Skip to main content

NEI's Energy Markets Report - January 14-January 18, 2008

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices increased $22-32/MWh at the Entergy and NEPOOL hubs. The four other hubs increased $8-10/MWh. Cold weather at the end of last week was to blame for the increased electricity prices (Platts, see pages 1 and 3).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub increased $0.51 to $8.27/MMBtu due to colder temperatures. This is the second highest weekly price over the past 12 months. Plentiful supplies of natural gas in storage and declining crude oil prices likely mitigated the extent of the price increases at many market locations (EIA, see pages 1 and 3).

Estimated nuclear plant availability remained at 94 percent last week. Grand Gulf 1 scrammed due to an electrical failure with the transformer cooling system. Palisades was shut down after one of its two main feedwater pumps tripped. Point Beach 1 declared an unusual event after an electrical transformer malfunctioned. Sequoyah 1 manually tripped due to lowering steam generator level. Palo Verde 3 was back online last week after being down for 109 days to replace its two steam generators (Platts and NRC, see pages 2 and 4).

Crude oil prices fell $3.40 from the previous week to $94.76/barrel. In recent months, the nominal price for crude oil has reached its highest level ever. However, as a percent of disposable income, today’s energy prices are still below the peak reached in 1981. During the third quarter of 2007, consumers spent an estimated 5.7 percent of their disposable income on energy versus 8.2 percent in the second quarter of 1981. In 1981, motor gasoline and fuel oil accounted for 64 percent of energy expenditures by consumers similar to the third quarter 2007’s share at 62 percent (EIA, see pages 1 and 3).

Uranium spot prices fell to $86 and $84/lb U3O8 last week according to UxConsulting and TradeTech. According to TradeTech, one seller last week successfully adopted a more aggressive approach offering uranium at deeply discounted prices to attract buyers (see pages 1 and 3).
For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …