The uranium sector has rung in the New Year quietly with spot prices pulling back to $42.25 per pound (from $45 in the second half of December), but the stage is set for interest to pick up throughout 2013. News of Japanese reactor restarts is perhaps the single biggest catalyst to watch for this year in the sector. A recent poll suggests that mayors in 54% of Japanese towns with nuclear reactors are in favor of restarting them, provided that safety and monitoring standards are increased. The second key event to watch for in 2013 is the expiry of the Russian Megatons to Megawatts (HEU) Agreement. A transitional agreement is in place whereby USEC Inc. (USU) will continue to source part of its (LEU) uranium supply from Russia's TENEX, but that material will be sourced from Russian commercial enrichment activities, as opposed to the downblending of Russian HEU material. This transfer of dependence from a secondary supply (downblending of Russian warheads) to a primary supply (commercial enrichment from material sourced from non-HEU ...(end snip)
Laser Enrichment License Approval Stands at Nuclear Agency Deadline
Jan. 17, 2013
By Elaine M. Grossman
Global Security Newswire
A roadway marker points to nuclear fuel operations at a GE-Hitachi campus in North Carolina. Thursday marks the last day on which the five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission could revisit a license approval decision allowing laser uranium enrichment operations at the site (Tom Clements/Alliance for Nuclear Accountability).
WASHINGTON -- Federal approval for the energy consortium GE-Hitachi to produce nuclear fuel through a controversial state-of-the-art laser enrichment process could soon be sealed, as Thursday marks the last day on which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission could act to revisit a September recommendation on the project.