Endeleg investeringsvedtak hos EDF blir ikkje tatt før seinhaustes i år, opplyser pressetalsmann i EDF Energy UK, Jonathan Levy. Det går fram a
11:18 08.09.2012

By Grant Isaac (Cameco Corporation ‐ SVP and CFO):

Uranium Long Term Demand

In terms of demand, when I say that the uranium market is transitioning to a demanddriven market, what it's predicated on is this view right here. We look out to 2021, and we see a net new reactor number of around 96. So, some reactors are going to close; more are going to come online. We see that changing by 96. 63 of those 96 are already under construction today.

We tend to take a little more of a disciplined view on the reactor count. We require reactor programs to be quite a long ways down the path before we count them in our demand view. So 63 of those 96 are already under construction. What we don't have in this, too, is things like the Indian announcement to go to 63 gigawatts by 2030. We don't have that factored in here. This just takes us out to 2021. We don't include in here the Saudi Arabia announcement for 16 reactors. So there are plans outside of this number. This is just simply our view out to 2021.

And what we see are a couple of notable things. We see growth coming from regions that are still in the business of baseload. And that creates a different economic proposition than it does for jurisdictions that are thinking about nuclear power as incremental additions to the grid. That's always a tougher sell, especially in environments here with the price of gas.

But in jurisdictions where they're still building baseload power, that fundamental 24‐hour power, in order to have a healthcare system, and an education system, transportation, communications ‐‐ that fundamental industrial power that's needed 24 hours a day, nuclear continues to be a very strong proposition. And we see that in the net new reactor number. This is demand. This is growth that our industry really hasn't seen since the late‐'60s, early '70s.

So it's a pretty exciting time for a company like ours. When we think about this from a run rate point of view, we're moving from, in 2011, about 165 million pounds of uranium consumed, to about 230 million pounds of uranium consumed a year by 2021 with these 96 net new reactors. There's even reactor programs going on here in the United States with six reactors here.

Long Term Uranium Supply

If that's demand, then, of course, always meaningful to talk about supply. More reactors mean more demand for uranium. And when I said earlier that there's more uncertainty around supply than there is around demand, it really pertains to that one box there on the supply side called 'secondary supplies'. What we're seeing is a market that has been very reliant upon secondary supplies. And they're a legacy issue.

If you go back to the late‐'60s, early '70s, there was this concept that nuclear power was too cheap to meter. This idea that there were going to be 1,500 ‐‐ 2,000 reactors around the world, a lot of uranium was discovered. A lot of uranium was mined. A lot of uranium was milled and converted into different forms of uranium fuel equivalent, which we now refer to affectionately as secondary supplies. And those have found their way back into the market over time.

So for many years now, primary production has not kept up with demand, and it's been secondary supplies that have filled that gap. And the most notable chunk of secondary supply over the last number of years has been the megatons to megawatts supply ‐‐ the agreement to downblend Russian grade military uranium down into commercial use, and then bring that back for power production in the United States.

If you think about that HEU agreement, Highly Enriched Uranium agreement, in mining terms ‐‐ which, of course, we like to do ‐‐ the HEU agreement, it's 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium translated into a 400 million pound mine producing 24 million pounds a year. So a mine bigger than McArthur River. And mine life is up at the end of 2013.

Endret 08.09.2012 11:17 av OldNick
11:19 08.09.2012

So, a very important source of secondary supply, very visible source of secondary supply, leaving the market.

We then turn and we look at, okay, well, are there other secondary supplies? Well, there certainly are other secondary supplies available in the market, but we've seen nothing of the scale and the scope of the HEU agreement. And more importantly, from a pricing point of view, we see nothing that's going to come to the market at a discount like the HEU agreement had been.

We see materials that might be available but sort of in smaller tranches ‐‐ 500,000 pounds, 1 million pounds on secondary markets, and at a discount to market prices, not at a subsidy, not below the cost of production. So, of course, that then has an impact on the dynamics of the market.

So, yes, there will be other secondary supplies. And if you were looking for a reason why we've entered into an agreement to purchase Nukem Trading, this is a company that, really, we believe is the best in the world at sourcing those unconventional and secondary supplies. And rather than being victimized by those supplies, we would prefer to participate in that.

Our core business is still mining and it will be mining. But this was an opportunity that we thought made sense, given the changing nature of the secondary supply market.

