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Uranium stocks slide on renewed radiation fears Add to ...

Shares of Canadian uranium producers slipped Monday, as uneasy investors worried about efforts to control radiation from the earthquake-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

“The news from Fukushima over the weekend was not encouraging,” said Salman Partners senior analyst Raymond Goldie. “I think it’s a sentiment thing, that people are looking at weakened demand for uranium in the future.”

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Shares of world No. 2 uranium producer Cameco Corp. slipped 3.57 per cent to $29.47, while Uranium One fell 8.05 per cent to $4.00, as news emerged from Japan that highly radioactive water has leaked from the damaged reactor.

Denison Mines was down 8.24 per cent at $2.45 and Paladin Energy fell 2.37 per cent to $3.70 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 has prompted a reassessment of nuclear power across the world.

Mr. Goldie noted that fears of decreased demand for uranium were not entirely unfounded. Seven reactors have shut down in the wake of the disaster in Japan, representing about 5 million pounds of uranium a year, or 3 per cent of global demand.

But Mr. Goldie added that it was hardly a doomsday situation.

“Any reactors currently being built are going to continue to be built,” he said “And any reactors ... that are in production, are going to continue to be in production.”

Current uranium demand is about 180 million pounds a year. Between them, China and Russia have 37 new reactors under construction, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Spot uranium is selling at $60 a pound, down from a high of $73 a pound in February, while long-term pricing is still $73 a pound.

Uranium One, which sells most of its uranium into the spot market, was the most actively traded stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

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