How you can profit from this huge energy story that no one is talking about

Nuclear power is back in favour as governments seek a cheap, clean alternative to fossil fuels. Matthew Partridge picks the best way for you to profit.


Nuclear power is bouncing back from the Fukushima disaster

There's a lot going on in the world of energy right now.

The oil price is collapsing as oil cartel Opec battles it out with the American shale oil revolutionaries. Tensions in Ukraine threaten to disrupt European gas supplies.

But there's one big story that no one is talking about.

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It's about the slow but steady rehabilitation of an energy source that seemed dead in the water four years ago.

Today we'll look at how to profit from the coming nuclear revival

Why Shinzo Abe's re-election could be a big boost to nuclear power

Up until that point, the industry had enjoyed broad support from both the public and politicians. Japan relied on nuclear power for a third of its energy. By 2030, the plan was for more than half to come from nuclear sources.

But in the wake of the disaster, public opinion turned. By summer 2011, polls suggested that 75% of Japanese people wanted their country to become nuclear-free.

Plants that had been damaged in the earthquake that ultimately triggered the Fukushima disaster were prevented from re-opening, even after they had been fully repaired. Other plants were shut down.

The missing generation capacity was replaced with anything from coal power to thermal energy to wind farms. But unfortunately, this has turned out to be much harder in practice than in theory. Despite making big promises about renewable technology, Japan had to turn to coal and oil to meet targets.

Studies suggest that this shift has cost Japanese energy companies an extra $37bn a year. That's more than three times the cost of the Fukushima clean-up.

This has increased Japan's deficit greatly (as it imports energy). It's also been bad for the environment. The policy shift means that Japan might well not meet greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Some experts have noted that even taking the Fukushima disaster into account nuclear power has saved Japanese lives through decreased pollution, something which is threatened by rising reliance on fossil fuels.

As a result, Japan's government has been gradually changing its mind. It will now allow plants to re-open, as long as the local government agrees. Last month, for example, the city of Satsuma Sendai agreed to let two reactors re-open early next year. Two reactors in Takahama are also expected to follow.

The likely re-election of prime minister Shinzo Abe at the weekend will give a further boost to the industry, assuming that it shores up his power base.

China's chronic pollution and India's need for cheap power

Its dependence on coal means that China has some of the poorest air quality levels in the world. Chronic smog frequently plunges many of its cities into a fuggy gloom, creating a massive public health problem. Ominously for the regime, it has also caused high levels of public anger even protests.

That's the last thing Beijing wants so the government has been scrambling to invest in cleaner energy sources. That includes nuclear power. At the moment, the country is building plants with a total capacity of 58GW (that would put the country on a par with Turkey). By 2020, it hopes to have built another 30GW.

India also sees nuclear power as a pollution-free solution to its chronic energy shortage. It currently has 23 plants in operation, and plans to build another 19 within the next three years.

But growth could be even more rapid, depending on talks with other countries. For example, Russia has offered to build up to 25 new plants. And Japanese firms are also eager to get into the market.

How to profit from rising demand for nuclear power

One firm that should benefit is Cameco Corporation (NYSE: CCJ). Cameco is the world's largest uranium producer, operating in the US, Canada and Kazakhstan. It accounts for 14% of total world production of uranium.

Oh, and just before I go I've mentioned this already, but after the success of this year's MoneyWeek Cruise, we're holding another one in 2015, and booking is now open. It's going to be a great trip travelling from Rome to Athens, in six-star comfort, from 2nd 11th October 2015.

As I said, this year's was a big hit as one guest wrote in to tell us afterwards, "It was a great experience in everyway. The individual presentations were very informativeand the social events stimulating and enjoyable. You can count on me as a participant on the next cruise!"

This year, Bill Bonner, Merryn Somerset Webb, Tim Price, John Stepek, David Thornton and Stephen Bland will all be on board. So there are sure to be plenty of lively discussions as well as the luxury cruise to enjoy.

If you'd like to find out more, you can call freephone 00 800 1414 8888, weekdays 2pm 10.30pm. Just mention priority code 037668. Alternatively you can visit

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri