Skip to main content

NEI Energy Markets Report (September 10-14, 2012)

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

Electricity peak prices were mostly down last week. Prices at ERCOT-Houston, PJM West, and the Northeast hubs fell substantially, dropping $27, $20, and $11/MWh, respectively. Prices at Palo Verde and the Southwest hubs rose marginally, in the face of a heat wave. “Largely defying a typical pre-weekend tick higher, power prices for Sept. 17 delivery moved in both directions across the U.S. on Friday, Sept. 14, but with the bias mostly lower as traders focused on softer gas prices and mild fall weather rather than mounting outages or the return of business-related demand early in the next week. … The cost of gas could have heightened influence at the power markets in the coming weeks as large baseload reactors drop offline for routine seasonal maintenance. In total, almost 39,000 MW of supply is already offline nationwide, up about 4,000 MW on the day, according to data from IIR Energy. By fuel, there are more than 14,000 MW of coal-fired outages, more than 5,700 MW of gas-fired outages and almost 12,800 MW of nuclear outages” (SNL Energy’s Power
Daily – 9/17/12).

Uranium spot prices fell to $47/lb U3O8 last week. “Demand is currently weak in the spot market, on the part of all groups – traders, financials, utilities, and producers. The relative lack of demand on the part of traders is somewhat derivative of the fact that demand is weak in the mid-term market, and hence traders do not have much motivation to delve into the spot market to buy and hold to meet mid-term needs. A non-U.S. utility recently entered the mid-term market, but beyond this, there is not much demand. Price is falling to a point where it may spur more interest on the part of utilities, but it still may have some way to go to stimulate any notable demand by this group” (Ux Consulting’s Ux Weekly – 9/17/12).

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 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…