Uranium Week: Restart For Tsunami-Hit Reactor

Weekly Reports | Oct 20 2020

As the tsunami-hit Onagawa nuclear reactor gets the OK for a restart, the weekly uranium price continues its downward trend.

-Japanese nuclear reactor to restart
-IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2020
-The weekly spot price falls marginally 

By Mark Woodruff

A nuclear reactor in north-eastern Japan damaged by the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster is all but certain to resume operations, according to the JapanToday website. The governor of the prefecture hosting the facility has decided to give consent, local officials said Wednesday.

For the No. 2 unit of the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture to restart, winning consent from local government leaders is the last remaining step needed. This is after the plant cleared a national safety screening in February.

Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai will formally announce his consent by the end of the year, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, reports JapanToday.

By doing so, he would be the first governor of a disaster-hit prefecture to give the green light to the restart of a nuclear reactor.

Other News 

When announcing its World Energy Outlook 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recognised the role of nuclear power in a clean energy transition.

A surge in well-designed energy policies is considered needed to place the world on track for a resilient energy system that can meet climate goals, amid the disruption and uncertainty caused by covid-19. 

Industry consultant TradeTech explains the IEA's flagship annual report focuses on the next decade and considers different pathways out of the crisis caused by covid-19.

Reacting to the report, World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising commented, "We welcome the IEA’s recognition of the potential for nuclear energy to play an important role in the transition to a clean energy system and we strongly endorse the IEA’s call for investment in clean energy, including nuclear energy, to rise from the current one-third of total energy investment to around two-thirds by 2030.”

Company News

Energy Resources of Australia’s ((ERA)) Ranger uranium operation continued to process existing stockpiles during the third quarter. Rio Tinto ((RIO)) has recorded third quarter production of 735,000lbs which was up marginally compared to the previous quarter.

Rio Tinto"s ((RIO)) share of production was 26% higher than the third quarter of 2019, primarily due to a change in shareholding following completion of Energy Resources of Australia's entitlement offer in February 2020. 

Rio’s production is derived solely from its now 86.3% share in the company, which operates the Ranger Uranium Mine in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Uranium Pricing

TradeTech’s Weekly Uranium Spot Price Indicator fell -US$0.10 to US$29.70/lb last week.

On the surface, the spot uranium market was quiet for most of the week, reports TradeTech. However, a number of parties were busy picking up material “off-market” over the course of the week. Utilities participated as buyers, along with traders and producers, in deals closed this week.

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