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Mar 13, 2015 - The US Department of Energy (DOE) released on March 13, public comments received in response to its formal Request for Information on the Department’s Excess Uranium Inventory Management Plan. Twenty companies and organizations submitted comments, which included wide-ranging responses and suggestions, with interested parties providing input on a variety of topics, including the economic impact of the transfers and DOE’s Decommissioning and Decontamination fund policies. The next round of comments is due to DOE by April 6, after which the Department plans to issue a Secretarial Determination on whether or not transfers of uranium from government stockpiles adversely impact the US nuclear fuel industry. In Japan, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said this week that Unit 1 at Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai plant has received approval for construction work upgrading the unit’s basic design to meet higher standards set since the Fukushima accident; this brings the utility a little closer to restarting the nation’s first reactor. The consent was the second in a three-step process that all reactors must complete before restart is allowed. Five other reactors are set to be decommissioned due to age and the high cost of post-Fukushima upgrades. A total of eight transactions are reported this week in the spot uranium market. Intermediaries and utilities acted as buyers, while intermediaries and producers participated as sellers. Early in the week buying interest was centered on material to be delivered later in the year; however, transactions concluded later in the week call for delivery within the next 30 days. Market sentiment fluctuated throughout the week, and the gap between willing buyers and willing sellers reflected this—with a gap of more than $1.50 per pound U3O8 witnessed a few times throughout the week. Transactions closed earlier in the week specified later delivery and were generally concluded at higher prices. Other factors, such as buyer type and delivery location, also contributed to the spread in observed prices. In spite of the wide swings in bids and offers, prices settled by the end of the week and the most recently closed deals were concluded at, or very near, today’s Weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator. TradeTech’s Weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator is $39.50 per pound U3O8, up $0.40 from last week’s value and unchanged from the March 19 Daily U3O8 Spot Price Indicator. read more