Japan Earthquake: Impact on Crude Oil, Fuel and Nuclear Power

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Mon, 03/14/2011 - 12:41 | 1050651 Zina
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If several nuclear plants in Japan will be disconected from the grid during the next months, they will have to produce electricity from natural gas and coal.

What the impact will be in the prices of natural gas and coal?

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 10:41 | 1050107 MrVincent
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China will move forward with its nuclear power plans. America will continue to burn fossil fuels for its power needs.

Who wins? You do the math!


Mon, 03/14/2011 - 05:25 | 1049448 luk427
Mon, 03/14/2011 - 10:51 | 1050140 chopper read
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Coal fired electricity in West = legislative target, coal fired electricity in East = good investment. Any questions? ...remember David Rothschild campaigns against 'global warming'. Got hypocrisy?

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 05:20 | 1049444 hero HNL
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The reactor that exploded was made by GE. It's a PWR type of late-60's design.



Mon, 03/14/2011 - 07:07 | 1049502 New_Meat
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"The reactor that exploded was made by GE. It's a PWR type of late-60's design."

sonny, that is an oh-fer-3.

Unit 3 was designed/built by Toshiba-san.  BWR-4.  Early '70s design


Mon, 03/14/2011 - 05:18 | 1049443 hero HNL
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Nuclear reactors are out and factories are closing down accodring to NHK...Why would oil consumption & economic activity rise?????


Common sense will tell you the contrary.



Mon, 03/14/2011 - 05:15 | 1049441 tim73
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Stupid comparison to Deepwater Horizon. That rig was state-of-the-art, one of the industry flagships. These Japanese reactors are 40 year old, quite obsolete reactors, about the size of large gym each.

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 03:19 | 1049345 Young
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Drop in crude? What drop? People read too much into the logical lies of the mainstream media outlets. God damnit, haven't you people heard of a pullback - just buy it and shut up!

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 03:13 | 1049338 dondonsurvelo
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China, India, the Middle East and other emerging markets are not going to pull the plug on the projects they are working on.  They will take this experience and build on it to make sure they are prepared.  Imagine if Japan had a couple of nuclear powered aircraft carriers that they could have put offshore to power up the two plants that went down.  Imagine if the forty years of little or no nuclear research because of the anti nuke campaign after 3 Mile Island, had not transpired.  The 30 to 40 year old reactors would probably been replaced with safer more reliable models. Right now the Chinese are going to construct pebble bed reactors that would not have meltdowns like the dinosaur reactors in Japan. 

Nuclear power is a risk we are all willing to take in order to live our modern lives.  If you are not willing to accept the risk then disconnect from the grid.  Some can and do but most of us want the comfort that comes with the flick of a switch.

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 08:00 | 1049616 overmedicatedun...
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this will kill the electric car,.,.the newest large user of electric power grid, which cannot use coal, oil, nat gas or nuke stations to fill the need for more power.

seems like buggy whips and buggy makers are going into a boom..ride em cowboys.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 22:48 | 1048387 strannick
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Nuclear Powers Deepwater Horizon? What Deepwater Horizon? Obama had them back drilling in months.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 22:15 | 1048169 irieblue
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I heard some interesting insight by a Livermore Nuclear physicist on the radio today. The meltdown was preventable. This nuclear plant was on an island, and it is as if the Japanese did not consider the sheer level of the Tsunami. Esentially the water killed all the onsite power. Had the Japanese military Air lifted in the ontainer sized portable power units, this meltdown could have been avoided. Esentially the site had no power because of all the water damage. Seems like a rookie mistake having a nuclear power plant on an island that could be completely flooded by a Tsunami.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 21:54 | 1048097 ThisIsBob
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There is too  much electricity anyway and it has made us spoiled and soft.

Jeezus, look what Leonardo did by candlelight.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 19:20 | 1047531 malikai
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I expect this event to be spun as a great triumph of nuclear power. All this went wrong and there was no chernobyl(remember, public perception). The focus once the reactors are all stable will be on the rest of the damage to Japan. This issue will be forgotten in lieu of the Japanese reconstruction, then the iPad2. 

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 01:06 | 1049078 QQQBall
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It would be easier to spin, if the explosions hadn't been televised worldwide.

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 07:50 | 1049585 Matte_Black
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Don't look now, but NHK just announced that Fukushima #2 now has a failed cooling system, and that sea water is being pumped in.

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 04:26 | 1049405 BigDuke6
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i see the rothschild's hand in all of this.

but also the media can video the reactor easier than a rig far out in the gulf

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 20:14 | 1047649 SWRichmond
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All this went wrong and there was no chernobyl

I know just what you mean!  Oh, dammit!  It would have been much better had another Chernobyl occurred, right?  Then the oil companies' monopoly on global energy would have been further cemented into place, and we all could have been assured of remaining reliant on fighting global wars over oil for the next generation or so at least!

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 18:52 | 1047512 Fred Hayek
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I'd like to believe that the problems at fukushima would get Obama and Chu off their puzzling, complete inertia in regard to liquid fluoride thorium reactors but they make too much sense.  Thorium is relatively harmless.  You can hold a lump of it in your hand.  The U.S. has, literally, tons of the stuff as a byproduct of all kinds of mining operations.  And these reactors can be set up such that if power to operate is cut off, the thing just harmlessly stops.  They ran one for something like 5 years in the late 60's but decided not to go with LFTR's because you can't make material for nuclear weapons from them.

In short, there's no argument really against them.  But Obama and Chu seem to prefer pretentious yet actually quite stupid positions on most issues so they've shown zero interest so far.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 18:24 | 1047411 blazen
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And regarding natural gas (Henry Hub NAT GAS): what happened to its price? It's close to its historical lows, even with devalued $. It's become insanely cheap as energy compared to oil yet prices are extremely low. Let's forget about Japan for a moment and focus on global demand: price ratio nat gas/crude or heating oil is very low. Any obvious explanation for that ?

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 18:19 | 1047394 blazen
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Is the information regarding BRENT still valid ? APR contract expiry is on March 16th (see ICE website). With rollover happening (in general) 8 days before expiry, should one still care about ETFs and HFs influencing the price? Same holds for options if I got it correctly, in this case: https://www.theice.com/productguide/ProductDetails.shtml?specId=218


I didn't check anything about WTI, however.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 18:19 | 1047389 Saxxon
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Solar and especially natural gas will see a resurgence in investing interest.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 17:56 | 1047320 romanko
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did the world stop using or drilling for oil after the gulf spill?



Sun, 03/13/2011 - 20:17 | 1047653 Paul E. Math
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I agree, romanko.  Where are all the new reactors being built right now?  Answer: China and India.  This incident will have no impact on their reactor projects or their demand for uranium.

I also think of the flip-side to this event - while this is scary right now, if Japan reactors experience a 9.0 earthquake and DON'T produce major radiation then public confidence in this cleanest, cheapest and safest form of energy will actually skyrocket.

Disclosure: long CCJ

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 23:37 | 1048700 jeff montanye
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it might skyrocket if the public were also long ccj.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 17:53 | 1047312 joetunn
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The impact on the oil price will be determined by the upcoming discussion about the safety of atomic energy and the outcome is pretty simple to guess, so expect oil prices to go up, as energy out of solar and wind are yet not efficient.

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 06:59 | 1049492 New_Meat
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"... yet not efficient."

let us know when.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 17:47 | 1047288 Azwethinkweiz
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So much for my latest purchase of DNN...I have the worst luck in the world at picking stocks.

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 00:22 | 1048910 Maos Dog
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Not really... I am (was) long jap small and mid caps

Not like I really care about losing money in this situation

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