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Cameco Sees Japan Uranium Recovery: Commodities via Bloomberg

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Stringent Requirements

Cameco expects six to eight Japanese reactors will restart this year after meeting more stringent safety systems enacted by the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, Gitzel said in the interview. Customers in Japan have traditionally accounted for about 10 to 15 percent of the company’s uranium sales, Cameco said yesterday in an e-mail.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. asked uranium suppliers to defer deliveries of the fuel after the Fukushima disaster, Hiroshi Itagaki, a spokesman for the utility, said this week by phone. Because not all suppliers accepted Tepco’s request, the utility is still receiving uranium deliveries, he said, declining to provide data on its uranium imports and consumption.

Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Chugoku Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. have kept buying uranium fuel under long-term contracts even after the Fukushima disaster, the utilities’ spokesmen said this week. Spokesmen at Tohoku Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co. said they couldn’t immediately comment on the matter. Kohei Fukamoto, a spokesman for Hokuriku Electric Power Co., declined to comment.

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Cameco, the biggest uranium producer after Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom and Paris-based Areva SA, forecasts the number of operable reactors to increase globally by 80 in the next 10 years to 511, according to a Jan. 23 investor presentation on its website. Before Fukushima, the company forecast 110 new units over the following 10 years, Chief Financial Officer Grant Isaac said.

With 64 reactors now under construction around the world, Cameco expects demand for uranium to increase by an average of 3 percent a year to 2022, Gitzel said on a Feb. 11 conference call.

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