Sunday, August 9, 2015

Finally, nuclear is back in Japan


Kyushu Electric Power Co. is planning to restart the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture as early as Tuesday, sources said Friday.

That would make it the first reactor to be brought back online since the country’s new safety standards were introduced more than two years ago.

The last nuclear power reactor in operation in Japan was shuttered in September 2013. The new nuclear safety standards, introduced in July of that year, were compiled following the triple-meltdown crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which was damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

On Monday, Kyushu Electric will conduct a safety check of control rods that will be placed into the Sendai No. 1 reactor.

If no problems are found with the control rods, the utility, which serves Kyushu’s southwestern region, will reactivate the reactor, the sources said.

It has been a long time coming but rational observers knew it was going to happen eventually. Japan is running a serious trade deficit due to the importation of all the LNG and coal that has been needed to replace the nuclear generation that was offline. We should see a slow and steady amount of reactor restarts in Japan over the next couple of years. The rest of the world has continued building and commissioning reactors. The price of uranium has continued to languish and the entire uranium sector is washed out. I have called the bottom before and been wrong but the fact remains there will eventually be uranium shortages if the price of uranium stays at these low levels. the investment necessary to achieve a supply demand balance in uranium can only take place at higher uranium prices. patience is required. 

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