Like the internet and GPS before them, drones are evolving beyond their military origin to become powerful business tools. They've already made the leap to the consumer market, and now they're being put to work in commercial and civil government applications from firefighting to farming. That's creating a market opportunity that's too large to ignore.
Between now and 2020, we forecast a $100 billion market opportunity for drones—helped by growing demand for the commercial and civil government sectors.
Source: Goldman Sachs Research
Drones got their tart as safer, cheaper and often more capable alternatives to manned military aircraft. Defense will remain the largest market for the foreseeable future as global competition heats up and technology continues to improve.
Source: Goldman Sachs Reaseach
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Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, - Published - November 14, 2016
CEOCFO: Mr. Goldstein, what is the focus at US Nuclear Corp. today?
Mr. Goldstein: We make sensors for radiation and for chemicals in air and in water. We sell those to nuclear power plants and hospitals and first responders. We are now putting them on drones and giving them especially to first responders to look for radioactive and chemical contamination in the environment.
CEOCFO: Does the name US Nuclear throw people off a little bit?
Mr. Goldstein: Our core business is radiation measurement. The chemical sensors, we have been doing that for a few years, but we have been in the nuclear industry business for a long time, more than 60 years. As I said, our core business is radiation measurement. Our original company name was Technical Associates, which says nothing about what we do or even whether we are a manufacturer or not. We then bought two other companies, one named Overhoff Technology, one is named Electronic Control Concepts, which does not tell anything either about what business they are in. We were looking for a name that was descriptive of our business model and came up with US Nuclear Corp because people can understand the Nuclear part. But you are right, especially when we are selling to some overseas countries, they may not like it, however we have not found it to be a block to sales.
CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape and why do we want a US Nuclear company sensor?
Mr. Goldstein: Good question. Everybody has competition and in the radiation field, it is restricted a little bit because to calibrate the sensors a license is required. A radioactive source on-site is also required and not everybody wants to do that. So it is a little bit of a segmented business. Thermo Fisher is in this business, and they are a multi-billion dollar company, so you can see it is a very big business.
We specialize in the stuff that is so hard to build that other people have given up on it. That gives us market protection. The specific areas are measuring Tritium. Out of all the radioactive materials; Tritium is the hardest to measure. We also measure radioactivity in water, which is also very difficult because the water acts as a shield in-between the sensor and the radioactive signal we are looking at, this blocks the signal making it very difficult. Those are two areas we have developed that other companies have not.
CEOCFO: How often might somebody measure? How often do they need to change the equipment – are there disposables with the equipment? Give us a little overall information.
Mr. Goldstein: If you work at a hospital or a technical university or a nuclear power plant or a national laboratory, all of these places have a lot of radioactivity they are using on-site. This requires, by law, a radiation safety officer – every institution utilizing radioactive elements is mandated to have a radiation safety officer (RSO) and a radiation safety department. This is really all they are doing; measuring -levels of radioactivity all day, every day.
There are some disposables – a lot of the work is monitoring the air, so you have to replace the filters frequently in the air monitors in a lot of places, depending on where the air monitors are located. There are often air monitors located throughout the facility, not just one. Among the ways the RSO takes measurements includes using a special chemical called liquid scintillation cocktail; or a lot of places will take a special absorbent wipe and wipe the chemist’s bench or wipe the area in the nuclear pharmacy. The wipe and is then checked with a radiation detector to see if it is radioactive and what level the radioactivity is. Those wipes have to be replaced.
CEOCFO: Are you working on an ongoing basis with your clients?
Mr. Goldstein: Yes. These instruments need recalibration depending on what the regulator requires of them. This is necessary to assure accurate measurement. Everybody needs to recalibrate their instruments once a year, and some people have to do it four times a year. For instruments that are easy to ship they are sent back to us for calibration with a nominal charge for that service. For the big instruments, some of which can weigh 650 pounds or more, the instruments are sent with calibration instructions for the customer to do it for themselves.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your involvement with drones?