Primary production, which is the next block of the supply there, other than the Kazakh story, primary production has been relatively flat in Canada, in the United States, in Australia. And even the production that's coming out of Africa is not seeing the growth, certainly, that the Kazakh production has seen. So outside that Kazakh production, there certainly have been some question marks around primary supply.

And then, of course, it's also important to remember that a lot of these assets, like the ones in Northern Saskatchewan, for example, do take considerable lead‐time to come online. So the ability to simply get into the uranium business quickly is difficult. And so it's the combination of this demand and supply view, as we look ahead, that really leads to that conclusion that the market is in a transition.

So from a demand side, we see that construction program in China turning into a commissioning phase. 2015, China enters a period where they start commissioning two reactors a quarter for the rest of the decade. Primarily driven from the construction plan they have on right now, but certainly there's other plans in behind there. Our view, 60 to 65 gigawatts in China. So certainly, more construction that has to happen from there.

We see that happening at a time when the existing customer base also needs to come into the market for long‐term supply. So our customers in the United States, our customers in Western Europe, did a lot of contracting through the last price spike ‐‐ not the 2010 price spike, but the 2007 price spike. A lot of material was contracted on a forward basis.

So utilities that find themselves well covered today find themselves increasingly uncovered after 2015, when the new demand hits the market, which is after a very important piece of secondary supply leaves. So we like the way that fundamental is shaping up. In fact, this is one of those instances where you actually don't have to take my word for it. The data are already there to support it.

For those of you wondered what happened in the summer of 2010, well, it was a very interesting dynamic. The summer of 2010 was when China entered the long‐term contracting market. They flipped from contracting some of those first core materials that you need to commission a reactor for their early newbuild program. They were buying a lot of that material on the spot market because those are one‐time volumes.

And then in the summer of 2010 ‐‐ which was an interesting turn of events, because it's a very civilized process of fuel buying in our industry ‐‐ it really kicks off in the fall at the World Nuclear Association meeting
11:20 08.09.2012

in London. That sets the supply and demand view; folks get together. They understand the market. They then start their long‐term contracting. It goes through the fall and into the spring. And then things typically go quiet over the summer in our business.

The Chinese showed up in the middle of the summer long‐term contracting, and you saw the price effect very quickly. A spot price, which had bounced in a collar kind of between CAD40 and CAD43 for the good part of the year prior, found itself CAD70. And the long‐term price, which didn't the courage to go above CAD50, found itself in the CAD74 range, all in a sixmonth period. Because this dynamic is real, because fuel buyers recognize that 2015 and beyond period, that they were increasingly worried about, was the period that the new entrant China showed up and started contracting for.

Effect of Fukushima

That momentum continued until the events in Japan in Fukushima. So I certainly do want to recognize ‐‐ so I certainly don't want to suggest that there is no medium or certainly no nearer medium‐term uncertainty in our market. There absolutely is. I'm telling kind of the long‐term story, but I don't want to neglect the fact that the near‐term remains an uncertain period. We did have the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. That marked the end of that run of long‐term contracting.

It was actually a very rational response, if you think about it. If you're a fuel buyer, and an event like that happens, and you believe that there's now some question marks about the need for uranium in the short‐term, and the possibility that uranium that was otherwise committed is now going to find itself back into the market, you're going to believe that has a downward pressure on price.

So you're going to step back to make sure that that downward pressure has been felt before you engage in more long‐term contracting discussions. Similarly, producers like Cameco, which did a lot of forward contracting as well through the last price run‐up, were heavily committed out to 2016. We stepped back and said, well, this isn't the environment we'd like to be signing long‐term contracts in any way, because we don't believe today's prices are representative of where the market needs to be.

So we stepped back and we saw a period that was characterized by just a heck of a lot of inactivity for the year afterwards. And it really wasn't until the last few market reporting periods where we've seen long‐term activity start to pick up again. So in the near‐term to medium‐term, we certainly have uncertainty. And I'm not suggesting we don't. There are some dynamics that have to play themselves out.

The Japan restart situation has to become more clear. That's going to really set the stage over the next couple of years. In Japan, they're working their way through what we would describe, what I would describe, as a three‐phase restart model. They're through Phase 1, which is ‐‐ establish what the stress test is going to look like. They're through Phase 2 ‐‐ determine who's going to administer the test. And, of course, that's a regulatory process in Japan of shifting authority from the Ministry of Industry to the Ministry of the Environment.

