Obama’s Nod for Deputy Energy Sec. Positive for Nuclear Power

Could the President's nomination for Deputy Energy Secretary been far more supportive for the nuclear sector than one may initially think?

Jul 19, 2014 at 1:42PM

The nuclear sector stands a bit taller on the heels of President Obama nominating Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, the National Security Council's top nuclear proliferation and defense policy official, to be deputy secretary of energy. For a nuclear sector that has been severely kicked to the curb post-Fukushima with spot uranium prices at $28.25 per pound, or 60% below levels seen in early 2011, investors in uranium may be relieved that Obama is replacing one nuclear expert in Daniel Poneman, who is stepping down after five years, with another prominent nuclear figure in Sherwood-Randall.  

Sherwood-Randall's chief task will be to oversee the nuclear complex, overhaul nuclear laboratories and explore ways to lower the country's nuclear weapons arsenal. So we have an Energy Secretary in Ernie Moniz who is committed to lowering carbon, and now there is an expected deputy secretary who is laser-focused on nuclear security. A nice one-two combination that could make uranium miners look attractive to investors 

Uranium miners may benefit
Considering Sherwood-Randall's expected role to balance our weapons stockpile and the country's nuclear materials, the uranium supply shortage in the U.S. and the greater need for technology to advance nuclear power may now finally get much more focused attention from the Department of Energy. That bodes well for uranium miners since nuclear power emits no carbon emissions and can operate 24/7, two very important items to remember in an increasingly sustainable society. 

Cameco (NYSE:CCJ) has publicly stated its desire to acquire assets that are more near term when it comes to production, so investors may want to keep an eye on Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:UEC), which is producing uranium from its Palangana mine in South Texas. 

Those looking to play uranium through the ETF may also find the Global X Uranium ETF (NYSEMKT:URA) a good place to allocate capital for the longer term.

Real dependence
The fact the U.S. produces only 4 million domestic pounds of uranium per year while importing over 55 million pounds may need to be reexamined under a microscope by Sherwood-Randall, especially since our uranium imports far exceed our dependence on foreign oil, so this certainly falls under an issue of national security. Any renewed focus on the importance of nuclear power in the U.S. may finally put a bottom in on the spot price of uranium and help depressed valuations of miners in the sector. 

Sherwood-Randall revamping the nation's nuclear labs may end up being the big story here and a huge victory for R&D in the sector since innovation will likely play a much bigger role in the future of safe nuclear power. From the evolution of small modular reactors, using waste as a catalyst for fuel or even tapping thorium, a material that is fertile and cannot sustain nuclear fission itself, advances in modern technology are making the future world of nuclear power much different today with enormous focus on safety and non-proliferation. That seems to be why Sherwood-Randall got the nod from Obama. 

Therefore at a time when Moniz is committed to reducing carbon output in the U.S., the focus on nuclear safety seems like natural fit as nuclear energy seems strongly positioned to now play an even bigger role in our nation's energy mix. 

Do you know this energy tax "loophole"?
You already know record oil and natural gas production is changing the lives of millions of Americans. But what you probably haven’t heard is that the IRS is encouraging investors to support our growing energy renaissance, offering you a tax loophole to invest in some of America’s greatest energy companies. Take advantage of this profitable opportunity by grabbing your brand-new special report, “The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!,” and you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

John Licata does own shares of Energy Fuels while Blue Phoenix does consult for the company. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers