Uranium ETF Surges After Japan Approves Nuclear Plant Reopening | ETF Trends

Uranium stocks surged Thursday and the industry-related exchange traded fund bumped up against its long-term trend line, after Japanese officials removed the last impediment to turning back on reactors that were shut down in response to the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The Global X Uranium ETF (NYSEArca: URA), which tracks uranium miners, jumped 4.6% Thursday after rising 6.1% Wednesday, and the ETF is now testing its 200-day simple moving average.

Uranium stocks are powering back after the Kogoshima District Court rejected a legal bid to block the reopening of the Sendai nuclear power station due to safety concerns on Wednesday, reports Kentaro Hamada for Reuters.

The Sendai plant will be the first to reopen since Japanese nuclear stations were shutdown in response to the devastating earthquake and subsequent disaster in Fukushima. The reactors could begin operation as early as June.

In response to the fallout, anti-nuclear activists have aggressively petitioned courts to block restarting the plants. Nevertheless, the court’s response may reflect more favorable opinions in some areas.

“Certain areas that have a lot more local support for nuclear and much more local reliance on nuclear are going to be much easier to get restarts up and running,” Michael Jones, senior analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie, said in the article.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been a vocal nuclear power proponent, arguing that atomic power, which generated almost one-third of Japan’s electricity pre-Fukushima, helps diminish the country’s reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports. According to customs data, Japan’s imports of liquefied natural gas hit a record 7.78 trillion yen, or $65 billion, in the year ended March 31.