Exelon’s Dividend Siren Song

by Debra Fiakas CFA When the market gets volatile, many investors dive behind the protective shield of dividends.  Exelon Corporation (EXC:  NYSE) is an owner of nuclear power generation plants and is included in Crystal Equity Research’s Atomics Index of companies using the atom to create energy because more than half of its power output is generated at nuclear power plants.  The company offers a handsome dividend near $1.24 per year.  Granted it is not a small-cap company, which is the usual target for this column, but yield is beguiling.  At the current price the dividend yield is...
uranium spot price

Spotting A Uranium Rebound: Inventories Are Key

The chart of spot uranium prices presents a dismal picture for this key energy commodity. After a brief spike in early 2006, the spot price has been in a long-term slide down hill. In the last year and a half it appears the price as found a level of support at the $20.00 price level as the shares have bounced around between that support level and up to the high 20s. With each bound higher shareholders of uranium producers cheer the end of what has been a long ‘down’ cycle. A click up to US$27.50 in recent days has...

NextEra Energy: the Real Attraction

by Debra Fiakas CFA One member of the NuStart Energy consortium of nuclear power developers is Florida Power & Light or FPL Group, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NEE: NYSE).  The group had its sights on getting a nuclear power plant construction and operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  The company operates the third largest nuclear power generation fleet in the U.S. composed of eight nuclear reactors at five plant sites.  The fleet is far flung, ranging from Florida to New Hampshire and Wisconsin and West to Iowa. FPL is working on an expansion of...

An uNclear Future

25 years on from Chernobyl: Nuclear’s unclear future, and the on-going renaissance for alternative energy stocks Karl L. Mitchell, Ph.D. Summary On April 26th, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in northern Ukraine.  The blast spewed a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe, causing many hundreds of thousands to flee from their homes in Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia.  25 years later we are facing the only other level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale; at Fukushima, Japan.  Although less immediately catastrophic, it has resulted in...
NuScale reactor

Two Stocks That Could Benefit From NuScale’s Sucess

After toiling away for almost two decades, perfecting its nuclear power reactor design, NuScale Power is on the cusp of commercial stage with its innovative Small Modular Reactor (SMR).  The company has applied for certification by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and expects to approval by 2021.  In a departure from conventional construction methods NuScale’s SMR is to be manufactured in a factory setting and assembled on site. NuScale has also lined up a first customer, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), which is planning to build a nuclear power plant with twelve of NuScale’s 50-gigawatt SMRs.  UAMPS expects its project to be...
uranium mine

Flocking to Uranium

The post Yellow Cake Debut described the capital raising effort of one of the newest players in the uranium supply chain.  Yellow Cake leadership brought the aspiring intermediary to the capital market at a critical time for uranium producers.  The uranium market has been in an extended trough period since the industry peak in 2007.  At that time considerable development had been undertaken and capacity was beginning to generate sufficient supply to create stockpiled inventories.  As this bloated condition persisted, in 2011 the nuclear power and its uranium supply chain were shocked by a Pacific Ocean tsunami that led to a nuclear spill at...

A Light At The End Of The Bridge For Lightbridge?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Earlier this week nuclear fuel technology developer, Lightbridge Corporation (LTBR:  Nasdaq), reported year-end 2015 financial results and provided an update on recent accomplishments.  Not unexpectedly, Lightbridge reported a net loss of $4.3 million or $0.24 per share for the year.  During the year the company scraped together $900,000 in revenue from consulting services, an effort to leverage the expertise of its scientists and engineers as they continue work on new fuel technologies.  The contribution margin of the consulting work was $216,239  -  not nearly enough to cover administrative spending or the costs of...
Uranium is usually traded as yellowcake, U3O8

Yellow Cake Debut

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Investors have a new opportunity for a stake in nuclear power.  Last week a successful initial offering was staged by a new player in the uranium supply chain.  Yellow Cake, plc. (YCA: LON) sold 76 million shares at £200 per share, raising £151 million (US$200 million). Uranium Participation Corporation (U:  TO)took US$25 million of the deal, giving the Canada-based uranium speculator a 16% stake in the company.  Yellow Cake is listed on AIM under the symbol YCA.  In its third day of trading the stock closed up 1.25% from its debut. Yellow Cake means to be a player in the uranium market, buying and...

