Nuclear Power Renaissance Unstoppable, Uranium Stocks Poised for Breakout

Nuclear Power Renaissance Unstoppable
Published on: Apr 16, 2024

After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, a global anti-nuclear wave swept through, but the tide has turned. Countries now realize the crucial role of nuclear power in the transition to clean energy. As a result, the fuel needed for nuclear power, uranium, has become scarce, leading to a significant price increase, and uranium stocks are poised for a breakthrough.

The revival of nuclear power seems unstoppable. Unlike renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, nuclear power generation is viewed as a key strategic component in the global energy transition, given its significant advantages in cleanliness and stability.

On Monday, it was reported that the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the restart of the No. 7 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture. On the same day, the No. 7 reactor began the loading of fuel rods. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is the world’s largest nuclear power plant, with a net installed capacity of 7,965 megawatts. The loading of fuel rods into the No. 7 reactor is a sign that the nuclear power plant may soon be restarted.

After the severe nuclear leakage accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) shut down all of its nuclear power plants.

The approval for fuel loading has brought the Japanese government a step closer to its energy goals. The government aims to accelerate the restart of currently offline nuclear reactors to ensure stable power supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In the United States, the federal government recently announced a $1.5 billion loan to restart the Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan. This would be the first time in U.S. history that a closed nuclear power plant has been restarted. The plant has an 800-megawatt capacity and was shut down in 2022. Holtec International acquired the plant in the same year with plans for decommissioning. However, with the support of the Michigan state government and the Biden administration, Holtec’s decommissioning plan has been transformed into a plan to restart the nuclear power plant in 2025.

Patti Poppe, the CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric in California, recently stated that nuclear power should be a part of the future and advocated for an extension of the operating permit for the state’s only nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon.

Governments and Wall Street are realizing that nuclear power is the largest single reliable and carbon-free source of electricity, positioning it to play a critical role in driving economic growth, such as in AI data centers and the electric vehicle sector.

Another significant factor driving the resurgence of nuclear power is the soaring demand for electricity.

The largest utility companies in the United States predict exponential growth in electricity demand in the coming years from data centers and new technologies such as AI. Consequently, both U.S. utility companies and regulatory bodies have substantially increased their peak electricity demand forecasts for the next 10 years. Globally, the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlighted in its 2024 Electricity Report that the electricity consumption in the data center, AI, and cryptocurrency sectors might double by 2026.

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