Friday, January 20, 2017
Japan certifies tenth nuclear reactor for service
Japan's nuclear watchdog said two reactors in southwestern Japan passed safety screenings Wednesday, marking a total of 10 units cleared for restart since all nuclear plants were ordered shut down following the March 2011 meltdown at Fukushima.
The No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Genkai plant, overseen by Kyushu Electric Power in Saga Prefecture, are slated to resume operations by this summer at the earliest. Since tougher rules were put in place in 2013, applications for safety inspections covering 26 reactors at 16 plants have been filed.
The restart of Japanese reactors has been painfully slow. Nevertheless Japan remains committed to nuclear power. This makes sense as the country is deficient in oil and natural gas. As time goes on Japan will certify more reactors and more reactors will be allowed to operate.
In the meantime China, India, Russia, and many other countries have been moving forward with new reactor builds. Over the next five years the world will require close to a billion pounds of uranium. I suspect it will not be mined at current prices. prices must go higher to incentivize producers to commit capital to new production.