Watch This Nuclear Player Boil

by Debra Fiakas CFA The last post on Chicago Bridge and Iron (CBI: NYSE) noted the entrance of CBI into the nuclear field with the acquisition of The Shaw Group, which has an exclusive relationship with Toshiba Corporation related to the Toshiba Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR).  More evolutionary than revolutionary the ABWR is supposed to be superior other designs in its light water reactor class.  ABWR produces power by superheating water to the boiling point. The resulting steam is then used to drive a turbine attached to a generator.  Other light water reactors also heat...
uranium

Admin Reviews Fuel Production To Mixed Nuclear Reactions

by Debra Fiakas, CFA The U.S. Administration took a swing at the uranium ball, but it is not clear if it was a miss and strike out or just a walk.  Some in the uranium industry are applauding a decision by the Trump Administration on the January 2018 petition by U.S. uranium producers Energy Fuels (UUUU:  NYSE) and Ur-energy (URG:  NYSE), requesting protection from uranium imports. The U.S. Commerce Department had investigated the petition under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act.  No new trade restrictions are being implemented at this time, but the Administration is establishing a working group to analyze U.S. nuclear fuel production.   A report...
NuScale SMR

NuScale’s Small Nuclear Reactors Land A Big Investor

by Debra Fiakas, CFA NuScale Power is in a new pact with South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co. to support development of NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR).  In addition to direct investment of $40 million in NuScale, Doosan has agreed to provide parts and equipment for the innovative nuclear power reactor valued at a total of $1.2 billion. NuScale has been working on its power reactor for several years.  The new design is based on pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology that has been used to power nuclear submarines and naval vessels.  The design uses ordinary water as a coolant rather than ‘heavy’ water used by...

Yankee Graphite

Several graphite developers have made plans to integrate forward into the hottest segment of the market  -  battery-grade graphite.  According to Industrial Minerals, spherical graphite suitable for lithium ion battery anodes is priced in a range of $2,700 to $2,800 per metric ton in China where many battery manufacturers are located.  This compares quite well to the range of about $655 to $790 per metric ton for flake graphite concentrate. The integration strategy has sent the sector into a frenzy of activity to prove their graphite meets expectations of battery manufacturers.  The only graphite deposit in the U.S. mainland is under development by Westwater Resources...

Lightbridge Flirts with Areva

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week nuclear fuel developer Lightbridge Corporation (LTBR:  Nasdaq) announced an agreement with nuclear power plant builder Areva (AREVA:  Paris; ARVCF:  OTC/QB) to form a joint venture.  The present pact is a precursor to a formal joint venture agreement that would team up the two companies  -  one very large multinational nuclear power house and one still quite small fuel developer  -  in joint development of Lightbridge’s metallic nuclear fuel technology. Lightbridge has developed and patented a novel design that replaces conventional tubes filled with ceramic uranium pellets now used by pressurized...

Four Green Money Managers’ Top Stock Picks

Green money managers' stock picks after the Japanese nuclear crisis. Even as the nuclear disaster in Japan unfolds, it's clear that the world's energy industry will be forever changed. Russian reactors were never considered safe, but a Japanese to have a nuclear meltdown is an entirely different story. Market Reaction Since Monday, nuclear stocks and ETFs have been plummeting. As of Wednesday night, The Market Vectors Uranium + Nuclear Energy ETF (NYSE:NLR), the iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index (NASD:NUCL), PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy Portfolio ETF (NYSE:PKN), and the Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE:URA) are down...

Book Review: Public Meltdown

Ben Plotzker The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The focus on the public’s view of nuclear plant operator Entergy (NYSE:ETR) sets Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, by Richard Watts apart from other nuclear energy books.  The book avoids pro or anti-nuclear positions, and focus on scientific aspects of the plant, and instead tells the story of one nuclear plant’s journey through history.  That plant is Vermont Yankee, a General Electric (GE) boiling water reactor type, the same...

Energy Dominoes From Japan

Joe McCabe Energy amazes me; the ramifications from elementary school physics of converting potential energy into kinetic energy.  It's happening everywhere around us, and can have far reaching ramifications. An example is the potential energy in the form of pressure built up under Japan in plate tectonics before the recent earthquake, turned into land shaking, country moving, tsunami creating kinetic energy that reaches across the world. There are other forces, lets call it society energy, that can create financial shock waves in the energy industry including political, religious, and inaccurate supply curve assumptions. Energy Industry Domino...