Mr. Goldstein: We all know that drones are used in a wide variety of fields at this time. The show great video and I believe they can even pick up sounds. Some use infrared cameras to look for hot spots in electrical systems or the temperature of the plants on a farm.
We just participated in a major drone conference in Las Vegas and the response to our product was enormous. Out of 215 vendors we were the only on offering a full weather drone capable of a heavy payload (up to 19 pounds) with radiation and chemical sensors. Several different participants said that they were looking for exactly what we offer. They were excited to learn we could detect radiation and chemicals such as methane from the air. We anticipate a similar response at the upcoming Drone World Expo in San Jose November 15-16, 2016.
Basically, drones are airborne robots. And just like robots in war, or in disaster relief, there are a lot of places where you really do not want to send somebody because it is dangerous. By instrumenting drones with chemical and radiation sensors, we are able to get information that is otherwise dangerous to obtain, or even impossible to get. For instance if there is a cloud above a burning hospital or whatever, know what contamination is in the cloud, providing critical information to determine mitigation and evacuation strategies without putting first responders at risk. The risk of entering a cloud of unknown contamination is incredibly dangerous to both first responders and news crews in helicopters. With the advent of commercial quality drones capable of carrying sensor instruments for aerial radiation and chemical detection the risk factor goes way down.
CEOCFO: How are you interacting with the companies that are producing drones? What kinds of arrangements are you looking at or have in place?
Mr. Goldstein: In our most recent press release, we announced our strategic alliance with FlyCam UAV, which is a company that builds their own drones and also buys and resells drones. The drones we are using are quite unique with a good payload weight. They are not just carrying a video camera, in addition to the video camera our equipment weighs a few pounds and FlyCam UAV provides us with drones with exceptional payload weight capability. Weather and wind speed, good weather and bad weather, flying times and speed, are also contributing factors that need to be addressed with the drone quality FlyCam UAV provides for us.
CEOCFO: Is there government regulation regarding your role?
Mr. Goldstein: The drone pilot needs to pass a certification written test. They have to know the regulations and they have to know how to read weather patterns and be aeronautical experts to some degree. We are licensed by the state of California to calibrate instruments. The FAA for flying the drone and the local radiation license are required.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your global presence?
Mr. Goldstein: About 60% of our business is overseas, 40% domestic. We have excellent name recognition for our Overhoff Technology brand, and favorable name recognition for our other two brands, Technical Associates and Electronic Control Concepts as well. In addition to U.S. and Canada, we sell in Korea, in China; South America, and in most of the NATO European countries.
CEOCFO: How do you overcome some of the challenges with selling in a country like China? Do you work directly with your customers? Are you working through distributors or representatives?
Mr. Goldstein: We have been working through distributors, and that works quite well. We have been selling some materials into China for many years and we are increasing our efforts there. We are now opening an office in Beijing. This is important because our customers need to be reassured that there is a place to take their instruments if they need repair or just to have a friendly ear that they can call in the same time zone.
CEOCFO: One of the things on your site relates to innovation. “Innovation is the rule at US Nuclear Corp.” How so?
Mr. Goldstein: As I mentioned before, we specialize in measuring the hard to detect materials. In doing so requires innovation, creativity and imagination to design and build instruments that will perform accurately and dependably. Our line of water monitors are a really good example of such ingenuity and innovation. The Fairfax water district purchase one of our water monitors to protect the people and government in Washington DC. Tritium is incredibly difficult to measure and Overfhoff Technology is known globally for the instruments that have been developed to approach such a difficult subject.
CEOCFO: How is business today?
Mr. Goldstein: It is good. As you said, the general public does not know that there is radiation to measure, unless something like a Fukushima event takes place. As I was saying every hospital has a nuclear medicine department and their imaging department. All imaging is done with X-rays or radioactive materials. All the good colleges have chemistry and other departments that have radioactivity. With the development of new drugs radiation is used as a tracer; in other words to determine if their special new drug or special new molecule went to the target organ. So it is used as a tracer. Radiation is sort of everywhere, even though we do not realize it. For instance, headlights that are super bright, almost a blue white are made with Xenon, which is radioactive.
