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(JASON REED)
(JASON REED)

Streetwise

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett praise uranium Add to ...

Feeling down and out about the prospects for uranium? Don't. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are on your side.

Since the Japanese earthquake destroyed some of the country's nuclear reactors, global investors have shunned uranium stocks. Cameco Corp. is down about 30 per cent year to date. Denison Mines Corp. is down 35 per cent over the same period.

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But the two big wigs think the fundamentals are too strong for such a big plummet. Mr. Gates was the latest to speak out in praise of uranium at Wired Magazine's 'Disruptive by Design' conference.

Mr. Gates gave nuclear energy company TerraPower a lot of praise, which makes sense considering that he has invested what Wired described as "undisclosed millions" in the company. TerraPower uses less-toxic uranium as its fuel, so the reactor produce as little as one-one-thousandth of the typical amount of radioactive wastes.

Mr. Gates then added the earthquake has simply shaken public confidence and noted that nuclear waste disposal isn't that big of a problem. "The good news about nuclear is that there has hardly been any innovation," he said. "The room to do things differently is quite dramatic."

Warren Buffett sang a similar tune at Berkshire Hathaway's annual general meeting last week. "I think some people misinterpreted my interview when I said that [nuclear power]had suffered a major setback," Mr. Buffett said. "That does not change my view that nuclear power is important for the world."

Charlie Munger, Berkshire's vice chairman, then added that the public can't afford to be so scared of energy opportunities like nuclear because the chance of failure is so small.

Hat tip to Raymond James analyst Bart Jaworski who highlighted the comments in a note to clients.

Follow on Twitter: @timkiladze

 

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