Skip to main content

NEI's Energy Markets Report - January 21-January 25, 2008

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices decreased $3-7/MWh at the ERCOT and Palo Verde hubs. The other four hubs increased $2-12/MWh. Colder temperatures at the NEPOOL and PJM West hubs elevated prices by more than $10/MWh (Platts, see pages 1 and 3).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub decreased $0.13 to $8.14/MMBtu. The holiday week and above average gas supplies contributed to the spot price declines. During the first 76 days of the heating season (began November), a net volume of 964 Bcf of natural gas was withdrawn from underground storage which was significantly higher than for the same period last year. If withdrawals for the remainder of the heating season equal the drawdown for the comparable period of last winter, storage would be about 16 percent below the previous end-of-March stocks (EIA, see pages 1 and 3).

Estimated nuclear plant availability advanced to 95 percent last week. Seabrook automatically shut down due to a turbine trip. Summer manually tripped after failure of a feedwater flow control valve (NRC, see pages 2 and 4).

Crude oil prices fell $3.93 from the previous week to $90.83/barrel. Since November, crude oil prices have averaged almost $35 per barrel higher than the year before (EIA, see pages 1 and 3). The spot price of uranium fell to $78 and $82/lb U3O8 according to UxConsulting and TradeTech. TradeTech stated that political uncertainty is playing a pivotal role in the uranium market. Some market participants view this week’s announced delay in the signing of the proposed amendment to the Russian Suspension Agreement as a bellwether of potential supply uncertainty, while others view the announcement as a natural part of the negotiation process. Some buyers view the current price drop as an anomaly and are considering purchases, although others continue to “bargain hunt” (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 …