The drivers behind uranium’s bull run keep stacking up. If you’re a longtime reader, you already saw this coming.

In early 2023, I wrote about the rising global shift to nuclear energy and the uranium fuel that powers it. Uranium prices have more than doubled since then – from $48 to as high as $107 a pound.

I highlighted how momentum for nuclear power was quietly escalating among U.S. lawmakers. That was well before the jump in uranium prices was capturing headlines.

Since then, catalysts have kept popping up all over the world that are driving uranium prices even higher. Prices are now surpassing the $100 target I made in December when uranium traded for $82 a pound.

So let’s unpack the drivers behind the surge in uranium prices. I’ll also show you what it means for the nuclear revival in the months and years ahead.

Nuclear Bills Making Their Round

I gleaned the first hint that something big was happening with nuclear power early last year. That came from conversations I was having with Washington staffers involved with the energy space.

Shortly after that, I was on a research trip in Australia. And I alerted my Energy Distortion Monitor subscribers to the fact that the U.S. and other G20 nations were ramping up their efforts to adopt nuclear energy.

Not long after, I wrote about nuclear bills making the rounds among influential members of Congress.

My discussions with Washington and energy insiders revealed more momentum was on the horizon for nuclear energy.

Now, Washington has a well-deserved reputation as a tough place to get things done. But when support for a bill emerges among both Republicans and Democrats… the odds are stacked more in its favor of becoming law.

And when it’s part of an emerging trend of D.C. focus, the odds are even better.

That’s why the Nuclear Fuel Security Act was fast-tracked into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2024.

The NDAA outlines our nation’s defense policies and priorities. This year’s NDAA has already been passed and signed into law. Now, we’re just waiting for the Budget Act of 2024 to pass so funding for everything in the NDAA can be approved.

And, like I said, that “everything” includes the Nuclear Fuel Security Act.

The Nuclear Fuel Security Act will do a couple of things. First, it will help the Department of Energy increase domestic production of the type of uranium used in existing reactors.

Second, it prioritizes programs that increase the supply of the type of uranium used for many advanced reactors. That includes small modular reactors (SMRs).

SMRs are a huge tech breakthrough for the nuclear industry. SMRs are to nuclear what artificial intelligence and cloud computing are to the internet. They would revolutionize the industry by making it faster and more efficient.

I met with Congressman Bob Latta’s (R-OH) senior energy staffer in D.C. in October. That was a few weeks after he and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) introduced the Nuclear Fuel Security Act from their Energy and Commerce sub-committee.

I discovered that both Congressmen were keen for this act to pass. The fact that it was then fast-tracked was a nice bonus. In Washington, that means there was strong bipartisan and Defense Department support.

And that remains the case for other new nuclear acts on the docket. In particular, the ADVANCE Act and its core elements remain at the forefront of bipartisan support.

The ADVANCE Act would pave the way forward for a broader D.C. nuclear technology policy. It was fast-tracked into the NDAA as well, but it hit a procedural snag in the final stage before the NDAA act was signed.

However, goals from the ADVANCE Act are very much alive. I discovered that the Senate and House committees involved in focusing on the nuclear arena want to craft a larger composite nuclear act.

That act would include the original ADVANCE Act plus a sweeping Atomic Energy Advancement Act. And it would establish more efficient and predictable licensing, regulation, and deployment of nuclear energy technologies.

In an industry as highly regulated as nuclear, anything that helps with licensing and regulation is a big plus.

That composite act would be a compilation of 11 other pieces of key nuclear legislation authored by bipartisan members of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

And the U.S. government isn’t the only one making moves. Countries all around the world are ramping up plans to expand nuclear power.

At the UN’s COP28 climate meeting late last year, more than 20 countries signed a declaration to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050. And we’re already seeing nations accelerating or taking action.

The U.K. is laying out plans for its biggest nuclear expansion in 70 years. Through that expansion, nuclear energy could meet a quarter of the U.K.’s electricity demand.

In France, the energy minister said they need to build as many as 14 new reactors to meet clean energy goals.

There are already 60 new reactors under construction around the world. And that was before the pledge from governments around the world to triple nuclear’s capacity.

And all of that means higher demand for uranium, the fuel that powers nuclear reactors.

More on that tomorrow, so stay tuned…


Nomi Prins
Editor, Inside Wall Street with Nomi Prins