Paul Brandus: ‘Oppenheimer’ gives stock investors another reason to be bullish about nuclear energy

by | Jul 24, 2023 | Stock Market

One of the hottest movies of the summer is the staggeringly good biopic “Oppenheimer,” about the man who oversaw the frantic race to develop the atomic bomb during World War II.  The atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on Aug 6, 1945 was a fission-style device. This also happens to be the same basic physics behind nuclear reactors that are in use today. It’s a reminder that technology can be, at its essence, agnostic: Whether it is used for malevolent or benevolent purposes (in nuclear fission’s instance, an instrument of death or clean, carbon-free electricity) depends upon the intent of the user. 

Fission reactors generate about 10% of the world’s electricity today. The United States gets even more of its electricity this way, about a fifth. These percentages are likely to rise as global demand for electricity — and concerns about global warming and climate change — rise. This will present opportunities for long-term oriented investors. The lion’s share of this demand — about 70%, says the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), will come from India, which the United Nations says is now the world’s most populous country, China, and Southeast Asia. Put another way, “the world’s growing demand for electricity is set to accelerate, adding more than double Japan’s current electricity consumption over the next three years,” says Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director. While fossil fuels rema …

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