If you want to know where the uranium market is headed, keep an eye on these countries... Read more...
nuclear power plants
- Unloved Uranium is About to Get Much More Attractive
- Why Uranium Prices Are at a Critical Tipping Point
- Toshiba Talks Highlight Nuclear Power Slow Down
- Japan Nuclear Crisis: New Power Plant Construction Renaissance in Peril
Thanks to considerably higher energy costs, the demand for nuclear power continues to rise.
This year alone, 65 nuclear power plants are under construction, another 160 new reactors are currently in the planning stages, and 340 more have been proposed. Even Japan is now shifting its stance on nuclear power. According to Japan Today, newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now says he is willing to build new nuclear reactors.
The demand for uranium is clearly going to be getting stronger, which presents a problem. There is already a uranium supply deficit of 40 million pounds a year.
But supply and demand are only part of the uranium story...
Toshiba said earlier this year it would consider offers as long as it retained majority control over Westinghouse.
Toshiba paid $4.16 billion in 2006 for a 77% stake in Westinghouse. In 2007, Toshiba sold a 10% stake in Westinghouse to Kazatomprom of Kazakhstan, leaving the company with 67% of Westinghouse.
But Toshiba's stake will jump to 87% in January when a sale from The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE: SHAW) becomes final. Shaw in September 2011 exercised an option to sell its stock after it agreed to be taken over by rival Chicago Bridge & Iron.
An 87% stake would give Toshiba too much exposure to a nuclear industry rattled by the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on Friday have caused a series of catastrophic failures in several nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Attempts to cool overheating fuel rods have led to four explosions, giving rise to fear over how much nuclear radiation may have escaped.
As the crisis has deepened, so has its potential to inflict lasting damage on the nuclear industry.