The market continues to wake-up to the fact that disaster in Japan is changing the politics and profits of nuclear energy. The cumulative reaction is now savage, with many companies having one-third of their market value destroyed.
Forty-percent of the world's new nuclear reactors are currently being built in China. Having stood firm on Monday, Beijing is now doing a U-turn, saying it will temporarily suspend its vast nuclear program.
That's 28 reactors in the near-term, orders probably worth $150 billion to the likes of Japan's Toshiba and France's Areva (95 percent owned by the French government). The ADR of Toshiba is down 4 percent so far today. It has lost 30 percent since Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Areva is up 3 percent today but is still down 17 percent this week.
Germany is also engaged in a major U-turn, announcing it will shut down all seven of its nuclear power plants that began operating before 1980—and ultimately may never restart them. But it's the growth in China that uranium miners were most banking on.