The Clock Is Ticking On America’s Nuclear Dependence

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted May 31, 2019

Nuclear power is an underappreciated point man in America’s energy collective.

It’s frequently overshadowed by coal (which has long been the key source of U.S. energy output) and renewable sources like solar and wind, which are said to be our future.

But the truth is this: America can’t run on either of these things alone.

For decades, nuclear power has supplemented coal. And it will do the same for renewables for decades to come.

In fact, as it currently stands, nuclear is the world’s #1 source of clean energy.

It’s bigger than solar, wind, and every other renewable energy combined.

That’s why…

  • Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 reactors by 2030 with the first reactor to come online in 2022.
  • South Korea operates 25 reactors providing 33% of its power, and is currently building reactors for the UAE.
  • China plans to build 99 reactors by 2030, with government investment of over $100 billion. (Current Chinese activities include 38 reactors in operation, 25 under construction, and 39 planned. They intend to double this number by 2040.)
  • India plans to be 25% nuclear-energy-powered by 2050.
  • And even Japan, which was devastated by a nuclear meltdown just a few short years ago, is upgrading and restarting its fleet of nuclear power plants.

As for the United States, we are the world's largest producer of nuclear power. We account for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity.

And after a 30-year period in which few new reactors were built, the U.S. is now expected to have two new units come online soon after 2020, with a total of 24 new nuclear reactors proposed. So our nuclear consumption is set to rise, just like everyone else’s.

However, it should be noted that we are not a major uranium producer.

We’re not even in the top 5, and we barely crack the top 10.

The result is a shocking disparity between consumption and production — one that leads us to import 97% of our uranium.

US Uranium Imports

That’s right. America only produces 3% of the uranium it uses for nuclear power. And, again, we are the world’s top nuclear power — consuming 25,000 tons of uranium annually. An amount that contributes one-fifth of our electricity.

Now, if you took a look at the chart above, you’d see it wasn’t always like this.

Back in 1980, virtually all of America’s uranium was homegrown.

But then trade barriers were removed, and American producers were undercut by foreign imports.

Our sources aren’t exactly reliable, either.

Russia and its satellite states of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan account for roughly half of our uranium imports.

US Uranium Suppliers

You might even call that a national security risk.

Which is exactly why the government is moving to address it.

You see, a small group of American uranium companies last year filed a "232" petition, asking the Commerce Department to mandate that 25% of the country’s uranium needs be met with American supplies.

These petitions are relatively rare, but there’s been an abundance of them since President Trump took office.

Indeed, the president has been aggressive in his quest to resuscitate fallen American industries.

In April 2017, the Commerce Department opened a 232 investigation into steel imports. Trump imposed tariffs on virtually all steel imports exactly one year later.

The same thing happened with aluminum.

The Commerce Department conducted an investigation, and then Trump put up tariffs on all foreign imports.

Now it’s happening with uranium — and soon.

You see, once a company or government department files a “232” petition, the Commerce Department has nine months to complete an investigation. The president then has three months to act on these findings.

Well guess what?

The window for Trump to act on uranium is coming up.

The report is set to be released, and Trump will be able to act as soon as July 14.

And when he does, it’s going to be a boon for the companies that mine uranium in the United States.

One small company, in particular, has seven U.S. uranium mines, which could scale up to 7 million pounds of production annually. All in less than a year.

That means this one company could more than triple the entire current production of U.S. uranium.

And that’s why our own Nick Hodge recently detailed the profit potential for investors in this report.

It tells you everything you need to know about 232 petitions and the coming U.S. production spike.

You should definitely give it a look if you haven’t already.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of The Wealth Warrior, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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