CEOCFO: Put it together for our readers in the business and investment community. Why pay attention to US Nuclear Corp?
Mr. Goldstein: We have a protected market with our instrumentation providing measurement for hard to measure elements. It is not just like opening a restaurant because you think your food is better than anybody else’s – we make products that nobody else makes. We are protected in that way. But also, we are the only ones that I have been able to find outside of the military that is putting sensors on drones, and I know that is going to be very big. We also are coming out with a radon measurement device that will help stop radon exposure. Radon is recognized as the second biggest cause of lung cancer after smoking. I think US Nuclear Corp has a very bright future as we meet the demand for instruments that fill a need which only we meet as described earlier.
Comments Off on Trump’s Presidency Will Affect Nuclear Energy Investments
No matter the outcome of any one presidential election, reports show that about 90% of the existing nuclear reactors in the country are soon due to be relicensed for an additional 20 years, some for as long as 40 years — far outlasting the tenure of any president. Furthermore, the U.S. is projected to remain the biggest global producer of nuclear power for 10 more years at the very least; that is, until China completes their 100 planned new nuclear units.
Yet now that the results of the election are in, we can begin to predict how the country will be investing in energy companies on a macro scale, and investing in nuclear energy in particular, over the years to come. President-elect Donald Trump has been a vocal advocate of nuclear investments for America, saying as far back as 2011 that he is “in favor of nuclear energy — very strongly in favor of nuclear energy.”
Trump has also touted nuclear power as a viable path to free the U.S. of foreign energy dependency, one of the key issues of his platform.
“It should be the goal of the American people and their government to achieve energy independence as soon as possible. Nuclear power is a valuable source of energy and should be part of an all-the-above program for providing power for America long into the future,” the president-elect has said.
The Republican president-to-be is also largely in favor of deregulating the energy sector across the board, which could result in significant gains for those investing in energy and in nuclear energy stocks. His goal is to remove the current red tape that may impede energy innovation and exploration, including among publicly traded nuclear power companies.
On the other hand, Trump has also faced widespread criticism for his laissez-faire environmental policies, total disregard for slowing the pace of climate change, and disinterest in complying with international eco-friendly commitments. Gas drilling and coal initiatives could increase under a Trump presidency, while government-supported efforts to bolster solar and wind power may fall by the wayside.
Yet as an affordable, practical, and entirely emission-free source of energy, nuclear power could prove an easy compromise between energy that is both “green,” efficient, and free of foreign dependence.
It’s impossible to predict the future, especially under the always-unpredictable Donald Trump; however, experts say the future of the nuclear industry looks bright.
Nuclear energy is a emerging resource that can be used in lieu of climate change-inducing fossil fuels. However, there are many unknown details about this form of energy, so here are some frequently asked questions about nuclear energy to better explain this process.
Q: What is nuclear energy?
Nuclear power plants split uranium atoms inside a reactor through a process called fission. The heat that is produced comes in the form of steam, which then spins a turbine to generate electricity.
Q: How does this form of energy compare to fossil fuels?
Nuclear energy sources are much smaller than any form of fossil fuel. One pellet of uranium, the size of a fingernail, contains the same amount of energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal, of 149 gallons of oil. This makes it exceptionally cost-effective and efficient. Plus, nuclear energy does not produce any greenhouse gases.
Q: Is nuclear energy renewable?
Generally, a renewable resource uses a limitless supply of sun, wind, or water. Nuclear energy must use the element uranium, so it can be considered a somewhat sustainable energy source; there is enough uranium on our planet to fuel reactors for more than 100 years.
Q: Are there reactors worldwide?
Yes, as of right now there are more than 436 nuclear reactors in over 30 different countries. In the United States alone, there are 61.
Q: Do nuclear power plants release radioactive material?
Yes, but only in small quantities approved by the federal government. However, the plant stores this waste until the radioactivity level decreases to a safe amount so those around the plant will not be affected.
