Living in Aotearoa, where 84% of our electricity is produced by glorious, renewable nature, means the closest experience many of us have to nuclear power sits somewhere between Godzilla and Sector 7-G. But 2022 could be a turning point for how the world thinks about nuclear energy. Why? Because it’s being driven by dire ‘now or never’ climate change forecasts from the UN and questions on Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and gas for energy. Even Elon Musk, who I think we can all agree is somewhat of an energy expert, thinks nuclear power is critical for Europe, and has offered to eat food grown in areas perceived as having a radiation risk live on TV. ☣️
Last week, the UK kicked off a potential nuclear revival by announcing plans for eight new nuclear reactors. PM Boris Johnson declared that British energy security means the nation state can’t be allowed to depend on Russian oil and gas. The US has also pledged billions of dollars to support nuclear energy, including a 50% increase to the 2022 budget. Renewed interest is helping to heat up a surge in uranium prices. All positive news for uranium miners like BHP Group Limited (BHP) and Nexgen Energy Ltd (NXE), as well as the Global X Uranium ETF (URA) which has surged 43% since late January. 📈
The thought of nuclear energy might make us uncomfortable, but nuclear energy is one of the safest sources of energy in the world. Deaths from nuclear accidents and air pollution are 260 times lower than energy from oil, and 40 times lower than gas. Sure, there is the ugly ‘nuclear waste’ issue to deal with, but that’s something Microsoft founder Bill Gates, along with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and General Electric (GE) are working to solve by using liquid sodium instead of water as a cooling agent. 💧
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