The slow-motion Japanese Fukushima reactor debacle has sent ripples worldwide, with Germany, Switzerland and Italy all now deciding to exit nuclear power.
The downturn in European interest in nuclear energy has now impacted Australia, the world’s third largest exporter of uranium oxide after Canada and Kazakhstan.
There are currently five operating uranium mines in Australia producing roughly 10,000 tons of ore in 2010, worth over $1.6 billion.
Several uranium explorers listed on Australia’s Stock Exchange watched their share price fall following the 13 June Italian referendum rejected nuclear power, with both Paladin Energy and Energy Resources of Australia losing market value, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Toro Energy, Extract Resources, Marathon Resources, Marengo Mining and Bannerman Resources also lost market share, with many of the companies seeing their market capitalization more than halve since the 11 March Fukushima disaster began to unfold.
Toro Energy managing director Greg Hall nevertheless remained upbeat despite the bad news from Rome, telling reporters about the Italian referendum, ''It has a high impact publicly, and on the short-term perceptions of the market … but it has very little impact on long-term uranium supply; in fact, virtually none.''
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com