Civil Nuclear Energy Renaissance Restart

Richard (Rick) Mills

Ahead of the Herd

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As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information

 

Concerns about climate change, carbon footprints, energy security and the rising cost of fossil fuels spurred a revival of interest in nuclear power generation. In early 2010 we saw the start of a of a global nuclear renaissance. It was derailed by Fukushima-Daiichi.

 

The nuclear renaissance, and a bull market you should be aware of, has been restarted.

 

State of nuclear power in the USA

 

The USA has 104 nuclear power reactors in 31 states. Since 2001 these plants have achieved an average capacity factor of over 90 percent, generating up to 807 billion kWh per year and account for 20 percent of total electricity generated.

 

In 2012, U.S. suppliers and civilian owner/operators (COO) purchased 56 million pounds U3O8e.

 

U.S. uranium suppliers:

  • Australia/Canada - 35 percent 
  • Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan - 29 percent  
  • Brazil, China, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, and Ukraine – 19 percent

Seventeen percent of the U3O8e delivered in 2012 was U.S. uranium, 83 percent was foreign supplied uranium at a weighted-average price of $54.07 per pound - $2.4 billion sent out of the country to foreigners instead of creating new high quality mining, processing and transportation jobs in the U.S.

 

Ten percent, or just 4.9 million pounds, of the 49 million pounds U3O8e uranium loaded into U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors during 2012 was from U.S. mined uranium, 90 percent was foreign supplied uranium.

 

According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) there are plans for 13 new reactors in the U.S., three reactor units are under construction, and as many as six may come online in the next decade for a total of 10,860 MWe.

 

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that U.S. electricity demand will rise 24 percent by 2035. Maintaining nuclear energy’s current 20 percent share of generation would require building about one reactor per year starting in 2016, or 20 to 25 new units by 2035.

 


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