Uranium Stocks Are Red Hot After Recent Deals
From Daily Finance
By Jonathan Yates
China, Russia, India, and a host of other nations apparently did not get the memo about the evils of nuclear energy. As Japan and Germany are moving to do away with nuclear power for their energy needs, others are doubling down on the uranium-based source of electricity. In a world where demand for energy keeps rising, it will take much more than one accident caused by a natural disaster, like that at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan last year, to produce a significant departure from nuclear power.
While fracking has natural gas in fashion at the moment, nuclear power never fell out of style, despite the negative publicity from Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and other mishaps over the decades. For countries that must import energy, nuclear power has too many advantages to shun. Uranium, its source material, is abundant. It is competitive in costs with other forms of energy, particularly in Asia where natural gas is five times more expensive than in the United States. Nuclear power also produces less waste and has a lower environmental impact than the other forms of fuel, too.
So compelling are these factors that energy-importing nations aren’t the only ones increasing their reliance on nuclear power. The United Arab Emirates, a Middle East oil exporter, just signed a contract with Russia to supply it with uranium. As a member of OPEC, the less oil that the United Arab Emirates requires for domestic oil needs, the more it can export to earn foreign exchange.
Other nations are moving in that direction, too. China has a massive nuclear industry in the works, with 40 nuclear reactors operating or under construction in the People’s Republic. Though coal currently supplies about 80% of the electric power in China, it is harmful to the environment, and potentially lethal to workers. Almost 2,000 Chinese coal miners died last year, in the world’s deadliest mining industry. By 2020, Beijing wants nuclear power to generate 80 gigawatts of power, more than six times the present amount. India wants nuclear power to provide one-quarter of its energy by 2050.
Build it and they will come
Companies in all areas of the sector should continue to benefit from this global demand. Uranium stocks such as USEC , Uranium Resources , and Uranium Energy red-hot in recent market action. Those that have been very active in building nuclear power plants such as General Electric , Foster Wheeler , and Fluor will profit, too. General Electric makes parts for the nuclear reactors. As heavy construction companies, both Foster Wheeler and Flour provide engineering and construction services for the nuclear power industry.
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