What's inside the Ux Weekly

February 23, 2015

Macro Trends and the Uranium Market
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission could be downsized 10% by 2020
Unit 2 at Atucha NPP in Argentina now operating at full capacity
EU investigating Russian contract to build reactors in Hungary
AREVA warns of US$5.6 billion loss for 2014
AREVA to provide fuel design and nuclear testing services to NuScale
Japan’s MOX fuel imports cost up to nine times higher than conventional uranium fuel
Operations at CNNC’s Azelik mine in Niger suspended due to poor economics
Uranerz announces wellfield expansion at Nichols Ranch ISR project
WA EPA approves ESD for Wiluna uranium project extension
The Market
The industry's leading source of Publications, Data Services, and Consulting, on the Global Nuclear Fuel Cycle Markets
Seminar

5th Annual Small Modular Reactor Conference

NEI/WNA - World Nucler Fuel Cycle

UxC's Uranium Market Outlook (UMO) highlights recent developments and their impact on the market.

Each quarterly report, at over 130 pages, covers key supply and demand developments as well as the overall supply and demand situation, reviews spot and long-term contract activity over the past three months, provides a near-term technical analysis along with detailed spot market indicators, projects prices under different market scenarios with associated probabilities, and examines key developments in the market through a topical essay.

This quarter’s essay, “Development of the UxC U-PRICE™ Model” discusses the development of UxC’s new econometrically-based model of the uranium market, which accounts for key factors influencing the market and better simulates uranium prices and related market variables.

Also included are a review of recent market activity and a look a current and prospective activity, and a detailed listing of reactor and production developments that promise to shape the future market.

Uranium Suppliers Annual

Sometimes referred to as "The Uranium Bible", the Uranium Suppliers Annual contains comprehensive data and information on all of the world's uranium suppliers, including detailed sections on planned producers and junior/exploration companies.

Whether you are a utility, producer, trader, or investor, the Uranium Suppliers Annual provides the basis for understanding potential future developments surrounding the availability of supply, particularly since uranium production has continued to be sub-par against a backdrop of growing demand. In light of the increasing volatile nature of the uranium market, primary and potential suppliers are continuously re-evaluating their properties and future production plans, as well as expanding exploration programs where economically feasible.

Uranium Production Cost Study

The Uranium Production Cost Study complements UxC’s Uranium Market Outlook (UMO) and Uranium Supplier’s Annual (USA) in identifying where expanded and new uranium supply will come from among 116 worldwide projects to meet future nuclear fuel demand through 2030.

UxC's Conversion Market Outlook (CMO) details an often overlooked market.

Each bi-annual report, at over 120 pages, covers key supply and demand developments as well as the overall supply and demand situation, reviews spot and long-term contract activity over the past three months, provides a near-term technical analysis along with detailed spot market indicators, projects prices under different market scenarios with associated probabilities, and examines key developments in the market through a topical essay.

Chapter 1 presents our essay entitled “Russia’s Conversion Industry in Transition,” which discusses the historical and current state of Russia’s conversion industry and how recent decisions and market conditions may shape the country’s approach to uranium conversion in the future.

Also included are a review of recent market activity and a look a current and prospective activity, and a detailed listing of reactor and production developments that promise to shape the future market.

UxC's Enrichment Market Outlook (EMO) Covers a Dynamic and Key Segment of the Overall Nuclear Fuel Market.

Enrichment developments not only are important for understanding the enrichment market, but are also crucial for understanding the future progression of the uranium market. Since uranium and enrichment are substitutes, increases in enrichment supply can have a major impact on the future demand for uranium. Each quarterly report, at over 110 pages, covers key supply and demand developments as well as the overall supply and demand situation, reviews spot and long-term contract activity over the past three months, provides a near-term technical analysis along with detailed spot market indicators, projects prices under different market scenarios with associated probabilities, and examines key developments in the market through a topical essay.

This issue’s essay, “2014: A Year of Reckoning for Enrichers,” examines a number of factors that likely will make 2014 a watershed year for enrichment. For one, the long-term SWU price fell to its lowest level historically in real terms, and, except for a couple of low-price years in 1990 and 1991, the spot price would be in the same boat. Because of the depressed market, enrichers encountered financial problems, notably AREA and USEC (now Centrus Energy), and a number of production cutbacks and delays resulted. The biggest development related to the future of Russia, as the West imposed sanctions and Russia’s international relations and economy suffered. China re-entered the market, but this likely had more to do with delays in its nuclear build program. As a result of all of these development, the future of enrichment supply has reached a new level of uncertainty with which utilities will have to contend.

