Monday, December 17, 2012

Australia Is Celebrating Japan's LDP Win, Sending Share Prices of Uranium Miners Soaring

Australian uranium miners are positive that the reactors in Japan will be back on shortly under the LDP administration, as they are certain that US$100 million a day spent on extra coal, oil and gas is simply unsustainable for Japan. Australia is here to help, they say.

Sydney Morning Herald reports the shares of Paladin soared more than 8% on Monday following the Japanese election results:

(The announcer looks pretty, but her Australian English is scary.)

Also from the paper's article (12/18/2012; emphasis is mine):

Producers bullish on Japanese demand

by Paddy Manning

GLOBAL uranium demand is set to rebound as Japan's nuclear reactors are gradually switched back on by the new Liberal Democratic Party government, elected over the weekend.

Greg Hall, managing director of junior Toro Energy, said Japan had been spending an additional $US100 million a day on extra coal, oil and gas, which represented a ''very, very high cost''.

After the weekend's election, he said the country now had the political will to restart its reactors. A new independent safety authority would be in place by April and Japan's nuclear power capacity would be restored through 2013-15.

Shares in uranium producers Paladin Energy and Rio Tinto's Energy Resources Australia surged on Monday - by 8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively - and the spot price of uranium oxide neared $US44 a pound.

Paladin Energy chief John Borshoff predicted Germany, too, would eventually return to the nuclear power fold. ''Germany can't survive on a no-nuclear basis with all the countries around it pouring electricity into the country. How could Japan survive as an island country?''

Mr Borshoff said it was impossible for Japan to do without 27 per cent of its electricity-generating capacity. ''We've been working on the basis the nuclear programs will resume in some modified form. Germany have set an irreversible path but I believe in eight-10 years they'll be back on the drawing board.''

UBS resources analyst Glyn Lawcock welcomed the Japanese news saying it had been a ''torrid'' 18 months for uranium markets since the closure of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor after last year's Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Japan shut its fleet of 54 reactors in the wake of the partial meltdown, causing power shortages and a rise in energy prices as coal, oil and gas made up the shortfall.

Spot uranium prices fell from their pre-Fukushima level of about $US65/lb to a low of $US40.80 in November and have recovered somewhat since.

Mr Lawcock said until recently investors had been concerned that Japan, which had deferred some deliveries of uranium as stockpiles rose, would turn around and become a net seller into the world market. Paladin was better placed than ERA to benefit, he said, because three-quarters of its output would be sold at prices linked to a rising spot market.

UBS commodities analyst Tom Price said the Fukushima Daiichi reactor was one of Japan's oldest and slated for closure within two years. ''Fukushima was a genuine tragedy but nuclear is a genuine alternative for baseload power stations to coal, and relatively cheap, once built,'' he said.

The indefinite deferral of BHP Billiton's Olympic Dam expansion, and the re-election of the LDP in Japan, were ''two bull points'' for the uranium price and UBS was forecasting a recovery to $US50/lb in 2013, and $US55/lb in 2014 and a long-term price of $US65/lb, he said.

Toro Energy is expecting a decision this week from federal Environment Minister Tony Burke on its 100 per cent-owned Wiluna uranium mine in Western Australia. Toro shares were unchanged on Monday at 11.5¢.

"Mr Borshoff said it was impossible for Japan to do without 27 per cent of its electricity-generating capacity" ??

Mr. Borshoff clearly isn't aware (or chooses not to be aware) that Japan has been doing without the so-called 27% of electricity-generating capacity ever since March 11, 2011, and all it has suffered was a manufactured threat of rolling blackouts thanks to then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano and NISA's Nishimura.

"UBS commodities analyst Tom Price...'Fukushima was a genuine tragedy but nuclear is a genuine alternative for baseload power stations to coal, and relatively cheap, once built'"??

Nuclear power plants needs electricity from other power plants to operate, not at all suitable for baseload power stations. And for him to say nuclear is cheap once the plant is built, I suppose he is assuming an accident will never happen.

Mr. Greg Hall, managing director of junior Toro Energy talks about the "political will to restart the reactors".

LDP won two-thirds of the seats by getting votes of only 25% of eligible voters (or 42% of votes actually cast). It's hardly a mandate, but yes political will will be there, which has hardly anything to do with what the majority of the citizens want.

Mr. Hall says one thing that greatly distresses me: new independent safety authority will be in place by April. Hmmm. Either he doesn't know about the Nuclear Regulatory Authority that exists already, or the current Nuclear Regulatory Authority will be ditched, as I've been fearing all along.


