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URANIUM INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY
Copyright 2008 EIG. Unauthorized access or electronic forwarding, even for internal use, is prohibited.
The Uranium Price Panel assessed the spot price this week at $62.13/lb
U3O8, offering no immediate relief to the steady, albeit gradual, decline. This
came as Mestena sold its 100,000 lbs of material, US utility Exelon requested quotes for major long-term supply, and several hedge funds looked to sell (p2). • A new face in the Russian cabinet bodes well for the country’s bid to become
a bigger player in nuclear export markets. In changes announced today, Sergei
Shmatko, 41, former head of Atomstroyexport, becomes the new energy minister, reporting to Rosneft Chairman and former deputy head of Kremlin administration Igor Sechin, who is now the country’s overall energy czar (p3). UIW Assessment
The offices in Danbury, Connecticut, of Nukem Inc. were largely empty
The Uranium Price Panel (UPP) represents the average priceassessment reported by active spot market participants for a today. Market sources told UIW that most of the employees were on flights to
transaction of 100,000 lbs of U3O8 by book transfer on the Germany, probably to discuss the trading firm’s future. The American subsidiary date given. Bars represent the range of conceivable final aver- of the Germany-based trader lost longtime head Jim Cornell. Nukem’s difficul- ages that might result when random elimination is used tobalance market positions within the panel.
ties bear a similarity to troubles at Nufcor (p3). • Congressional opposition to the recently signed US-Russia 123 Agreement
may scuttle the deal. Concern centers on Russia’s relationship with Iran. (p4)
With uranium prices still high by historical standards, Dolni Rozinka, the
Czech Republic’s last active uranium mine, continues to churn out 300 MT
U3O8/yr, but the country’s appetite for new investment in uranium projects
is distinctly lacking.
That isn’t stopping an ambitious Australian company, Uran
Limited, from attempting to reverse the tide (p5).
Idaho will be the home of Areva’s new centrifuge enrichment plant in the
US, the French nuclear giant announced last week. The decision, which came
after months of deliberation by the company’s head office, was greeted with ela-
tion by residents and politicians of the northwestern state, but with disappoint-
ment from competing sites, including those in New Mexico, Texas, Ohio and
Washington states. The 3 million SWU plant will use Urenco’s centrifuge tech-
nology via a joint venture between the two European enrichers, the Enrichment
Technology Company. Areva plans to begin construction in 2011 and aims for
initial production of 500,000 SWU in 2014. Next step: submitting an application
to the US Nuclear Regulatory Committee.
Photos released by the Bush administration last month supposedly proving
a connection between North Korea and the alleged Syrian nuclear facility at
Al Kibar may have been doctored, according to reports in the Los Angeles

Times and the Guardian of London. Administration officials went before
Congress with the evidence, and the White House used the photos as the back- bone of a video presentation released to the public that charged a connection (UIW Apr.28,p4). An anonymous source “with a US security clearance” made the doctoring allegation via William Beeman, a leading academic and Middle East expert. “The lower part of the building (the attachment) and the ‘windows’ pointing south are much sharper than the rest of the photo, suggesting that they are doctored,” said the source. The criticism also noted the lack of defenses, power lines and military checkpoints at the site, all criticisms echoing the official ing the price marching down from $95/lb to $60/lb,” one mar-ket source said of the hedge funds’ perspective, “at some point Indeed, the market has been sending mixed signals for some The Uranium Price Panel (UPP) delivered a price of $62.13 per time. Just this week, as the UPP fell $1.50, from $63.63/lb to pound U3O8 this week, continuing a mild but steady decline in $62.13/lb, Tullett Prebon’s Fund-Implied Price (FIP) soared above the spot price. This came as Mestena sold its 100,000 lbs of the spot price to $68.42/lb, an increase of $7.21. The FIP, which material in an open-bid auction and as two new potentially coun- derives the implied price of uranium from the stock price of urani- terbalancing developments emerged: US utility Exelon very pub- um holding companies and serves as something of an indicator for licly requested quotes for major long-term supply, and several the financial world’s view of the uranium market, suggests signifi- hedge funds looked to sell their material. cant market confidence. Meanwhile, the UPP continued its recordof strong unanimity, with 92% of