Uranium Prices Stutter After Prior Week’s Steep Ascent

Spot uranium prices were unable to follow up the prior week’s steep ascent, with TradeTech’s weekly spot indicator shedding 20 cents to $20.40 per lb with a wide spread between bid and asks limiting the number of completed transactions to 5 with 500,000 lbs of uranium changing hands. In the prior week, prices jumped 3% – showing their first large, weekly advance in months.

While uranium prices have been only slightly positive for the past few weeks (ignoring the big jump two weeks prior) there has been a pretty constant stream of price-supportive developments for the nuclear sector with Japan restarting some reactors, India increasing its nuclear ambitions, and nuclear power plant construction continuing at a good clip in China. However; last week there was some negative news for the uranium sector with plant closures and cost overruns in the U.S. putting the country’s nuclear power future under question.

In South Carolina, after $9 billion in expenditures, contractors are halting all work on the V. C. Sumner nuclear station. This followed the news that work was suspended at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia after the project fell behind on schedule and had massive cost overruns. But, this week things have started to look up for Vogtle.

Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) said it decided it still sees the benefit of completing its two-unit construction project at Plant Vogtle in Georgia despite ballooning costs. This does not mean the project will immediately go forward, but there is a likelihood that it will, soon, with Southern Co.’s CEO saying there would be “nothing to show” for the company’s investment if it were to simply walk away.

Leia Toovey has a B.Sc. in geology from Simon Fraser University, and her degree had a focus on resource economics. Out of school, she started working in the booming mining industry of Vancouver, Canada, covering junior mining stocks and commodities including potash, copper, nickel, oil and gold. Then she moved to New York and worked as a commodities analyst covering a breadth of commodities, from the Baltic Dry Index through the softs. As a geologist she has a greater understanding of the exploration and extraction side of commodities, and how changes in technology and the depletion of resources impact pricing. At Economic Calendar she covers a variety of commodities, providing daily technical and fundamental analysis and assessing major market developments.