Then number three is ‐‐ determine what a green light means, if you go through a stress test.

Is that a risk‐based decision to restart? Or is that just yet another data point that goes in with a bunch of other data points in order to determine whether a restart is possible? So they're working their way through those three phases and that's taking time.

We've certainly seen some rather positive news flow in the last couple of weeks about local councils and local authorities talking about restarts. But, ultimately, that restart decision is going to come down to real economic pain and industrial growth model, an export‐driven industrial growth

Endret 08.09.2012 11:20 av OldNick
11:21 08.09.2012

model that gets put at risk. It's going to come down to health and safety issues, about a hot summer and not the baseload power to support it. It's going to come down to whether the baseload power is there to rebuild the Fukushima Prefecture.

So that process has to play itself out before we see the demand there. Interestingly, the feedback we get from our customers is that they want the uranium. They believe their assets are going to come up and be running again. Other pieces of evidence that we follow: we have some Japanese partners in some of our mining projects, and they haven't been interested in parting with their share of those projects at all. In fact, we've seen them wanting to take a deeper dive into some of those projects. So that's an interesting data point.

And also, in April, we saw some RFPs out for long‐term contracts with the Japanese customers.

So we remain cautiously optimistic, but there still is a path that we have to go down. Of course, everybody knows about the phase‐out plan in Germany. I think it's important, too, I think, from our perspective, to remember that there's a near‐term and a long‐term Fukushima effect. The near‐term, we spent some time talking about, being a very rational period, stepping back; the catalyst has to come back into the market. And that catalyst is that meaningful long‐term contracting again, either from the new entrants or from the existing customer base.

That existing customer base coming back into the market to start to cover their requirements beyond 2015. There are some rather large utilities the industry just hasn't seen in the longterm contracting business since 2007, in a meaningful way. So that demand will either come from the new entrants or the existing customer base.

The longer‐term impacts of Fukushima really are supply impacts. It's really the view that you have some inescapable economics happening there. You have demand that's real. 63 of 96 reactors, in our count, already under construction today. But you see an environment where decisions around future supply are kind of tough to make, especially if they're greenfield decisions, or especially if they're large capital decisions that are going to put companies ‐‐ stretch them a little.

And so we see that playing itself out into projects in Africa, for example.

Projects ‐‐ a jurisdiction we're not in ‐‐ but projects that we thought were going to create pounds competing with us, 2015 and beyond. We don't see those projects coming to the market in that timeframe. I'm thinking in particular about projects in Namibia, like the Trekkopje project, which we thought 6 million to 8 million pounds a year in that period. AREVA has a few other African projects that they've announced are either on hold or on the shelf over this period, because the price environment isn't one where you would make those decisions.

So we have seen an effect on supply. Certainly, that affect on demand is real. If we were talking before Fukushima, we would have said 110 net new reactors by 2021. We're now at 96. So that demand curve has come in a bit. It's that supply curve that we keep our eye on.

Our belief is there's a likelihood it could shift in more than the demand curve. And of course, price pressure is up in that environment, not down. So it's those two dynamics that are working themselves out because of the events in Japan.
17:23 06.11.2012

China to approve only a few new reactors by 2015

By David Stanway (Reuters)
Oct. 24, 2012

* Reactors to be built only in coastal areas
* France's Areva, Japan's Toshiba could benefit
* Requires 3rd-generation safety standards for new reactors

BEIJING - China will approve a small number of new nuclear reactors before 2015 to be built only in coastal regions, the government said on Wednesday, as it unveiled a raft of measures to spur private investments in energy.

In its latest five-year plan for the energy sector, China said it would also promote price reforms for electricity, coal, oil and natural gas and pledged to boost its hydro, solar and wind power generation in an effort to cut emissions.

The approval of new nuclear safety and development plans comes after a near 20-month ban by Beijing on approvals of new plants following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The latest plan could pave the way for Beijing to resume approvals, which would be a boon to Chinese nuclear power equipment makers including Shanghai Electric Group Co. and Dongfang Electric Corp., whose long-term contracts have been frozen during the ban.

In a decision that could be good news for foreign reactor builders including France's Areva and U.S.-based Westinghouse, which is owned by Japan's Toshiba, China stipulated that new reactors would need to adhere to "third-generation" technology that meets the highest international safety standards.

