Friday, March 03, 2006

Energy Demand: Nuclear Renaissance?

As investors, it pays to be ahead of the rest of the investing crowd. Nuclear energy may offer one such option. While the focus of the Wall Street crowd today is oil and gas, future gains in uranium may vastly outstrip those remaining in the oil and gas field.

Today, it's estimated that, in addition to the 440 operational nuclear plants around the world, there'll be another 60 on-line to serve the growing world-wide energy demand, by 2020. Additionally, some environmentalists, such as James Lovelock, Ph.D., now embrace nuclear power as the only way to avoid complete environmental catastrophe. Add to that the obvious demand that will continue to occur as China's and India's 2.2 billion citizens become part of industrialized societies and the demand side of the equation is obvious.

What is less obvious is that the uranium industry has been undermining for years, perhaps even decades now. This deficit, currently estimated, at about 25 million pounds annually (of a total demand of 150 million pounds), has been met by the over-stockpiling of uranium from the 1950s-1970s, and by the decommissioning of Soviet nuclear weapons in this decade and the 1990s.

However, the "well is running dry", so to speak as these sources are themselves being drained. All of which leads us to a long-term investment thesis, of uranium producers experiencing very good gains for a lengthy time period, perhaps as long as ten years. Uranium mine approvals, world-wide, are subject to obvious governmental red-tape and this is only overcome at considerable time and expense.

In the interim, sit tight and enjoy what I believe will be superior medium to long term investment gains. The largest global producer of uranium is Cameco, on the NYSE as "CCJ".


The Confused Capitalist

No comments: