Germany and Japan are the major countries in question, where they have made it appear they are using other energy sources, when in fact they're mostly importing electricity that is generated by nuclear energy.
The Energy Report asked expert Matt Badiali about the nuclear-free announcements by the two countries.
He responded saying this:
In both cases, the governments are playing politics. In Germany, the government was reacting to negative press and in Japan, which had just experienced a serious natural disaster. The Japanese government told people for decades that nothing of that sort could ever happen, that the nuclear reactors were completely impervious to natural disasters. That put them in a position where if they tried to make any improvements, they would lose face. They backed themselves into a corner and the only solution seemed to be to turn off the reactors. But the reality is that Japan needs nuclear energy. Without it, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have soared and the country doesn't have the infrastructure to move it around. The result was a horrendous summer of spiking electricity prices and rolling brownouts; it was bad news.
Germany used the Fukushima disaster and the negative sentiment that followed to push through a carbon-free agenda. What is really ironic is that Germany is not in a place that gets earthquakes or tsunamis. It is not at any risk for that. It also isn't a place where solar power works really well. Turning off the nuclear plants leaves the country without adequate energy generation infrastructure, so they increased imports of electricity from France. However, over 75% of France's electricity is generated by nuclear power plants. So really all they did was outsource their nuclear reactors. At the same time, they brought on an enormous amount of coal power, which is the single-worst contributor of carbon dioxide. It was politics at its finest.
Badiali sees uranium climbing as high as $100 a pound and higher based upon the reality that miners producing uranium do so at the cost of about $106 a pound. They are getting paid about $40 a pound as of this writing, so the idea they'll continue to charge costumers at a loss of around $66 a pound is ludicrous. The price of uranium will rise over time, and those positioned to take advantage of that should reap solid rewards.
Besides the share price of some of these companies going up because of an increase in the price of uranium, another play is to look for companies ripe for a takeover in the current low uranium price environment. It's the optimal time for a buyout, as the prices will start to go up, making it a surety that mergers and acquisitions in the sector are going to happen.