The nuclear energy revival I’ve been writing about is about to go into overdrive…

I got a recent glimpse of that on Capitol Hill, where I had dozens of meetings with Congressional leaders and staff in the energy space.

When I was there, 17 energy bills sailed through markup in a single meeting.

That kind of volume and speed is not normal in Washington!

A staffer contact of mine from Delaware later confirmed this was the most bills with the quickest process he’d ever seen.

But these bills aren’t fully baked into the cake yet. They’re due to start getting funding early this year.

That means we’re about to see a lot more policies directed at supporting nuclear energy and technology and domestic uranium and nuclear fuel supplies.

And if you’re a regular reader, you know that it pays to follow Washington’s money trail.

Washington Throws Its Weight Behind Nuclear Power

Early last year, I alerted you to the rising global shift to nuclear energy – and the uranium fuel that powers it.

Uranium prices have doubled since then. But I believe there’s much more upside for uranium and nuclear energy companies.

(It’s part of my 2024 prediction series, where I’m bringing you my top distortion factors for this year. Catch up on Predictions 1, 2, and 3 here, here, and here.)

In part, this was a result of the pandemic. Economic lockdowns forced four sizable uranium mines to shut down.

This caused uranium producers to have to buy uranium on the open market, which pushed up prices.

It’s also in part due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Russia provides 15% of the uranium U.S. utility companies use to power their reactors.

And after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, U.S. utility companies had to buy extra uranium to hedge against supply disruptions.

Investors are also starting to see that the U.S. is throwing its weight behind nuclear power.

On December 22, President Biden signed into law a bipartisan agreement on U.S. defense policies in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

In that act, the U.S. passed several key nuclear energy initiatives as part of the new defense budget.

That means these initiatives are set in stone. But they are still awaiting passage of the full U.S. budget to get the green light on spending for them.

One of these initiatives is the ADVANCE Act. It will make it easier to develop nuclear energy technology and small modular reactors (SMRs).

SMRs are small reactors that we can build much quicker than traditional reactors and take them by truck, train, or plane to where we need them.

Another initiative is the Nuclear Fuel Security Act. That act requires the U.S. to tap domestic uranium sources.

At the moment, Congress pushed the passing of that budget to February 2. But we are watching for any changes.

And other countries are also expanding their nuclear strategies.

The Nuclear Revival Is Global

Late last year, global interest in nuclear energy surged.

About 60 new nuclear reactors are in construction around the world, with another 110 planned to begin construction.

The U.S. and Britain pledged to triple their nuclear energy use by 2050. That means more global demand for uranium.

As part of that pledge, the U.K. released a “Civil Nuclear Roadmap” with plans for the biggest expansion of nuclear power in 70 years.

That plan will include an almost $400 million (£300 million) investment in fuels needed to power high-tech nuclear reactors.

It also includes subsidizing private investment (or private companies) backing the rollout of advanced nuclear projects as they are developed.

Meanwhile, China started up the world’s first fourth-generation nuclear reactor. It’s set to improve the efficiency of nuclear fuel usage…

Canada announced a shift back to developing its nuclear power after a 30-year hiatus. It has plans to develop the world’s largest nuclear plant in Ontario…

And the Netherlands and South Korea signed a historic nuclear fuel agreement to design and build new plants.

Even more developments are set to come this year. Already, out of the gate for 2024:

  • France announced that it’s prioritizing nuclear energy efforts and could have 14 new reactors in development.

  • The U.K. announced further nuclear power expansion. It earmarked about $1.3 billion (£1 billion) for fast-tracked nuclear energy development.

  • The U.S. Department of Defense is accepting $500 million worth of bids to accelerate higher-enriched domestic uranium projects.

  • And the first-ever nuclear energy summit will be held in Belgium in March. It’s organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). And about 30 countries are set to participate, along with industry leaders and innovators.

I’ve followed the rise in nuclear energy focus from inside D.C. and worldwide for years.

And it’s no longer a question of whether to upgrade energy sources to more nuclear energy. The question governments are asking now is: how quickly can we get there?

This global drive toward nuclear energy will cause a permanent transformation of the global energy economy.

And that will also require more efficient drilling and processing technologies for uranium extraction, processing, and production.

A Supply Crunch Is Coming

See, to be functional, nuclear energy needs uranium. It also needs rare earths like titanium, from which uranium can be extracted.

Right now, there’s enough uranium supply to fill current demand. So, this hasn’t been an issue – yet.

Production from the world’s uranium mines is enough to fill about 90% of the demand from utilities. That’s according to the World Nuclear Association. The rest mainly comes from recycling nuclear weapons.

But remember, in the coming years, nuclear power capacity is set to double… or more. Which is why more and more power producers are locking in long-term supply agreements with uranium miners today.

There won’t be enough supply to handle the coming nuclear power buildout.

And it’s not a matter of a shortage of uranium. It’s a matter of once you find a uranium deposit, it takes up to 15 years to start mining it.

So, utility and energy producers will have to pay higher prices to secure their share of current production.

In short, we’ve got a focus on uranium supply and the growing global demand for nuclear power.

This leads me to believe that demand for nuclear fuel and uranium will continue to rise this year.

Uranium prices already crossed the $100-a-pound mark this year, as I’d predicted in my Distortion Report advisory. Here’s what I wrote last year (paid-up subscribers can read that issue in full here):

I expect uranium prices to hit $100 a pound in 2024.

That’s due to two things. The first is the evolving supply and demand picture for uranium needs, which I mentioned above.

The second is the firm trend in place in the price of uranium. Remember, uranium prices are already up 70% so far this year, to $82 per pound.

The last time uranium prices bottomed in December of 2000, they went on a seven-year bull run. They topped out at $140 per pound, for more than an 1,800% return.

If history is a guide, by the time this current bull run is over, we could see uranium prices not only reach new all-time highs, but soar far past them.

In fact, based on that previous move, it’s not impossible to think that uranium may eventually eclipse $400 per pound.

That means we’re only a quarter of the way there. This is a trend that is going to go on for a while.

And the best way to take advantage is through companies involved in uranium mining and nuclear technologies, like the ones I’m recommending at Distortion Report.

If you’re not paid up yet, the best way to take advantage of this is through the Global X Uranium ETF (URA).

URA is a fund that provides access to companies involved in uranium mining and nuclear technologies. Its biggest holdings at the moment are Cameco, the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust Fund, and NexGen Energy.



Nomi Prins
Editor, Inside Wall Street with Nomi Prins