Uranium Poised for Bull Market as Japan Reviews Reactors
By Ben Sharples and Tsuyoshi Inajima
Japan, once Asia’s largest nuclear power producer, may restart one in every five reactors this year after safety reviews following the Fukushima disaster, driving uranium back into a bull market.
The nation may open 10 units, according to the median of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Japan has been without atomic power since September, with its 50 reactors shut pending inspections by regulators. Uranium will average $41 a pound this year, or 14 percent more than now, a separate survey of five analysts showed.
Uranium slumped 51 percent since the earthquake and tsunami that led to the meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in March 2011. Stronger demand will boost profit for producers from Kazakhstan to Australia, some of whom canceled projects and closed mines as prices tumbled. Opening reactors will make Japan less dependent on imports of fossil fuels that contributed to a record current-account deficit.
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