Business Spectator – May 27, 2015

Youd have to wonder how nuclear energy receives such a wave of fandom from some quarters, particularly in the business and conservative press.

If you search the definitive list of reactors on Wikipedia, youll find that reactors are being decommissioned globally at a rate of knots, and many more are set to be decommissioned in the not too distant future. This includes the entire fleet in Germany and a significant portion but unspecified number of reactors in Japan.

If you looked further, youd find that you could count the total number of reactors built in 2014 and 2015 on just one hand. In that period there was activity predominately in China — with its centralised state control avoiding the scrutiny the technology gets everywhere, outside a lone reactor in Argentina being the exception — but you could hardly get excited as that project was started when first of the Generation Ys were still in nappies in 1981.

So youve got a few plants getting built at a much slower pace than planned in China, and a bunch of plants planned all over the place. But as is the case with almost all nuclear plans in the last 25 years, theyve gone nowhere. They are plans (if a dream is a plan), but are not likely to be plants.

So why do we hear about these so called plans over and over?

The answer is the stockmarket: the uranium juniors and the speculative stocks. Get rich quick by backing a speculative exploration license holder, or someone whos got as far as doing a desktop of some geology somewhere on earth.

Its these guys who really need the uranium story to continue. Without it they dont exist; all those pieces of paper that were going to create multi-millionaires are worth nothing. The trick here for them is to keep everyone believing that nuclear and hence the appetite for uranium is rocketing on.

Thats why there are so may projects being planned or under construction but nothing substantial ever getting built and delivered.

Let’s compare to renewables….

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