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Nuclear energy’s back to pre-Fukushima levels, Russian source states

by Greg Klein | March 10, 2015

Uranium-watchers might remain preoccupied with Japan but the rest of the nuclear world has returned to a “pre-Fukushima state,” according to at least one authority. In an interview with the news agency RIA Novosti quoted by the World Nuclear News on March 10, Leonid Bolshov, director of the Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said predictions of a slowdown have proven false.

“Calls for the abandonment of nuclear power crop up every now and then in different countries but these are, as a rule, the result of short-term political speculation and go against the everyday needs of national economies,” the WNN quoted him.

The Japanese reactor shutdowns resulted from a “state of fear” followed by an “emotional” response in other countries that was “unfortunately tied to politics,” Bolshov said. Yet nuclear energy is growing worldwide, he maintained.

Data from the International Atomic Energy Agency shows the world now has 440 nuclear power units in operation and another 68 under construction, the WNN stated.

Ux Consulting gave uranium a March 9 price indicator of $39.25, representing a steady climb since January, when uranium suddenly fell below $36 from its post-Fukushima high of $44 in November. Speaking at January’s Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, GoviEx Uranium CSE:GXU CEO Daniel Major attributed the $44 level to “a single big buyer who came in for a million pounds. It really ran the market and you had some jiggery-pokery with some of the traders.”

Term contracts, however, fetch higher prices. That’s a point often emphasized by Paladin Energy TSX:PDN managing director/CEO John Borshoff, whose public pronouncements remain bullish in the face of poor price performance. In a conference call last month he argued the world would need about 70 million pounds of new annual supply by 2020 to meet growth in China, Japan, the Middle East, India and Russia. A shortage in near- and medium-term supply “appears unavoidable post-2015,” Borshoff insisted.

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