There are currently 60 nuclear power reactors under construction and the pipeline is steadily expanding with the majority of planned reactors still in Asia. Poland announced back in July another new nuclear power plant extending the country’s plans for nuclear power to takeover from coal power plants. In addition to new nuclear power plants, many upgrades are being done on existing power plants to expand capacity. In 2021, there were 440 operating nuclear power plants producing roughly 10% of the world’s electricity. As mentioned in one of recent equity notes, Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI, is planning to IPO a small modular nuclear reactor company called Oklo in a sign that investor appetite has risen dramatically for this energy source.
Most of the companies in our nuclear power theme basket are either utilities with a lot of exposure to nuclear power production or uranium miners. Cameco is one of the world’s largest uranium miners and providers of nuclear power fuel for reactors and has recently acquired (deal is not completed) a 49% stake in Westinghouse Electric in order to divest away from the volatile market in uranium. Westinghouse Electric is one for the world’s largest suppliers of technology to nuclear power plants and thus the move by Cameco will create the most vertically integrated company in the nuclear power industry.