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(rightly) that nukes provide about 20% of U.S. electricity—enough for 23 mil- lion homes, the equivalent of two Cali- fornias. “Just imagine if the United States depended on Russia for more than 50% of its crude oil needs. Peo- ple would be protesting in Washing- ton, D.C.” The main problem with this analy- sis (which, unfortunately, is the basis for investor advice) is that it ignores that the nuclear fuel cycle industry— from mining through milling (into yellowcake) and other processing— has evolved into such a globalized and commercially based industry that na- tionalistic monkey wrenches are al- most inconceivable these days. (As for raw supply, uranium is not rare and is recoverable in many geo- logical settings, prompting the World Nuclear Association to conclude, “There is therefore no reason to antic- ipate any shortage of uranium…from playing an expanding role in provid- ing the world’s energy needs for de- cades or even centuries to come.”) That includes Russia, which has skillfully leveraged its Cold War-era nuclear military expertise to become arguably the most significant player in the burgeoning global civilian nuclear industry—from fuel to reactors. Even during the midst of the recent Putin-ginned-up conflict in Ukraine— annexing Crimea and stoking militant separatism in the East—TVEL, the state-owned Russian fuel company, maintained uninterrupted supplies to customers, including the Ukraine. In fact, noted Philip Johnson of Ux Consulting, TVEL flew fuel assem- blies to at least one Eastern Euro- pean customer (Slovakia) to avoid any on-the-ground delays and make delivery deadlines: “And since ura- nium is the heaviest naturally occur- ring element on earth, in terms of freight cost, TVEL was paying through the nose, but it was doing it as a sign of good faith that this is truly a global marketplace.” Those established commercial dic- tates are the main reason that the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Suzanne Phelps said, “U.S. industry does not
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