China's current fleet of nuclear reactors is mostly second-generation and is based on a variety of designs from Canada, France and Russia.

The country is building four Westinghouse-designed AP1000 third-generation reactors, which will be the first of this model to go into operation globally, as well as two Areva EPRs in the southern province of Guangdong.

Before the disaster in Japan, China was widely expected to more than double its existing target of 40 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear capacity by 2020, despite concerns about the reliability of its second-generation technologies as well as a shortage of regulators, safety inspectors and skilled staff.

The new sector guidelines include no new capacity target, but industry experts have said a more realistic figure would be 60 to 70 GW. Total capacity amounted to 12.57 GW by end-September.


In the wide-ranging document, Beijing also vowed to encourage more private investment in its state-dominated energy sector.

Included in the list of possible private investment targets were the exploration and development of energy resources, coal processing, oil refining, renewables, the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines and the electricity sector.

"All projects listed in the national energy program, except those forbidden by laws or regulations, are open to private capital," the document said.

Beijing also said it would welcome foreign investment, by the way of joint ventures, to develop its unconventional oil and gas resources. It also encouraged foreign investment in the building of nuclear stations and some lower-emission coal-fired power stations as long as the Chinese parties have control.

"China needs energy investment, that's why the government is encouraging private and foreign investment. But it is too early to say if they will have any material impact on the energy sector," said Wang Aochao, head of research at UOB Kay Hian in Shanghai.

Private firms currently are shut out of lucrative energy projects. Its oil market is dominated by two large state-owned oil companies, Sinopec and CNPC, which control domestic wholesale crude oil pricing.

China is preparing for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition in November, and its new leaders are widely expected to push for the sort of market-oriented reforms that will break up monopolies in sectors such as energy.

Endret 06.11.2012 17:25 av OldNick
02:49 14.03.2013

Interessant fra Bill Gates (bortsett fra at han aksepterer CO2-klimakrise hypotesen).

CERAWEEK-Gates favors nuclear power

Mar. 7, 2013

Houston - Microsoft Corp co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates said that expanding nuclear power and making it safer was the most economic way to ward off climate change.

In an address to the IHS CERAWeek conference of international energy company executives, he said safe and reliable reactors were the best option and dismissed wind and solar energy as less practical.

"The only way to solve the climate challenge is have some source of energy that's economic," Gates told the gathering on Thursday evening.

Expanding the nuclear option, he said, outweighed any notion of wind or solar energy as large-scale storage systems for both remained unproven.

"You can site it where the power is needed," Gates said. "Unless you think there is a miracle hidden in storage."

Gates is a primary investor in Terra Power, a company working to create an improved, safer reactor intended to reduce waste and avoid creation of any fuel that could be used in nuclear weapons.

But technology, he said, had to meet new, worldwide demands for safety and reliability arising from the meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami - the worst civil nuclear accident in 25 years.

"Post-Fukushima, people are expecting to take some of the instabilities out of the design of nuclear reactors," Gates said.

He also called on the U.S. Energy Department to increase its investment in energy technology research and development.

"We should put a lot more into innovation. When we get a carbon tax we should put some of that into innovation," he said, without elaborating.

According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Energy Department's investment in research and development in 2012 was $3.4 billion, down from $10 billion (in 2011 dollars) in 1980.

Noe annen info om emnet:

Wikipedia: Traveling wave reactor

Wikipedia: TerraPower Inc

TerraPower: How The Traveling Wave Nuclear Reactor Works
09:06 12.08.2013

En interessant artikkel om skadene fra Sovjetunionens atomprøvesprengninger på sitt testområde i Kazakhstan.

Ødemarken: På vei inn i «Polygonen» i det nordøstre Kasakhstan, et område på størrelse med Sogn og Fjordane. Dette slettelandskapet ble sovjetmaktens foretrukne atomprøvesprengningsområde under den kalde krigen. Foto: Christian Belgaux

Dette er stedet der Sovjet testet atombombene sine

Hva gjør 456 atomprøvesprengninger med natur og mennesker?

Christian Kjelstrup, Dagens Næringsliv

Lengre artikkel på link
12:04 15.09.2013

Et geni er født.

Gutten som vil forandre verden

Brian Williams intervjuer geniet Taylor Wilson
NBC video
13:51 15.09.2013

NBC har funnet ut at de liker Askeladden historier i USA.

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