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Cameco & Canada Enter Uranium Agreement With India

Here’s the scoop. This has been a rumor for a while now, but India and Canada finally signed an agreement to deliver nuclear fuel to India for their power generation. This comes as India’s economy is (finally?) making it out of the 19th century and power requirements are growing.

Nuclear energy is on the way back in, because it has to be. Environmentalist groups are basically anti-everything, but they have upset the balance in one key aspect – a large block of the population, about half, believe that traditional carbon emitting forms of fuel will end all life on Earth.

While I’m sure Greenpeace would love to block every form of power generation conceivable, their victories against coal are going to create momentum for nuclear power. You cannot block the main source of fuel and also block development of all the other sources of fuel. I mean, advancements in solar are impressive, but we’re still in the midst of a decades long process of incorporating that into the grid. And let’s be honest, Greenpeace hates constructing those too.

The sane folks are going to slowly latch onto the anti-coal message (and by and large already have), but they aren’t going to embrace the hardcore environmentalist message…ever. So that means we’re going to get more nuclear power as public policy shifts to fuel diversification.

Japan restarts are being held up by some asshole judge. That’s actually fine for the Japanese for the moment since import pricing have presumably fallen sharply with the recent oil selloff. But how long do you really think that will last? Eventually power generation costs jump and they have to restart.

India is running to nuclear because growing nuclear is going to provide air pollution free generation, which they need same as China. My guess is CCJ stock jumped yesterday on confirmation that, yes, this is actually happening and not just a pipe dream.

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  1. drdart

    I have been with Cameco, unfortunately since before the tsunami in Japan. It is been a rocky road for this company since then (though not as bad as those towns in Japan).

    I was watching this announcement with India closely and it sure seems like a step in the right direction. Your comments on uranium and it’s lon term viability always make a lot of sense but what is it going to take for this stock and uranium to move? China and India seem to be expanding and Japan is getting back to it. Germany and Europe seem to be going in the other direction.

    What the heck is Germany using for power and what’s to stop other countries from going the same route? Are they just willing to pay more for alternatives (solar, wind, tidal) or are alternatives actually becoming cost effective.

    Nuclear seems to make so much sense but it has been 5 years of down time with no end in sight.

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    • Mr. Cain Thaler

      So the general discussion here is about the difference between base load and alternative load.

      I had a conversation with a friend recently (he’s an electrical engineer) who thinks we’ll have 80% of the grid on renewable energy in the next 40 years. The extension of this is that base load doesn’t matter.

      He’s technically correct because of reasons very similar to the effect of standard deviation of the mean in large samples from a common distribution. Build out enough renewable power and power generation approaches the key measure.

      But you have to really build out that power generation…by a lot. If you don’t build out enough, the real power you’re generating fluctuates too much. So the tradeoff here is basically you need to get far more energy than you need from renewables and you waste a lot of it to attain stability.

      This is sort of where the discussion of the need for batteries comes into play. The hardcore climate change group is very much willing to vastly overbuild the solar and wind industry if it means getting to use only solar and wind, even if (whatever it is, half, two out of three, whatever…) of the energy sources is technically redundant and only serves the purpose of maintaining grid stability. In my opinion, calmer heads prefer the base load point of view because it involves balances the renewable energy aspect with a steady traditional energy source, without going crazy on infrastructure.

      Germany seems to have managed to get by going crazy on renewable energy infrastructure and a general willingness to eat the cost.

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      • drdart

        Thanks for the summary. That is very interesting. I had always heard there was a lot of fluctuation and waste with renewable energy which was why it has not been built out more. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. Nuclear sounds like a reasonable alternative in between carbon and renewable but by no means a slam dunk. That pesky nuclear waste!

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