Unloved Uranium is About to Get Much More Attractive

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Pity poor uranium — there is perhaps no more unloved segment of the energy market right now.

Not only is it a commodity, but nuclear power has a stigma attached to it, thanks to the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear mishap in Japan.

Uranium has brought both joy and tears to investors over the past decade. After a 20-year bear market, the price of uranium (U308), bottomed in 2001 at $8 per pound. It then skyrocketed to over $100 a pound, only to fall back again.

Most recently, it peaked at $72 a pound in January 2011. The Fukushima earthquake and tsunami disaster a few months later put a pall over the industry and prices, resulting in the current price of $40.70 a pound.

Yet despite some countries slowing down their plans for nuclear power expansion and the negative mood hanging over the sector, uranium looks to be poised for a rebound in the not-too-distant future.

Why? Well, for one thing, the United Nations' nuclear agency – the International Atomic Energy Agency – said "The Fukushima Daiichi accident is expected to slow or delay the growth of nuclear power, but not reverse it."

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  1. Christina MacPherson | May 20, 2013

    I admit that I haven't read the whole article – seems to be trotting out the usual hype about developing nations busting to get nuclear power.
    But I was struck by the choice of wording in relation to Fukushima – it's no longer a "nuclear catastrophe", or a "disaster" – or even an "accident". Now it's just a "MISHAP".
    Goes along with the religious faith of the nuclear lobby – as expressed in 2011 – just after it happened – it's just "a bump in the road to the nuclear renaissance"
    Dream on. The Fukushima disaster is still happening.

    • Jack van de Ven | May 21, 2013

      The disaster in Fukushima was the earthquake and resulting tidal wave. "There were no casualties caused by radiation exposure, approximately 25,000 died due to the earthquake and tsunami. Future cancer deaths due to accumulated radiation exposures in the population living near Fukushima are predicted to be extremely low to none." Brumfiel, Geoffrey (23 May 2012). "World Health Organization weighs in on Fukushima". Nature (journal). Retrieved 20 March 2013. Hmm.. let me guess.. you're a green person who loves the planet? Oh nuclear bad, mr burns bad, me love planet. Well guess what.. I love facts and your religious 'faith' in anything green is vomit inducing.

  2. philio maffia | May 21, 2013

    Good anyalisis……unlike my dyslexic spelling……..but there was no factoring in of the liability.The real price of uranium should take into account its DISPOSAL after being used.
    The nuclear industry constantly recycles old fuel rods so the demand is constntly warped by goverments different reycling policies.How much of this expected demand will be tken up by recycled uranium from existing nuclear rods,or fast breeder technolgy?Obviously,european nuclear concerns are talking up west african projects.

  3. Koen | May 26, 2013

    Calling yourself green and allowing fossil fuels but rebel against nuclear is mindboggling stupid. CO pollution actualy causes cancer everyday, hundreds of thousands on a yearly basis, but nuclear is dangerous…???

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