MIT study suggests nuclear power crucial to future as uranium price hits 2-year high

Nuclear Plant. (Image from archives)

Last week, 2.4 million pounds of uranium changed hands according to industry consultant TradeTech.

At $26.70/lb, the uranium spot price reached a 2-year high and at that price, it meant roughly $64 million dollars changed hands over uranium.

All of this comes after the price appeared to have bottomed out after dropping to $18.00/lb in November 2016 and having seen a steady rise since, including gains of 24% since the start of 2018.

The suggestion that we are undergoing a uranium market turnaround is certainly gaining momentum, with price rises being driven by greater demand for utilities and uranium being the core fuel behind nuclear power.

A study released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last week explored a low-carbon-emission future where academics from the highly respected institution contended that nuclear power must play a vital role for the world to achieve carbon emission goals.

Whilst academics and industry experts share this view, survey results from the study revealed one stark resistance barrier to the study’s recommendations.

“Public acceptance will also be critical to expansion of nuclear power. Our survey results show that the public does not yet see nuclear power as a way to address global warming, suggesting that further public education may be necessary.”

“Public acceptance will also be critical to expansion of nuclear power.”

Beyond MIT’s study, global leaders came together earlier in the year to form the NICE (Nuclear Initiative for a Clean Energy) Future initiative. The group is spearheaded by the United States, Canada and Japan, and was formed to ensure nuclear power has a meaningful seat at any table when discussing a clean future.

“Nuclear energy’s vitally important but under-recognized contributions to clean air are made even greater by constant innovation,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at the launch of NICE Future in May.

“The NICE Future initiative highlights these contributions by reimagining nuclear’s advanced uses and applications. Nuclear provides a cleaner, safer, more reliable, and more resilient energy supply for our world.”

As more global leaders move towards the undeniable efficiency of nuclear power, it is likely that we will see further increases in the spot price of uranium.

Whilst the past five years have seen many uranium companies close their doors, there are those that have specifically positioned themselves in anticipation for the change in market sentiment. One of those is Australian explorer Toro Energy Limited (ASX: TOE) which has a proven uranium resource of 62 million pounds at its Wiluna Uranium Project in Western Australia.

Speaking candidly at an investor briefing in June, Toro Energy Chairman, Richard Homsany told investors, “Something’s got to give with uranium prices.”

And if they do, Toro’s 62 million pound resource looks incredibly attractive.

Toro Energy trade under the ASX code: ‘TOE’

*OzFinancial are paid a retainer to assist TOE with Private Investor Management

(By Patrick Nelson, CEO, OzFinancial)