Uranium prices fall on news of Japan's nuclear delays

The rally in uranium prices has faltered in recent months as signs have mounted that Japan is likely to keep most of its reactors offline this year, Bloomberg reports.

The nuclear fuel had been at a three year low before rallying, gaining 12 percent in the six weeks before Japan’s national election in mid-December. Optimism surrounding the victory of pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe has tempered as it seems unlikely Japanese regulators will allow any more plants to restart in 2013. Uranium prices have fallen 6.8 percent to $42.40 a pound since the elections.

The news is a disappointment for uranium exporting countries like Australia and Namibia, but a welcome development for gas exporters like Qatar, who have largely fueled Japan’s power sector while the country’s nuclear sector has been almost entirely offline since Fukushima.

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