Skip to main content

NEI's Energy Markets Report - May 19-23, 2008

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices decreased $1-24/MWh at all hubs except for Entergy. PJM West fell to $64/MWh, the lowest price it’s been over the past four months, due to moderate temperatures. Entergy prices increased to $83/MWh, the highest price since the end of July 2006, due to hot temperatures at the end of last week. ERCOT peak prices fell less than $1/MWh last week; however, the ERCOT Houston and ERCOT South hubs “baffled” experts as the peak prices rocketed to $315-440/MWh last Friday – Platts, Megawatt Daily 5/27 (see pages 1 and 3).

Estimated nuclear plant availability increased to 88 percent last week. Three units finished refueling outages and three units began maintenance (see pages 2 and 4).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub fell $0.04 to $11.31/MMBtu (see pages 1 and 3). According to EIA, the final leg of the Rockies Express West pipeline is in service. This 210-mile segment connects Audrain County, Missouri, with almost 500 miles of REX-West that had already begun service in January 2008. REX-West is a 42-inch-diameter pipeline that begins in Weld County, Colorado providing 1.5 Bcf per day of capacity from Rockies production fields to markets in the Midwest. By the end of 2009, the pipeline is expected to expand further eastward to Clarington, Ohio, as part of the 638-mile REX-East segment.

Uranium spot prices remained at $60/lb U3O8 for the third week in a row (see pages 1 and 3). According to EIA’s 2007 Uranium Marketing Annual Report, owners and operators of U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors purchased a total of 51 million pounds U3O8e (uranium oxide equivalent) of deliveries at a weighted-average price of $32.78 per pound U3O8e. The 2007 total of 51 million pounds U3O8e decreased 23 percent compared with the 2006 total of 67 million pounds U3O8e. Eight percent of the 51 million pounds U3O8e delivered in 2007 was U.S.-origin uranium at a weighted-average price of $28.89 per pound U3O8e. Foreign-origin uranium accounted for the remaining 47 million pounds (92 percent) of deliveries at a weighted-average price of $33.05 per pound U3O8e.
For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

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 …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…