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Will Nuclear Power Make a Comeback?

Some believe a mix of renewable energy and nuclear power is the way of the future. The French are certainly a worthy case study (read THIS and THIS). That’s because nuclear power was the only way for the French to achieve energy independence. France has no oil, natural gas, and its coal resources are practically exhausted. So in the 1970s they embraced nuclear power as a cheap and clean alternative to oil.

Here in the U.S. we’re still heavily dependent on oil, natural gas and coal despite massive investments in wind and solar (see chart below). Nuclear energy remains a controversial and divisive subject that is mostly driven by politics not science.  In other words, scientists and engineers have very little influence and viewpoints are likely to come from ideological biases rather than science.

Polls also show most Americans oppose nuclear power, but not because they fear a reactor meltdown; they simply don’t care for it. Gasoline is cheap and there’s plenty of natural gas to satisfy demand. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is seen as too costly, which is a shame because it is less harmful to the environment than fracking, coal and oil. So much so that environmentalists like Michael Shellenberger (watch the video) are rethinking nuclear power. They have come to realize that nuclear power can help us rid ourselves of fossil fuels forever. Will it happen? That’s hard to predict given the current political climate in this country. But as an investor, the sector is definitely worth looking at given the fact that the world will need more clean energy.

Energy

Disclosure: Long Cameco

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