assessments coming in within Mestena, which helped push much of the astronomic rise in one standard deviation of the initial average, and a variability of the spot price a year ago, reportedly received few bids for its $1.37. The variability, representing the spectrum of possible UPP material. However, the fact that the Texas-based ISL producer prices after the random elimination used to equalize buyer and in fact selected one of the bids indicates at least some satisfac- seller positions, ranged from $61.13/lb to $62.50/lb. tion on its part. Mestena has previously withdrawn an offerafter receiving insufficiently high bids. The fact that it didn’t do The FIP’s bullish indications vis-a-vis the uranium market so now means that a price in the low-$60s is quite likely; how- were reinforced last week by an analyst report from Merrill ever, the transaction failed to provide the hoped-for feedback to Lynch, which predicted the price will settle over the next three the market by driving the price up or down. months at around $60-65/lb. Until 2010, the analysts predict “anannual average range of $70-$75/lb,” due to “ongoing supply Such feedback could come in response to Exelon’s request for tightness” and “robust global demand growth.” This price could bids. Although not a spot request, the request for up to 6 million be driven higher, according to the report, if Kazakhstan contin- pounds of material by the nation’s largest nuclear operator, head- ues to struggle with supplies of sulfuric acid. Looking past the quartered in Warrenville, Illinois, promises to bring out all the midterm, the Merrill Lynch analysts expect major new mines sellers. The request, for which offers are due Jun. 4, asks for 2 coming on line to create some oversupply, with “a long-term million lbs U3O8 per year for 2011 through 2013. Exelon is also, nominal price in 2015 of $65/lb ($55/lb real ‘08).” All of which as is its wont, very vague, with alternate amounts and times to be points to a slightly less turbulent market than that of 2007, to say considered. This offer, the first of its kind for some time from the nothing of prices at double the current levels. utility, has interesting motivations. Exelon’s leadership has longexpressed a desire for a price high enough to sustain uranium In other market news, Uzbekistan’s Navoi MMK signed a supplies. The current request could be an indication that the com- major long-term contract with a subsidiary of South Korea’s Korea pany doesn’t want the price to fall much more. Electric Power Co. The deal, for some 2,600 tons of uranium (6.76million lbs U3O8), to be supplied between 2010 and 2016, is a The response could potentially have the effect of at least major step in the independence of Uzbekistan’s uranium industry.
bottoming out the price declines. “Some of the supply over- Outside of a transaction with Japanese trader Itochu, Uzbekistan hang is just people who want cash,” explained one source. “It has long been reliant on uranium trader Nukem for international ought to be eliminated by this Exelon thing. It ought to pull marketing of its material (see story p3). But Uzbekistan has strong the price up a bit.” Yet countering Exelon’s new demand was ties with South Korea, and the contract was accompanied by a talk of a number of hedge funds looking to sell material, with major oil and gas deal between the two countries. The uranium one reportedly selling some 40,000 lbs last week. This means deal, valued at $400 million (seemingly just under the current mar- that just as signs of utility demand are coming back, there ket spot price), came during South Korean Prime Minister Han appears to be little faith in a full turnaround. “If you’re watch- Seung-soo’s visit to the Central Asian country.
The Uranium Price Panel (UPP) represents the average price assessment reported by active spot market participants for a transaction of 100,000 lbs of U3O8 by book transfer onthe date given. In the UPP, participants are assigned a market position of seller, buyer or intermediate. Each week Energy Intelligence eliminates assessments that are statistical outliers,and double-checks the market position of intermediates. It then uses random elimination to maintain an equal number of buyer and seller assessments in the final average. “Variability”represents the absolute range of conceivable final averages resulting fsessments represent the extremes of the non-eliminated marketassessments. For a detailed explanation of the price panel It seems that the final say will be Putin’s. When he was presi- dent, the now-prime minister promised to lower the tax burden onthe Russian oil industry and support domestic companies in their A cabinet reshuffle in Moscow could mean that nuclear energy will endeavors overseas. This would be backed by corresponding mea- receive greater prominence in Russia’s overseas energy policies.