Also included are a review of recent market activity and a look a current and prospective activity, and a detailed listing of reactor and production developments that promise to shape the future market.

UxC's Enrichment Suppliers Assessments (ESA)

USEC recently declared its intention to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and re-emerge as a leaner, new enrichment company. What will happen to the American Centrifuge Project (ACP)? Where will USEC find the funding for the ACP? How will the new USEC survive until an ACP plant can be built? These are just a few of the multitude of questions raised by the USEC bankruptcy announcement. UxC’s USEC Watch subscriber service follows all of USEC’s activities in depth and analyzes their consequences for the company and also for their impact on the enrichment market as a whole. Learn more about the ESA.

USEC Watch: Analysis of USEC Notice for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

This report is focused on in-depth descriptions and analyses of the major uranium enrichment suppliers, their sources of Separative Work Units (SWUs) supply , and the enrichment technologies they employ. Details on each enricher include, among other items: Company history, Ownership & Organizational structure, Financial status & performance, Importance of enrichment to its overall business, Current and future sources of enrichment supplies, Market strategy, Client base and contract portfolio, and Direct impact of any trade restrictions on its enrichment business. Learn more about USEC Watch.

End of an Era: The HEU Agreement and Beyond

“End of an Era: The HEU Agreement and Beyond,” examines the HEU deal from an historical standpoint, and addresses the impact of the deal’s end on the parties to the deal and nuclear fuel market as a whole. In this regard, the essay takes a close look at the fate the Russian enrichment plants, Russia’s enrichment industry after the HEU Agreement, and the fate of USEC. Looking forward, we turn to examining the likelihood of follow-on to the HEU Agreement as well as the prospects for the SWU and uranium markets in the post-HEU era. Get more information.

UxC's Fabrication Market Outlook (FMO)

UxC and its consultant, Joel Gingold, with over forty years experience in the fuel fabrication industry, have prepared a comprehensive and up-to-date Fabrication Market Outlook (FMO) report addressing the commercial, economic, institutional, and technical aspects of this sector. Fabrication differs greatly from other steps in the fuel cycle. Its high technical content, need for regulatory approval, and the restriction of fuel assemblies to specific reactors require a unique approach to its analysis. To those with little knowledge of fuel fabrication and its markets, this report can serve as a primer providing a solid background and understanding of how its markets function. To those knowledgeable in the fundamentals, it offers analyses of a variety of its aspects based on several decades of participation. To those who are actively involved in the industry, it supplies additional insights to assist in the improvement of existing nuclear fuel programs and in the development of new ones.

This year’s in-depth topical essay entitled "The Death of Competition?" pulls together the competition-related portions of previous essays, adds additional analyses and insights and presents a comprehensive assessment of the present declining trends in competition, how the fabrication markets may develop in future years and what (if anything) can be done to enhance competition in various global markets.

UxC's Nuclear Grade Zirconium Alloy Market Outlook

UxC has prepared a new special report to provide an overview of the zirconium alloy market for the nuclear industry entitled Nuclear Grade Zirconium Alloy Market Outlook. Nuclear-grade zirconium alloys and products are used in the fabrication of fuel assemblies, which are used in the vast majority of nuclear reactor designs either currently operating, under construction, or planned around the world. As the nuclear renaissance takes hold in countries all over the globe, many questions about the international nuclear supply chain have arisen. The supply of nuclear-grade zirconium – from zircon mineral sand through the cladding and components used in finished fuel assemblies – has also not escaped this scrutiny. Therefore, the primary objective of this report is to factually and analytically approach the current and expected future direction of the nuclear-grade zirconium market to help formulate clear conclusions about how producers of fuel assemblies for nuclear reactors will obtain the necessary zirconium for their finished products.

UxC's Nuclear Power Outlook (NPO)

Each quarterly report, at over 200 pages, covers key supply and demand developments as well as the overall supply and demand situation, reviews spot and long-term contract activity over the past three months, provides a near-term technical analysis along with detailed spot market indicators, projects prices under different market scenarios with associated probabilities, and examines key developments in the market through a topical essay.

This quarter’s Chapter 1 – Nuclear Power Market Trends and Analysis starts with our annual “Year in Review” that focuses on analyzing the key developments and nuclear market trends from 2014. We also look at expectations for the nuclear markets in the coming year. Our “In the Spotlight” section this quarter provides an in-depth look at Sweden’s nuclear power prospects following the recent change to a new government that opposes nuclear. Lastly, we identify who is up and who is down within the global nuclear industry over the past quarter.

Also included are a review of recent market activity and a look a current and prospective activity, and a detailed listing of reactor and production developments that promise to shape the future market.

