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Jun 26, 2015 - Despite a number of antinuclear proposals pushed at shareholder meetings, officials from Japan’s utilities said this week they were eager to restart nuclear power plants as soon as possible after their businesses were staggered by the halt of all commercial reactors in the country in March 2011. Japanese utility Kyushu Electric Power Co. will be the first to restart reactors—Units 1 and 2 at the Sendai Nuclear Station—which should begin the restart process in the next couple of weeks, according to the latest reports. Fuel loading will commence next month, and the two 846 MWe PWR plants are expected to return to service in August. Presently, 43 reactors are operable and potentially able to restart; 24 of these units are in the process of restart approvals. In Germany, utilities have been critical of the decision to leave nuclear power, but with little effect on the government’s decision. Construction of new power lines has failed to keep pace with a fundamental shift in the way Germany generates energy as it pursues a strategy to phase out nuclear power by 2022, and reduce emissions from fossil fuels. The move to exit nuclear power is putting additional strain on Germany’s electricity flow. The closure of E.ON’s Grafenrheinfeld Nuclear Plant (1,275 MWe PWR) is the latest in the phaseout plan. Six transactions are reported in the spot uranium market for the week. Buyers included utilities, intermediaries, and producers, while intermediaries and producers acted as sellers.

Market activity picked up mid week when a US and a non-US utility came to the market. Offers were due to the US utility, which is seeking just over 54,000 pounds U3O8. The non-US utility selected a preferred supplier(s) for delivery of over 250,000 pounds U3O8 equivalent. Near-term buying interest is generally weak as buyers continue to show a marked preference for deliveries beginning in 2016 and beyond. Early in the week, sellers were resistant to lowering offer prices. By mid week, buyers demonstrated they were willing to pay slightly higher prices causing TradeTech’s Daily U3O8 Uranium Spot Price Indicator to rise. However, as the week came to a close, sellers had backed off and were exhibiting a greater willingness to lower offer prices. As a result, TradeTech’s Weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator is $36.50 per pound U3O8, unchanged from last week’s Indicator and down $0.25 from TradeTech’s June 26 Daily U3O8 Spot Price. read more