sures for foreign companies inside the country. The changes announced today include the appointment of IgorSechin, chairman of Rosneft and former deputy head of Kremlin Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev kept his post, but his administration, as the country’s energy overseer, while Sergei ministry’s powers were also boosted. All ecological issues previous- Shmatko, chief of Atomstroyexport, becomes the new energy ly scattered among various agencies are concentrated in the min- istry. Putin now has seven deputies, up from two, including formerPrime Minister Viktor Zubkov and the former head of Kremlin A representative of the so-called “siloviki” power faction and a administration, Sergei Sobyanin. Showing who is going to play the supporter of greater state control in the country’s oil and gas sector, first fiddle in the new Russia, Sergei Naryshkin, former deputy Sechin is also known as the driving force behind the dismantling of prime minister and long-standing loyal friend of Putin, became head Yukos Oil. He was named deputy premier in charge of industry and of Medvedev’s Kremlin administration.
energy development, as well as of state policy in subsoil usage,environment protection and technological and nuclear oversight.
This means that the ministers of industry, energy and natural Last week Nukem Inc., the US subsidiary of the Germany-based Shmatko’s ascent is an intriguing aspect of Russia’s government trader, lost longtime head Jim Cornell, who left the company “to reshuffle. At 41, he is one of the few new faces in the cabinet, pursue new opportunities.” This came several days before the which was subjected to some structural changes, including the divi- announcement from South Korea that its state nuclear power com- sion of the former industry and energy ministry into two separate pany had signed an agreement with Uzbekistan for long-term ura- ministries. Former Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko nium supply, a development that evidently sidesteps Nukem, the usual marketer of Uzbek uranium in international markets (see p2).
Industry sources expect Cornell’s new status to be announced Having overseen the Russian firm building and operating nuclear quite soon, but it is the larger issue of what happens to Nukem — power stations overseas, Shmatko is well placed to promote Russia’s currently the largest seller of spot material — that is being fol- presence in nuclear export markets. Indeed, in one of his earlier inter- lowed with bated breath by uranium market participants. views, Shmatko emphasized the importance of Atomstroyexport’scooperation with Gazprom outside Russia. “By means of our activi- Beyond Cornell, Nukem has lost several senior traders recent- ties’ coordination, we would be able to offer not just construction of ly and may soon lose more to retirement. Together with competi- nuclear power stations overseas, but we would be able to present a tor Nufcor International, Nukem has been waiting to be sold for complex solution for the energy infrastructure development in a cer- quite some time (UIW Oct.22,p4). Nukem owner Advent Capital, tain country. Taking into consideration Russia’s potentials, we could the global private equity group, has held Nukem much longer simultaneously offer to a customer oil, gas and atomic energy. None than it holds most assets. At issue seems to be Nukem’s funda- of the states possess such a ‘fighting triad’ today and this is a serious mental business model: Much of its profits come from its posi- advantage of Russia in the developing global energy war,” he said tion as one of the three companies — together with Cameco and two years ago in an interview with local Russian press. Areva — allowed to market Russian uranium under the US-Russia HEU agreement. However, Tenex is insisting on renegoti- Shmatko seems to be Putin’s man too. The two have a lot in com- ating the terms of this arrangement — a process it is also carry- mon. Both have connections with Germany. Shmatko studied eco- ing out with Usec, which markets the enrichment component of nomics at the Marburg University in 1990-1992 and then worked as that material — and the viability of the company may rest on the an auditor at BDO Binder in Frankfurt-on-Main. In 1994, he was results of the negotiations. As an added twist, the Russians are director of the RFI consultancy specializing on European Union reportedly very interested in purchasing Nukem and, through investments in Russia. In 1997-99, he was head of the Russian atom- their power over its viability, may be in the position to assure ic power ministry Rosenergoatom’s analytical center on economic such a sale. It appears that most of Nukem Inc., of Danbury, strategy, a position that hints of links with the security service. Connecticut, is headed this week to Germany, where these issueswill no doubt be discussed. Sechin’s ascent could be taken as another sign that Putin will continue holding the reins of power, as Sechin was an ardent oppo- Nufcor, which lost longtime head Charles Scorer in February, nent of Russia’s new president, Dmitry Medvedev, when Medvedev is waiting to be sold by its current owners, South Africa’s was chairman of Gazprom. Gazpom was promised, without any AngloGold and the Rand Merchant Bank (UIW Feb.11,p3).