UxC Analyzes Reactor Technology

In March 2013, UxC issued a new special report on the SMR Market Outlook (SMO). This 450 page report provides comprehensive commercial and technical analysis of the overall SMR market and detailed reviews of the leading SMR designs in the world. The SMO report is the result of UxC’s continuing efforts to provide its global clients with insightful products and services in the SMR sector. It includes a global SMR market review along with a global outlook for SMR market developments as well as deployment forecasts to 2040.

In December 2010, UxC issued a groundbreaking special report on Small Modular Reactor Assessments (SMRA). This report’s objective is to provide technical, economic, and other commercial assessments of each of the SMR designs being developed in the world today. In addition, the report provides an in-depth discussion of the broader issues impacting SMRs, such as the keys to successful deployment for SMRs, comparisons with larger reactor technologies, specific applications for SMRs, and the broader issues facing potential customers for SMRs.

In August 2008, UxC completed a special report on Nuclear Reactor Technology Assessments. This in-depth study provides nuclear reactor technology assessments and overall evaluations of the major reactor designs currently available in the world. The decision of which reactor design to pursue is an extremely important one and must be based on many factors, such as the robustness of the technology, the constructability of the plant, the plant economics - both initial and operating, the type of fuel used, the ability to license and regulate, among a variety of other considerations.

UxC's SpentFUEL and StoreFUEL

UxC is not only expanding its geopolitical coverage of the market, but is also now covering more of the fuel cycle. In June 2007, UxC began to publish SpentFUEL and StoreFUEL, two leading newsletters dealing with the backend of the fuel cycle.

Both publications cover major fuel cycle and backend-related conferences in detail. In addition, UxC can advise clients in issues related to the back end of the fuel cycle, including profiles of utility spent fuel storage facilities and plans, country profiles, vendor profiles, etc.


Latest Headlines

GDF Suez says Areva guaranteed turbine, reactor projects
Reuters (Feb 26, 2015)
GDF Suez CEO says AREVA has given assurances it will be able to deliver wind turbines and reactors.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/gdfsuez-areva-guarantees-idUKL5N0W03ZO20150226
Westinghouse Gets Behind European Commission's Energy Union
Nuclear Street (Feb 26, 2015)
Westinghouse commends the European Commission for launching the Energy Union initiative.
http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2015/02/26/westinghouse-gets-behind-european-commission_2700_s-energy-union-022601.aspx#.VO9gpS5cDWk
Southern Co. CEO bullish on new nuclear plants, despite recent delays
Charlotte Business Journal (Feb 24, 2015)
Southern Company’s CEO discusses the importance of nuclear power and Vogtle expansion.
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/energy/2015/02/southern-co-ceo-bullish-on-new-nuclear-plants.html
Europe launches its Energy Union
World Nuclear News (Feb 25, 2015)
The European Union launches a strategic, continent-wide system called the Energy Union.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Europe-launches-its-Energy-Union-2502151.html
France Warns of Nuclear Industry Shake-Up After Areva Loss
New York Times (Feb 23, 2015)
French Energy Minister informed the press that an overhaul of the state-controlled nuclear industry is imminent.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/business/international/areva-nuclear-results.html?_r=0
Areva May Get Cash, Tie-Ups With EDF Amid $5.6 Billion Loss
Bloomberg (Feb 23, 2015)
French Energy Minister says the government is considering ways to support AREVA.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-23/areva-has-5-6-billion-loss-on-delays-weak-nuclear-demand
EU examines Hungary’s nuclear deal with Russia
EuroNews (Feb 23, 2015)
The European Commission is reviewing the deal between Russia and Hungary for two reactors.
http://www.euronews.com/2015/02/23/eu-examines-hungary-s-nuclear-deal-with-russia/
Areva, French Nuclear Giant, Warns of $5.6 Billion Loss
New York Times (Feb 23, 2015)
AREVA has warned that the company may see a loss of $5.6 billion in 2014.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/business/international/areva-nuclear-results.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1
Tensions Rise in Central Europe Over Use of Russian Nuclear Technology
Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) (Feb 20, 2015)
Article discusses a proposal to build a Russian nuclear fuel plant in Central or Eastern Europe.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/tensions-rise-in-central-europe-over-use-of-russian-nuclear-technology-1424439629
Regulators approve latest spending on Ga. nuclear plant
Associated Press (Feb 20, 2015)
The Georgia Public Service Commission has voted to approve the amount spent on Plant Vogtle expansion.
http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/28155616/regulators-approve-latest-spending-on-ga-nuclear-plant

Today's Lighter Side

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