Skip to main content

NEI Energy Markets Report (August 27-31, 2012)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:

Electricity peak prices made marginal gains last week across the country. The largest movers were the Western hubs which increased $4-$6 to average $40/MWh in the region. The Eastern hubs barely budged and the Texas hub rose $4 to average $36/MWh. “Power prices across the U.S. moved in mixed directions Tuesday, Aug. 28, finding support from hot weather in California, across the Southwest and Texas but taking on a more bearish bias elsewhere across the country in line with weak spot gas prices. … In addition, generation remains healthy. While several units are slated to shut through September and October, a fairly minimal 22,790 MW is offline nationwide in the meantime, according to IIR Energy. The nuclear generation sector, which could see as many as 30 reactors shut for refueling by the end of the year, represents the largest market share of outages, with 8,337 MW offline. In addition, about 5,568 MW of the total is coal-fired and more than 4,000 MW is gas-fired, IIR said” (SNL Energy’s Power Daily – 8/29/12).

Uranium spot prices fell to $48/lb U3O8 last week. “Although a significant portion of the lowest-priced supply has been cleared from the market, demand remains thin and highly price sensitive at month’s end. Some potential buyers have yet to enter the spot market in spite of the recent drop in the price. In the case of many utilities, there is little room or budget available for inventory or discretionary purchases, and those interested in taking advantage of the price drop must procure management approvals before proceeding. In addition, several market participants still expect that prices could fall even further and, therefore, are delaying purchases in hopes of securing material at even lower prices” (TradeTech’s Nuclear Market Review – 8/31/12).

For more of the report click here.

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 …

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…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…