tender, estimated reserves of about 4 trillion cubic meters worth an The probable buyer, Constellation Energy, is still finalizing estimated $12 billion, according to analysts’ calculation, when some its plans regarding its London-based uranium trading. But its of those reserves were also eyed by Rosneft, according to UIW’s business model is also at stake: Like Nukem, which relies on sister publication International Oil Daily. Uzbek and Russian uranium, Nufcor relies on South Africanoutput. In the case of both companies, the future of these Sechin’s elevation adds uncertainty as to how Russia’s oil and gas relationships is increasingly in question. Meanwhile, both sector will develop. Medvedev has on several occasions expressed traders are losing valuable assets — some of the most knowl- support for less state interference in business matters, while Sechin edgeable players in the uranium market — raising yet more has pushed for state-sponsored consolidation in the oil and gas sector. The Iranian issue remains highly contentious. “We urge you not to send any 123 Agreement with Russia to theCongress until Russia has ended support for Iran’s ballistic The US-Russia 123 Agreement, signed by officials from the missile program, provision of advanced conventional weapons two countries in Moscow last week, faces stiff opposition on and assistance to Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle program, which Capitol Hill, where concern over Russia’s relationship with advances their ability to develop nuclear weapons,” wrote Iran threatens to sink the deal. The agreement would open the Sens. Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota, and Evan door to technical cooperation between the two countries — Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, to the White House, in a letter co- specifically the Bush administration’s cherished Global signed by 30 other senators. “Russia must also first demon- Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) - and in theory provide strate that it is prepared to cooperate with us to increase US nuclear suppliers access to the Russian market. meaningful economic pressure on Iran to end its defiance ofthe UN Security Council’s mandatory resolutions to suspend “The United States and Russia were once nuclear rivals.
We are today nuclear partners,” said US Ambassador WilliamBurns at the May 6 signing ceremony. Sergei Kiriyenko, the Perhaps anticipating the outcry over Iran, former Russian head of Russia’s giant nuclear agency, Rosatom, said the President Vladimir Putin on May 5 agreed to back aggressive agreement “opens up a huge range of opportunities to us. Both UN Security Council sanctions against Iran that had been parties will benefit from it because it opens the gates to legal approved on Mar. 3 (see p6). On May 6, Putin’s last day as pres- cooperation.” The agreement for cooperation in civilian ident, Kiriyenko signed the 123 Agreement. The following day, nuclear energy is based on the amended Section 123 of the Dmitry Medvedev was inaugurated as president, with Putin soon 1954 Atomic Energy Act and is a necessary prerequisite to after approved as his prime minister. Whether the move to sup- civilian nuclear cooperation between the US and other coun- port sanctions indicates a larger shift in Russian policy remains tries. After presidential signatures in both countries, it requires to be seen. It is difficult to imagine a pullback from cooperation ratification by lawmakers in Russia and a 90-day review peri- on the Iranians’ Bushehr reactor and since the content of the 123 Agreement has not been made public, it is not known how, or if,that issue was even addressed, although the Bush administration But it may go nowhere. Several letters sent last week from has lightened up on the topic in recent months. Congress to the White House decried “Russia’s support for theIranian nuclear program” and requested that the White House not submit the agreement for review to avoid a blow to US-Russia relations. There was also opposition to GNEP, which Though a formal declaration of friendly relations between emphasizes reviving reprocessing and advanced reactor the two powers, it remains unclear what impact the agreement research. “We are particularly troubled that your proposed 123 might have on their civilian nuclear sectors. The two have Agreement with Russia encourages greater cooperation on the already been intimately linked for the past 15 years, and GNEP program, while [the Department of Energy] has yet to Russia supplies almost half of current US requirements for develop a proliferation risk assessment for GNEP,” said a let- nuclear fuel under the HEU agreement. However, the agree- ter to the White House from Reps. John Dingell and Bart ment would at least officially open Russia to imports of US Stupak, Democrats of Michigan. “Given the consistently deep nuclear supplies and newer reactor technology. It also offers cuts to the Administration’s budget requests for GNEP, is it the prospect of greater bilateral cooperation on pet projects in premature to submit this Agreement with Russia to the each country, particularly Russia’s international enrichment Congress when there is little consensus that GNEP will be pursued, in its current form, beyond the end of theAdministration?” “If I was a betting man, there’s going to be far less to this than meets the ear,” said