The Rise of Nuclear Energy from Peak Oil's Ashes

Written By Keith Kohl

Posted April 30, 2007

Dear Wealth Daily Reader,

Over the weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of conversing with one of my Wealth Daily readers. This reader was distraught over society’s collapse from peak oil.

Apparently he’s been reading some pretty gruesome literature depicting life as portrayed in Mad Max. At least, that was how he described the effects of peak oil to me.

"No need to worry," I quickly reassured him, "because it will be nothing like that. Mel’s car was running on gasoline in the movie. And by the time our world falls into that state, there won’t be any gasoline left. Oil will simply be way too expensive to refine into fuel."

Doom and gloom humor aside, I pressed him a little on just why he felt we’ll all become savages, killing each other for scraps and regressing to medieval times.

My first guess was right about him reading the horror stories. "But when the oil in the ground runs out overnight, isn’t the world’s going to collapse? I mean, oil is such an integral part of life–transportation, heat . . ." He listed a dozen other uses for oil. "Society will shut down, won’t it?"

He had a legitimate point–predicated on a ridiculous notion. I had to start somewhere. "Well, you don’t need to get yourself worked up over losing oil production ‘overnight,’ because the oil isn’t going to just dry up. There’s plenty of crude in the earth. The problem is going to be getting to that oil."

I continued on to the real issue at hand, "You don’t have to worry about society as we know it disintegrating. Society changes all the time. Think about what it was like hundreds of years ago. I’d say we’ve progressed pretty far since the days of burning witches."

 

The problem I find with apocalyptic visions of life after oil is that they forget one small thing–human ingenuity.

Take oil prices, for example. Today it’s trading comfortably around $66 a barrel. Yet the more the price climbs (I think we may well see $100 a barrel before the end of the summer), the more will be spent on development of alternative energy sources.

Although extremely nervous, my friend was no fool. "But those renewable resources aren’t even close to covering our oil addiction. It could take decades before they’re ready."

I couldn’t contradict him. He was right. The truth is that renewables supply only a miniscule part of global energy demand. And a lot of development is still needed.

Oil’s status as the "king of commodities" is safe for the next decade. Our addiction is just too great. But during the next ten years, you’re going to see huge advances in technology. And all thanks (in part) to peak oil.

In a nutshell, peak oil is going to drive us into the future whether we like it or not.

The tricky part is figuring out what’s on the energy horizon. And better still, how to profit from it.

Nuclear Rising

One of the rising successors to oil’s throne is nuclear energy.

Some countries are starting to catch on to that. France produces almost eighty percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

And the French not alone. Take a glance at the global picture of nuclear power:

nuclear electrical generation

But don’t just take numbers from the past as proof. The future is what you want to focus on. Nobody has ever made money looking backwards.

Over 435 nuclear reactors are operating around the world. About 30 are currently under construction, with over 150 more being planned.

China expects 100% of its future electricity to come from nuclear energy.

The age of fossil fuels is coming to a close.

Also, oil isn’t the only fossil-fuel energy source that is peaking. Experts believe that peak natural gas is right around the corner.

Let me introduce you to the nuclear renaissance.

The stigma of mushroom clouds is quickly dissipating. Sure, the fear of nuclear arms proliferation will always be a source of angst in a nuclear world.

But here’s the bottom line: All the negative stereotypes of nuclear power don’t matter, because the world needs to get its energy from somewhere. Unlike renewable energy sources, nuclear energy can meet that demand on a global scale.

Nuclear energy–like many other prospective energy sources–presents several investment opportunities for average Joes like us.

Personally, I see the most potential in uranium mining companies. With prices soaring over the last decade, uranium is so essential to the nuclear process that producers will be willing to pay an arm and leg for it.

Let’s face it, even if they have to pay five times the current uranium price ($113 per pound), that makes up a minute part of a nuclear facility’s budget.

There’s a long future in nuclear energy, even when the last pound of uranium is extracted from the earth. But I’ll save that part for next week. Here’s a little hint: If this type of nuclear fuel is developed, it’ll blow uranium out of the water.

Readers like my distressed friend need to realize that oil’s downfall is our gain. You just need the right guide to show you the path.

Luckily, we’re on that path right now. Just click here for more details.

Until Next time,

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Keith Kohl

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