As companies and governments around the world seek to turn away from fossil fuels, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France (a country already relying on nuclear power to generate some 70 percent of its electricity) announced on 12 October (as reported the following day by The New York Times) a five-year commitment to make his nation a “champion of innovation” in the field of “green energy.” 

France will invest 30 billion Euros ($34.6 million) in becoming a “champion of innovation,” targeted at more nuclear power plants, semiconductor and robotics manufacturing, low-emission planes and cars, and development of “green hydrogen”; see “ENERGY TREND: HYDROGEN IS ON THE RISE” (22 Oct 2019). 

The plan hopes to reverse the trend of factories and jobs lost to Asia and Eastern Europe over the past 40 years or so.

Pres. Macron, who faces challenges to re-election next year, has talked about bringing strategic industries back from China, and is working with Germany to make Europe a major player in technologies like electric battery manufacturing. He also expressed the need to stabilize the economy and “decarbonize” the nation’s industry as the COVID War winds down, and claimed that also driving his new proposals was “the necessity of fighting climate change.”

TRENDPOST: Macron spoke of the need to “take risks” in order to achieve success in his plans; absent was any mention by the Presstitutes and Macron of the risk of another Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or Fukushima. 

He’s earmarked a billion Euros for “disruptive innovation,” which includes designing small nuclear reactors with “improved waste management.” 

This might allude to the nuclear technology that uses thorium as fuel instead of uranium; see “NUCLEAR POWER ON THE RISE” (19 Sep 2018) and “A NEW PATH TO CLEAN NUCLEAR ENERGY” (13 Oct 2020). Thorium is in many ways far safer than uranium, and the waste it produces doesn’t present the disposal challenges of nuclear waste from uranium, nor does it lend itself to being re-processed into nuclear weapons. 

TREND FORECAST: But guess who else is working on thorium-powered nuclear plants? See “UPDATE: CHINA READY TO LAUNCH NEW NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY” (3 Aug 2021), which supports Trends Journal’s prediction that “the 21st Century will be the Chinese century.”

But Wait, There’s More!

In a related story, don’t count out uranium just yet. As fuel for nuclear reactors, it’s still very much in demand, as evidenced by a recent 37 percent surge in its price, as reported on 16 October by the Financial Times. Raw uranium, known as yellowcake, rose to $50 per pound last month, its highest since 2012. 

New investors, bullish on nuclear power as the world transitions away from fossil fuels, are driving up the price. In 2007 investors drove the price to a record high of $136 per pound. 

Not all investors buy and store physical uranium, but one, Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, has helped the price rise by buying significant quantities; other investors have put money into uranium mining.

One fund that invests in uranium mining is up by 115 percent.

While demand rises (and is expected to continue to do so), supply has decreased, in part because of the COVID War. And the climate change agenda, with everyone seeking a lower “carbon footprint,” doesn’t hurt uranium futures either.

TRENDPOST:  Much of what FT just reported was covered over a month ago by Trends Journal; see “URANIUM PRICES RISING, MAKING PROFITS FOR HEDGE FUNDS” (21 Sep 2021).

One investment manager quoted by FT says that natural gas and coal prices hitting new highs has worsened the energy crisis in Europe and China, and has “placed uranium back in the spotlight,” predicting that Western governments will seek to extend the life of their existing nuclear reactors in order to provide a secure source of energy, which also helps to drive up the price of uranium.

TRENDPOST:  As noted earlier, there seems to be little concern about another Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or Fukushima.

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