Henry Sokolski, executive director of Assuming that those pleas are ignored by the White House and the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. “There’s a lot that veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress pass a reso- of noise about how important this is.” If, as Sokolski and lution of disapproval, the agreement will be effectively blocked. other critics believe, the push to solidify support for GNEPwas the prime mover behind the 123 deal, there may be even less reason for excitement. “GNEP isn’t much without aninternational treaty obligation, and the 123 with Russia isn’t Russia’s nuclear and military ties to Iran present a major very much without GNEP,” said Sokolski. “The sad part is hurdle to congressional approval of the 123 Agreement. At issue is the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, which, ifpassed into law, would prohibit the US from signing a nuclear Although the White House maintains public support for the cooperation agreement with “any country that is assisting the agreement — “We look forward to sending this latest agree- nuclear program of Iran or transferring advanced conventional ment to Congress for their consideration,” said a press release weapons or missiles to Iran,” before going on to specify — the odds are stacked against it. With an increasingly lame- Russia. Similar legislation in the Senate has not yet passed, duck president and effective opposition to the agreement from despite a veto-proof majority of 71 co-sponsors. Should the two of his potential successors, John McCain and Barack Senate pass this act, it is difficult to see how the 123 Obama, both co-sponsors of the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, Agreement could be approved. But there currently appears to the bilateral pact appears to have little chance of implementa- be a holdup among Democrats, with at least one powerful sen- tion. The larger picture of US-Russian nuclear cooperation is ator apparently trying to block passage. now likely to become clear only after January 2009.
Over the past three years, Dolni Rozinka has supplied approxi- mately one-third of CEZ’s uranium needs; the rest is sourced on the Deep below Rozna, a town in West Moravia, swarthy-skinned min- open market. Experts at the Czech Republic’s Institute of Geology ers pound away at a subterranean rock wall with jackhammers, a have said that, despite the subsidy for CEZ, Dolni Rozinka can con- complex system of timber frames holding the ceiling over the tinue operating profitably for five to ten years. The government has heads. Occasional dynamite blasts rumble through the structure, and estimated that, by giving the mine a new lease on life, state coffers mine cars haul heaps of black rock to the crushing mills above. In will gain some $120 million by 2012 – with minimal or no invest- the six decades since the Soviets began exploiting uranium deposits in the former Czechoslovakia, little has changed in the technology.
This is a place screaming for modernization. But, as many Czechs Though a year has passed since the mine extension, no invest- argue, why bother investing in a moribund enterprise? ments have been made. In fact, Czech politicians would be moredisposed to pour concrete in the mine rather than authorize new The area’s historic legacy might be one reason, but probably not funds. In 1990, they nearly closed Dolni Rozinka, along with all the enough of one. Ore samples from the region led to the discovery of country’s other mines, but decided the social repercussions from the uranium by the German chemist Martin Klaproth in 1789 and to loss of jobs would be worse. Still, of the 3,000 people employed in Marie Curie’s extraction of radium more than a century later. Today, Rozna in the ‘80s, there are only 800 now. Of these, 120 do the Dolni Rozinka is the Czech Republic’s last active uranium mine, the only one operating in Europe outside of the Ukraine. Threetimes in the past decade various governments have decided to close it and each time they reconsidered. As prices for yellowcake soared,politicians reassessed the mine’s future. Finally, despite environ- The “winding down” mentality has stuck fast. At Dolni Rozinka, mental protests, on May 23, 2007, ministers approved an indefinite Czech officials seem content to let the operation run its course on existing resources while preventing exploratory works at otherpotential mines scattered across the country. In an environment In recent years, the mine has produced nearly 300 tU of uranium when strategically placed investment could bring excellent returns, annually, or less than 1% of world output. This year, it plans to crank the Czechs are being uncharacteristically myopic. Perhaps no one out 265 tU of yellowcake, UIW was told by Richard Vacula, an knows this better than Uran Limited, an ambitious Australian firm executive at Diamo, a state-owned enterprise that owns and operates that has been trying persistently for the past two years to invest in the mine executive. He added that over the next few years, the exploration and production in the Czech Republic, but without luck. company intends to keep annual production at the Rozna mine at thelevel of 200-230 tU. Since it went operational in 1957, Dolni In February 2007, proposals by the company to develop the Rozna Rozinka has produced 18,600 tU of uranium, according to Diamo.