Anonymous said...


Australia loves its mining industry so much that it's all but destroyed every other of its industries. They love exporting all that Uranium so it can be used to destroy the rest of the world. Then they use the money to build Titanic 2. All of these countries are part of the problem.

Timo Baumann said...

Germany is still exporting more electricity than it is importing (so much for electricity being poured into it), and the wholesale price for electricity is trending down, especially during high-demand time (despite the economy in Germany being still OK, unlike the rest of Europe).

How do they manage? Re-newable energies.

Why would I build a NPP that is 'relatively cheap' once it's built if the alternative is to build wind generators and solar plants that produce basically for free once they are built? That can easily be black-started? That (in Germany) reduce coal&oil imports by about 2.5 billion/year?

Japan being an island means that there should be quite a long short line that wind generators could be put on. I didn't see a single wind generator when I was in Japan three years ago.

Anonymous said...

This will not happen. Thanks(?) to the coming aftershock. There is NO FUTURE in nuclear power.

Anonymous said...

- Minimum availability of wind & solar last year : 2%
- The rest: a bit of hydro + fossil + (mainly quite dirty) biomass
- You obviously can't black-start if there is no sun and wind!

What Germany (& everyone) needs is credible storage solutions for wind+solar, and a much stronger grid to shuttle electricity around. Otherwise, the whole exercise is just a fig leaf for fossil plants.

Anonymous said...

LDP victory is sad day for Japan, sad day for the region, a sad day for all countries with Pacific Ocean shoreline and fisheries, and a sad day for the world. Re-opening nuclear power plants in Japan is madness. Experts examining the plant in Hokkaido have already deemed it inoperable as it sits directly on several fault lines. This is true of almost every nuclear plant in Japan. West coast of Japan receives constant winds--they could generate large percentage of energy need from wind farms. Kyushu sits on a sea of magma. The whole island could be powered by geo-thermal plants. I have always admired the stoicism of Japan and the Japanese people but on this issue they have become like ostriches.

Anonymous said...

"Nuclear power plants needs electricity from other power plants to operate"

This applies to (almost) all traditional power generating facilities, esp. thermal.

"Germany can't survive on a no-nuclear basis with all the countries around it pouring electricity into the country. "

Indeed, Germany is a net exporter. Detailed figures here:$file/110912_Anhang%20PI%20Stromaustausch%20mit%20dem%20Ausland.pdf

Unlike published in several press reports, the physical power flows from the Czech Republic rose in the period January to June 2011, not 673 percent, but only 15.7 percent. Completely correct data supplied material can be found in the appendix to this release. Germany is a central location European hub for European current flow and exchange of electricity directly with nine neighboring countries. For a large part of these cross-border flows are not contracted deliveries, but transit volumes and loop flows. From German networks flowed in the first half of 2011, with approximately 29 billion kWh less abroad than in the same period last year (31 billion kWh). The current flows from abroad also rose significantly, they were in the first six months of 2011, approximately 25 billion kWh (H1 2010: 20 billion kWh). Overall, there is currently an exchange balance of 4 billion kWh. came from France in the first half of 2011 by 42 percent, the largest share of flows to Germany, the Czech Republic with 22 percent of the second largest. The largest amounts of electricity flowed from Germany to Austria (27 percent) and Switzerland (25 percent).

Anonymous said...

That announcer looks like a fucking Automaton , scary... like something from Terminator..

Anonymous said...

The Aussie article is one long LIE.

"UBS commodities analyst Tom Price said the Fukushima Daiichi reactor was one of Japan's oldest and slated for closure within two years."

Bullshit! Daiichi was given a 10 year license extension 1 month before the accident!

"Like the NRC, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which extended Fukushima Daiichi's operating license by 10 years just a month before the accident, has adopted a "probabilistic approach to regulation.""

And yes Germany has become a net energy exporter after the nuclear shutdown.

Anonymous said...

Germany still has 9 plants in operation

Anonymous said...

Why are quasi-greens always clueless to the very high ecological cost for all the renewable energies - ever looked at the nasty components that make up batteries, solar cells, wind turbines etc - looks good until you look at the component contents list, the impact to the planet on the mining and disposal of these nasties - suddenly properly constructed and maintained NPP's look 'green'. Before you hit back blindly, just do yourself a favour and have a look for yourself and make up your own mind instead of repeating well worn and inaccurate propaganda.

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