Q: How do nuclear energy plants benefit the economy?
Every dollar spent by a nuclear reactor will bring $1.04 back into the local economy, $1.18 to the state, and $1.87 to the federal economy. The industry also creates jobs with both the construction and maintaining of the plant.
Q: Why should I be investing in energy companies?
As the amount of fossil fuels becomes depleted, it is more important than ever to find other forms of energy. Investing in nuclear energy stocks and companies is a fantastic economic choice, since the need for nuclear energy will only grow from now.
Have any questions about investing in energy companies and stocks? Contact our professionals today to get started.
Comments Off on 4 Advantages of Investing in Nuclear Energy Right Now
Nuclear energy is going through a major resurgence in popularity, especially when it comes to nuclear energy investment. While nuclear energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can be converted from one form to another, as this energy is released from the nucleus of the atom. When a controlled nuclear reaction occurs, either through fusion or fission, it produces a large amount of energy that can be used instead of non renewable resources like oil and gas.
Investing in nuclear energy stocks can be beneficial for investors across the globe. Here are four major advantages of nuclear energy investment for the 21st century.
1. Reduces your carbon footprint
Nuclear energy brings with it lower greenhouse gas emissions as this form of energy does not release any gases into the environment. Additionally, there is no adverse impact on water, land, or habitats with the creation of this form of energy.
Other forms of alternative energy sources aren’t always as reliable, especially resources dependent on favorable weather conditions. Solar and wind plants need specific conditions to produce large amounts of energy; however, nuclear energy can be produced even within the roughest weather conditions.
3. Cost effective
The cost of uranium, the element that is used as fuel in the nuclear energy process, is incredibly lower than other forms of energy. Plus, one kilogram of natural uranium will produce about 20,000 times as much energy as the same amount of coal, so your dollar will be stretched to a new level with this product. Also, a nuclear reactor can last up to 60 years if maintained properly, which makes the cost of producing electricity incredibly low over its lifetime.
4. Easy transportation
Nuclear energy requires less raw material than other sources. For example, 28 grams of uranium produces as much energy as 100 metric tons of coal. Not only that, but since nuclear energy is required in small quantities, total transportation costs are comparably very low.
All in all, there are many benefits to nuclear investment that can bring many advantages to companies across the globe. If you have any additional questions about nuclear energy investment, do not hesitate to contact our experts today.
Comments Off on Nuclear Construction Paving the Way for Better Use of Alternative Energy
There are 100 commercial nuclear reactors operating within 60 power plants in the U.S. alone. On average, these reactors are about 34 years old, while the oldest, Nine Mile Point Unit 1 and Oyster Creek, have been in use since December 1969.
Although the nation has been investing in energy — specifically clean, alternative forms — for quite some time, there is still a high demand for non-fossil fuel energy sources.
Investing in nuclear energy is clearly nothing new, but despite the age of the existing nuclear energy plants and reactors, there are new reactors being built even today.
In June 2016, Watts Bar Unit 2 began its initial operation in Tennessee. This is the first nuclear reactor to come online in the U.S. since 1996. It is expected to begin its commercial operations by the end of this year.
Additionally, Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are currently being constructed in Georgia and Virgil C. Summer Units 2 and 3 are being built in South Carolina.
Since the shutdown of four reactors in 2013, and since Vermont Yankee was removed from service in 2014, the U.S. nuclear industry has dipped. But as of recently, it’s been making a comeback.
Nuclear power has generated roughly 20% of U.S. electricity since 1990. As the power plants continue to undergo modifications, they have been able to increase their capacities and shorten their offline times.
While there are some risks in nuclear energy investment, the rewards are much greater with proper monitoring. Nuclear power plant investments could drastically reduce the global need for fossil fuels, which have been proven to harm the environment and are available in finite amounts.
While the U.S. only holds five percent of the world’s population, it burns nearly a quarter of the Earth’s fossil fuels, creating greenhouse gasses, as well as air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals.
