Fitch Ratings predicts tough year for nuclear generators, but hope in the longer term17 February 2014
International ratings agency Fitch said that nuclear generators are likely to be cash-flow negative in 2014 because of large spending programmes and weak electricity demand in western Europe, amid a general environment of uncertainty, it said in its EMEA Nuclear Power Cycle Dashboard 2014.
It also said that uranium prices will remain soft because of weak demand due to slow progress in the revival of Japanese nuclear reactors, shut down and awaiting government regulatory inspections. Those companies with exposure to front-end spot pricing will suffer, it predicts.
It said that fuel-cycle companies working with long-term contracts in many geographical markets, such as URENCO, and vertical integration in the fuel cycle, such as Atomenergoprom, would fare better than other competitors.
Despite a pessimistic short-term view, the report was actually upbeat about the long-term picture: "We expect nuclear energy to continue to play an important role in the global energy industry in the medium to long term... We anticipate a geographic rebalancing across the nuclear value chain, with new demand and supply shifting to emerging markets from developed countries."