Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not Speeding But Not Stopping

olympic-dam-uranium-mine The analysts at the Commonwealth of Australia Bank want you to know:

"But it is a case of one step backward, two steps forward," they said in a review of the sector. "Nuclear growth plans remain intact in China, India, Russia, South Korea, the U.S. and U.K. among others, and dominate the medium- term uranium industry outlook."

The Australians maintain an interest as a large exporter of uranium, but the salient point is that the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi has not dimmed interest in nuclear energy in many countries. One can see that in any number of stories, but it’s interesting to see it aggregated where its abandonment would cause financial pain – as it would in Australia – even if it has no nuclear facilities of its own. But uranium? it has a lot of that. You can read more about uranium mining in Australia here.

Obviously, not speeding ahead is good policy. But so is not stopping.


Speaking of which:

Developers of major energy projects in the U.K. such as nuclear power plants and the associated grid infrastructure will now have greater certainty on planning applications following parliament's approval of the Energy National Policy Statements, the government said Tuesday.

You can read the rest at the site – this is a procedural change, so we’ll see if it has the intended outcome – but the point is that the U.K., which has been working on this change for awhile sees no reason not to proceed. Plenty of time within this framework to apply lessons learned from Fukushima to license applications as they come in. This simply allows for better planning and allocation of assets for exceptionally big projects.


And a little more:

While America and Europe dither over nuclear power, Asia is going full steam ahead.

According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, 65 percent of nuclear plants, currently under construction, are in Asia, with China and India leading the pack. China, like India, relies on coal for 70 percent of its electricity needs… And both know that the only way to power continued economic growth is through nuclear.

I’m not sure “dither” is the word I’d have used – see bit above for Europe not dithering – but fine. Again, the argument is clear: the benefits of nuclear energy remain well understood and the lessons of Japan will be incorporated as soon as right now and into the period ahead. No reason to stop.

This story is looking primarily at China and India from an investor’s perspective. As always when we point in such a direction, the word is caution: not doing research on stocks before buying can lead to many tears and a grim future.

Australia’s Olympic Dam uranium mine.

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