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July 12, 2010

China is Stockpiling Uranium and the Ukraine has Increased Nuclear Generation

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1. China is buying unprecedented amounts of uranium, signaling that prices are poised to rebound after three years of declines.
The nation may purchase about 5,000 metric tons this year, more than twice as much as it consumes, building stockpiles for new reactors, according to Thomas Neff, a physicist and uranium- industry analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Prices will jump by about 32 percent next year, the most since 2006, RBC Capital Markets said

Uranium will climb to an average $55 a pound next year as demand erodes supplies, according to Adam Schatzker, a metals analyst at RBC in Toronto. Max Layton, at Macquarie Bank Ltd. in London, forecasts it will climb to $56.25 next year and $60 in five years.

Spot trades of uranium oxide totaled 20.9 million pounds this year. (About one seventh of overall annual demand of 69,000 tons

China’s demand for uranium may rise to 20,000 tons a year by 2020. China plans to boost nuclear power 85 gigawatts in 2020. India will need about 8,000 tons as it quadruples capacity to 20 gigawatts
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China plans at least 60 new reactors by 2020, Xu Yuming, executive director of the China Nuclear Energy Association, said in Beijing on July 6. The average 1,000-megawatt reactor costs about $3 billion, according to the World Nuclear Association. Loading a new reactor requires about 400 tons of uranium to start


2. Ukraine's nuclear power plants over-fulfilled their plan on electricity generation by 3.6% in January-April 2010, to 29.592 billion kWh, the Fuel and Energy Ministry's press service has reported. Four nuclear power plants with 15 nuclear reactors with an installed capacity of 13,888 MW are operating in Ukraine

3. The OECD nuclear generation was down 1.2% in Q1 2010.

Why the slight underperformance relative to 2009 for Q1 2010 ?

* 561.6 TWH for three months at -1.2% versus Q1 2009. annualized 2246.4 which is 128 TWH more than the actual annual 2128 TWH. So actually repeating that quarter 3 more times would produce 2007 or 2008 type numbers.

* US down 1.9% for the quarter and Europe OECD down 2.5%, Asia OECD up 3.5%

Korea, France, Canada, Mexico and several other countries were down 5-9% in nuclear generation. Sweden was down 20%.

4. Jan-May 2010 numbers for the USA. Year-to-date 2010 nuclear generation is 0.8 percent behind the same period in 2009 but is slightly higher than the same period for the record year in 2007. Back in March, the US was -1.9% vs 2009.

For Japan, April 20% over april 2009, May 5.9% over May 2009.



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