Nuclear energy is a contained form of energy generation, and therefore does not produce the same types of pollutants that harm the environment. Of course, nuclear reactions do create radioactive byproducts, which must be monitored closely.
Regular radiation detection and measurement is especially important when it comes to nuclear energy investment. While the radiation can be dangerous, if controlled, nuclear energy is some of the most effective forms of energy generated today.
Comments Off on 3 Enlightening Advantages to Nuclear Energy
Global warming has become a hot topic in recent years, which has prompted scientists, politicians, and the general public to spend time exploring and investing in energy for alternate fuel options. One such option is nuclear energy. Investing in energy companies will help to further develop methods and viable ways we can harness nuclear power. When we invest in nuclear energy, we invest in our future. If you’re still wondering about some of the advantages to using nuclear power and how investing in nuclear energy can benefit our world, here are three enlightening assets to using this energy resource:
Reduced greenhouse gases
Nuclear energy has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any power source. This is because carbon dioxide and methane — the gases responsible for the greenhouse effect — are not released during the process. In addition, there is no negative impact on land, water, or animal habitats as a result of nuclear energy use. Essentially, nuclear energy investment is an eco-friendly move.
Powerful and reliable
Nuclear energy is an extremely efficient and powerful resource. Investing in nuclear companies will help develop technological advances that can further cement nuclear energy’s status as one of the most productive sources of alternate energy. Other alternate sources tend to be quite limited and those who use them often have to settle for less efficiency. But nuclear plants can operate constantly and will not be affected by weather conditions. With nuclear power, no one is forced to sacrifice power performance.
Nuclear energy has a considerably low fuel cost, and the cost of generating electricity is quite low. Although the set-up cost of a nuclear power plant is substantial, the cost of running that plant is small. The US Nuclear Energy Institute states that the cost of uranium — the material that allows nuclear power to be created — represents only 14% of a plant’s cost. Compared to the overall cost percentage of fuel for coal plants (78%) and gas plants (89%), the cost efficiency is clearly seen. And because it’s possible to generate a large amount of energy within one plant, a single power plant investment can go a long way in terms of energy production. In addition, nuclear reactors can operate successfully for up to 60 years, which means you won’t be faced with high set-up costs or constant replacements.
Nuclear power is the indisputable next step for our planet’s energy sources. Investing in energy companies will help make this beneficial power source a reality. If you’re interested in learning more about the power of nuclear energy or investing in energy companies, contact us today for more information.
Comments Off on Government Needs To Do More To Protect Nuclear Industry From Drones
Here’s something scary: within a span of two months in 2014, drones flew around France’s nuclear facilities at least 32 times. We still don’t know who was responsible, which is exceptionally worrisome as commercial drones are becoming a fact of life.
It is no secret that technology around us is evolving at a rapid pace. Since commercial drones are becoming commonplace, more needs to be done to protect nuclear facilities from threats.
Typically, drones are often used by utility companies for a variety of tasks such as checking power lines and inspecting storm damage. However, security experts warn that drones could also be used to threaten the security of nuclear power plants. Currently, there are 99 operating commercial nuclear reactors at 61 nuclear power plants across the nation.
Why? The concerns started in 2015 when the Federal Aviation Administration released new rules clearing the way for commercial drones. After feeling threatened, prominent members of the nuclear energy sector grew incredibly nervous as these rules weren’t deemed safe. At the time, David Kline, the director of security with the U.S. Nuclear Institute, called the FAA’s rules “insufficient”.
Kline suggested adding a provision to ban drone operators from flying within a three-mile radius of any nuclear power plant, which would prevent them from accessing confidential, sensitive information.
“Although NEI is not aware of any unauthorized flights of [drones] at or near U.S. commercial nuclear power plants, the present FAA regulatory regime and the Proposed Rule are not sufficient to address such flights,” Kline said.
The good news is that along with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the FAA has recently implemented a new set of rules that will bring clarity to the nuclear industry. The regulations will not allow commercial use of drones at night, flying of drones over people, or flying drones beyond the visual eye of sight.
