Pakistan approves budget for two 1100 MW China built nuclear reactors and Vietnam progresses on discussions for their planned nuclear reactors

1. Pakistan’s Cabinet Executive Committee approved Thursday setting up two 1,100 megawatt nuclear power plants at the Karachi coast, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said. Budget documents had revealed the setting up of only one 1,100 megawatt coastal power plant at Karachi, with Chinese assistance.

2. Vietnam is considering offers from established nuclear countries as it seeks to introduce nuclear energy technology.

The project is pursued by the JINED consortium including METI, nine utilities (led by Chubu, Kansai & Tokyo Electric Power Company) and three manufacturers (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba and Hitachi). Part of the offer is finance and insurance for up to 85% of the total cost of the Vinh Hai project, which could include four large reactors.

Separately, Vietnam is progressing a Russian offer based on a four-unit VVER-1000 plant at Phuoc Dinh, also in Ninh Thuan province. No firm dates for construction have been set for either project and they could progress in parallel, seeing full operation of all units in the late 2020s.

3. An ample supply of uranium in the spot market resulting from Japan’s shutdown of all but two of its 50 operational reactors after the nuclear accident at Fukushima I in 2011 dragged the uranium spot price to its lowest levels in seven years.

Sellers last month began to ease once-firm offer prices in efforts to offload uncommitted material in small volumes, pulling the uranium spot price below $40/lb for the first time since March 2006, according to data from price publishers Ux Consulting and TradeTech. About 200 tons traded at the low prices.

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