Japan's comeback to nuclear power good news for Australia

The re-starting of Japan's first nuclear reactor in almost two years is good news for the Australian uranium sector.

The No. 1 reactor at Sendai began operating yesterday after passing stringent safety requirements.

Japan has been a longstanding market for Australian uranium exports, providing around one-third of their total uranium supply, valued at around $250 million.

The re-starting of the nuclear reactor is timely given the debate surrounding the release of the Coalition's emission reductions targets and the South Australian Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle.

The MCA firmly believes that nuclear energy will play an important role in global electricity generation given it has the capacity to provide reliable baseload power and is virtually emission-free.

The start-up of Sendai #1 is a first step towards the government's goal of bringing the share of nuclear generation to 20-22 per cent by 2030.

It is also a strong indicator for the SA Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle that the global nuclear industry continues to have a strong future.

Earlier this month China's Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province was connected to the electricity grid and is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of the year.  China has 26 nuclear power reactors in operation, 25 under construction, and more about to start construction.

With almost one-third of the world's low cost uranium resources, Australia is well placed to supply growing demand over the coming decades.

By Daniel Zavattiero, Executive Director – Uranium, Minerals Council of Australia