March 14, 2011 / 12:11 PM / in 7 years

Cameco shares tumble on Japanese nuclear crisis

* Uranium producers on ASX, NYSE fall on nuke crisis

* Cameco down 15.3 pct at $31.66 in premarket trading

TORONTO, March 14 (Reuters) - Shares of top Canadian uranium miner Cameco (CCO.TO) (CCJ.N) fell sharply on Monday after a second explosion rocked a Japanese nuclear reactor days after a devastating earthquake struck the nation.

The damage to the reactor and other Japanese nuclear power plants over the weekend raised concerns about future of the industry in Japan and elsewhere.

Cameco, the No. 2 global producer of uranium, fell 15.3 percent to $31.66 in trading before the morning bell, as Japan battled to prevent a nuclear catastrophe after the earthquake damaged nuclear generators. [ID:nL3E7EC0D6]

TD analyst Greg Barnes slashed his price target on shares of Cameco to C$42 from C$51, citing the uncertainty caused by the situation in Japan.

Earlier Monday, shares of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA.AX), a unit of global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) fell 12.3 percent, while Paladin’s (PDN.AX) shares fell 16.5 percent in Sydney. [ID:nL3E7EE00B] (Reporting by Julie Gordon and Euan Rocha, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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