mine were rejected by the government. As Minister Riman noted, And, if we go all the way back to 1945, when full-scale mining was “The offer by Uran Limited is interesting, but we will manage to launched, all Czech mines have produced a total 110,000 tU, which secure both extraction and exploration by ourselves.” Then, just last historically makes Czech Republic the world’s fifth-largest uranium month, the municipality of Pribyslav turned down an offer to carry producer in total output, by Diamo’s reckoning. out exploratory tests at Brzkov, one of five sites targeted by Uran forpotential exploration, with an estimated reserves of 7,500 tU. Peak production came in the ‘60s, when Czechoslovakia pro- duced some 2,700 tU of uranium annually, which went straight to Despite the rejection, the company remains optimistic. “Uran is the Soviet Union. Martin Riman, minister of trade and industry, taking the view that this is a long-term process that will require a lot complained last year that the quantity of uranium exported “almost of community consultation and education,” Managing Director for free” to the Soviet Union would be worth more than US$30 bil- Kate Hobbs told Australian radio in April. She said careless use of in-situ leeching in the northern part of the country left “significantenvironmental problems” and stigmatized uranium mining among During the ‘70s and ‘80s, the ore quality was standard, or slight- many Czechs. “I understand their wariness. … They are once bitten, ly less than 0.1%. But as the miners have probed deeper — they are now at 1,100 meters, or a distance two and one-half times theheight of Chicago’s Sears Towers — the ore quality has improved.
Hobbs says Uran’s exploratory methods are benign and involve In 2005-06, it averaged 0.3%, higher than the Australian average, either sinking a shaft or creating an underground “spiral decline” according to mine officials. It is thanks to this slightly higher grade wide enough for trucks to drive through, allowing them to bring ore that Dolni Rozinka manages to turn a profit. up more ore. “All you can see is an entrance in the hillside — fiveby five meters,” she said. Vaclav Cilek, who heads the Institute of Geology, echoes Hobbs’ opinion about popular sentiment:“Fortunately for Dolni Rozinka, people have got used to the mine.
On the downside, Diamo is locked into a supply agreement … But if you’d like to open a new mine, then it is very likely that with CEZ, the Czech state-owned utility and operator of the the public will have a negative attitude and will fiercely fight nuclear plants at Temelin and Dukovany, which together produce against any mining, especially of uranium.” 40% of the country’s electricity. Diamo must sell all its output toCEZ, and at a “substantial discount” to market prices, according Hobbs believes Uran Limited can win over the skeptics. “All to CEZ representatives. (Prices are confidential, they add.) With over Europe people are becoming conscious of energy self-sufficien- the government calling the shots on both ends, this arrangement is cy. And to me, the Czech Republic has a huge strategic opportunity unlikely to change; CEZ will continue reaping the benefit of any not only to secure its own energy supply but to continue selling ener- gy to the rest of Europe,” she told the Czech Business Weekly. Khalid Touqan, head of Jordan’s Nuclear Authority. The hope is The government may end a state monopoly on uranium mining, to have a bilateral deal concluded this summer. Jordan’s Nuclear according to a report in O Globo newspaper last week, which cited Authority is also talking with nuclear agencies from the United as its source Dilma Rousseff, the chief of staff of President Luiz States, France, Russia, China and Korea to weigh options on reactor Inacio Lula da Silva. Mining giant Cia. Vale do Rio Doce — Vale — designs. At the same time, Jordan’s Phosphates Mines is involved and mining and oil exploration holding company EBX are among in talks with SNC Lavalin on producing uranium from Jordanian private companies reportedly interested in exploring uranium deposits. The government recently decided to restart construction of a third 1,350 MW reactor at its Angra dos Reis nuclear plant near Rio de Janeiro. Construction on the unit began in the 1980s, but it Dutch utility EPZ has applied to used mixed-oxide fuel at its contro- was not completed because of political and financial stumbling versial Borssele reactor on the basis that it expects uranium prices to blocks. Angra’s existing reactors have been plagued by malfunc- remain high. EPZ has been reprocessing its fuel at Areva’s plant at tions, radioactive spillages, and shutdowns. La Hague under a long-term contract that exists until 2015, whichmeans it has a ready supply of otherwise zero-value plutonium to use in the fuel. The utility submitted a “project initiative document” to A majority of citizens oppose construction of another reactor the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and after Olkiluoto-3 is completed, according to a poll. With three must now prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the industrial groups investigating the possibility of further reactor feasibility of MOX use, weighed against other options. EPZ expects construction, a survey of some 1,000 Finnish voters found that to submit the EIS during the first half of 2009. Connected to the grid 53% opposed a sixth reactor, while 34% had no objections. The in July 1973, the Borssele pressurized water reactor was to have been poll by Taloustutkimus Oy was commissioned by public broadcaster phased out by 2003, but the ruling conservative government pushed YLE, with results released last week. Finland currently has four the closure date back to 2013, and in 2005 abandoned the phaseout operating reactors, including two at Olkiluoto in the southwest, where Areva is building the country’s fifth. Finland’s parliamentwill vote on whether to approve a new nuclear reactor by the third quarter of 2010. Teollisuuden Voima expects an environmen- The price tag for the two AP1000 nuclear reactors proposed for tal impact assessment for its Olkiluoto-4 application on Jun. 21.
