Uranium Week: No Traction

Weekly Reports | Aug 08 2017

By Greg Peel

The parlous state of the US nuclear power industry continued to dominate the uranium industry last week.

A subsidiary of South Carolina Gas & Electric and the state-owned Santee Copper announced last week they would walk away from two partially built reactors at the Summer Nuclear Station, despite having already spent billions. The projects were over time and over budget.

The decision has sparked an inquiry by the state nuclear regulator as to why the projects have failed and South Carolina senators have called for a special session to discuss the project and ensure no laws have been breached.

Faced with a similar decision, Southern Co has decided it still sees the benefit of completing its two-unit construction project at Plant Vogtle in Georgia despite estimates the cost has blown out to over US$25bn. While Southern Co is still deciding the fate of the project, which is also well over time and budget, the CEO has conceded there would be “nothing to show” for the company’s investment if it were to simply walk away.

The news did not engender any confidence in the uranium spot market last week, which currently features a wide bid/ask gap on the vagaries of differing delivery timing and location. Five transactions were concluded totalling 500,000lbs U3O8 equivalent, industry consultant TradeTech reports. TradeTech’s weekly spot price indicator has fallen -US20c to US$20.40/lb.

The spot price has now been stuck below US$21.00/lb since mid-May.

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