With the threat of climate change, there is a growing interest in investing in nuclear energy. Nuclear investment has been shown to be a great alternative to fossil fuels, as the growing world population is causing a demand for electricity that cannot be met.
If you are looking for more information concerning nuclear investment and publicly traded nuclear companies, be sure to contact U.S. Nuclear Corp.
Comments Off on Common Myths About Nuclear Power, Debunked
Overall, a slim majority of Americans — 51% — favor the use of nuclear energy for domestic electrical use, while 43% oppose it. No doubt this is thanks in part to the many myths floating around about the use of nuclear power. In order to prevent any misconceptions that might be preventing the U.S. from investing in energy, here are some common myths that surround nuclear power and nuclear investment.
Myth: Americans are constantly surrounded by nuclear energy and radiation given off from nuclear power plants.
This is false. While Americans are constantly surrounded by natural occurring radiation, only 0.005% is due to nuclear power. This number is roughly 100 times less than what we’re exposed to from coal, 200 times less than a cross country flight, and about the same as eating one banana a year. All in all, nuclear power plants pose very little threat to the American people, especially when compared to other energy sources.
Myth: Nuclear power causes global warming and climate change.
Untrue! In fact, if we take away the barriers to investing in energy, nuclear power could drastically reduce emissions from power plants. That’s because nuclear power plants do not emit any greenhouse gases during operation. Plus, nuclear power plants require less land use than solar and wind power sources.
Myth: A nuclear reactor can explode like a nuclear bomb.
It is impossible for a nuclear plant to explode like the nuclear bombs used in war. This is because those weapons contain specialized, advanced materials that have been configured by a nuclear scientist to be harmful. None of these materials are present in a nuclear reactor. Plus, it is important to note that the nuclear reactors that exploded in Chernobyl have never been manufactured outside of the Soviet Union, so this threat is not relevant to our nation.
Myth: Nuclear waste cannot be recycled.
Many believe that the waste produced from nuclear reactors cannot be recycled, so it will end up in our atmosphere. This is untrue, and fully 96% of all nuclear waste is reused and/or recycled.
Myth: Investing in energy companies is a waste of time.
Actually, many experts believe that the future belongs to nuclear power. More and more Americans are noticing the benefits that come with nuclear energy investment as an emerging field in the stock market.
Are you interested in investing in energy companies? Contact our professionals today to get informed on the latest nuclear energy stocks available to investors.
Comments Off on US Dept of Energy to Sell Depleted Uranium for Enriching Nuclear Power
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office announced in December of 2014 that it opened a $12.6 billion loan guarantee for advanced nuclear technologies. This includes small modular reactors, molten salt reactors, and breeder reactors.
The $1 billion facility would be built near the Department of Energy’s DOE’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in western Kentucky and is slated to bring between 800 and 1,200 jobs to the area.
GLE will construct, finance, and operate the existing Paducah Laser Enrichment Facility, which is adjacent to the Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Under a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the facility will serve as a commercial uranium enrichment production plant. As of right now, the uranium in question is safely stored in 65,000 specialized storage units at the Department’s Paducah location and Portsmouth, Ohio site.
“This agreement furthers the Energy Department’s environmental cleanup mission while reducing cleanup costs, creating good local jobs, and supporting an economical enrichment enterprise for our energy needs,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The sale contributes to two key Energy Department mission areas – to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility to manage the safe storage and disposal of nuclear materials and to enable nuclear power, America’s largest source of zero-carbon energy and an important enabler for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Paducah plant was built in the 1950s in order to enrich uranium for national security applications and was later used to enrich uranium for nuclear power generation. The Department of Energy took over the plant enrichment facilities in 2014.
This trade deal is especially beneficial for those interested in nuclear investment. Considering the fact that the government planned a deal that’s set to last 40 years means that they only envision nuclear energy to grow. This means investing in nuclear energy stocks, power plant investment, and nuclear investment as a whole will only reap many benefits in the future.