Georgia Power’s Vogtle nuclear generating station is coming in at Fortum Oyi, Finland’s biggest utility, could receive its environ- about $14 billion, judging by a utility filing with state regulators.
mental assessment for the Loviisa-3 application Aug. 16, accord- Georgia Power said its cost for the 2,200 MW station would be ing to a government schedule presented to reporters on Friday. approximately $6.4 billion, reflecting its 45.7% ownership interest.
The utility’s parent, Southern Company, recently signed an engineer- ing, procurement and construction contract for an undisclosed Russia has signed on to UN Security Council sanctions approved amount with Westinghouse Electric and Shaw to get the nuclear on Mar. 3 aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons reactors built and on line, once they are certified by the Georgia technology. A decree to that effect was signed on May 5 by former Public Service Commission (PSC) and approved by the US Nuclear President Vladimir Putin. The document bars Russian entry to five Regulatory Commission. Under the Georgia PSC’s rules, anyone Iranians allegedly involved in nuclear proliferation who are named in seeking approval to develop baseload generation must seek compet- Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747. It also calls for inspec- ing bids. However, in this case, no competing bids were submitted tion of cargoes suspected of carrying prohibited goods, as well as by the May 1 deadline (UIW, Apr 21,p3). State regulators are greater vigilance by Russian financial firms in business dealings expected to make a final certification decision in March 2009 with Iran-based banks. It is not clear how the move will affect ener- regarding the new nuclear capacity planned to go on line in 2016 gy relations, including the reactor project at Bushehr. Sales of nuclear equipment and semiconductors will help Toshiba Progress Energy Chief Executive William Johnson is targeting the more than double operating profits within three years, the company third quarter for a decision on whether to build two new reactors in said Friday. In a forecast that beats most analysts’ estimates, Japan’s Levy County, Florida.``We need something in Florida by 2016, that largest reactor manufacturer and chipmaker said operating profits, or means we’ve got to make a decision this year,” he told Bloomberg sales less the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, would in an interview at the Nuclear Energy Institute conference in rise to 500 billion yen ($4.8 billion) in March 2011 from 238.1 bil- Chicago last week. “I would like to make a decision sometime lion yen last fiscal year. Toshiba has set a target of securing orders probably in the third quarter.’’ Johnson said the utility’s recent $7 for 33 nuclear reactors by December 2015 and now expects to recoup billion estimate for building each of the Westinghouse AP1000s was its Westinghouse investment within 13 years of purchase, compared the result of spending more time “estimating commodities, the with the 14 years forecast in April 2007 and the 17 years foreseen at quantities on this project, than we have ever looked at before on anything.” He predicted there would be an initial wave of 4-8 newnuclear plants completed before 2020, with a bigger wave of new units under construction beginning in 2012 “if this first wave goes A Canadian foreign ministry delegation will visit the country this well.” Talks with Westinghouse parent company Toshiba are pro- week to finalize talks on a nuclear cooperation agreement in hopes gressing, he said, adding that “we’re a lot closer today than we of facilitating the sale of a 750 MW Candu reactor, according to E N E R G Y I N T E L L I G E N C E U R A N I U M M A R K E T U P D A T E Previously known as the Nukem Weekly Report and the Nukem Price Bulletin Monthly Spot Market Prices
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