Saturday, May 16, 2015

Follow the Money

I've been following the money for the uranium supply chain:

I turned over a rock and found Goldman Sachs is one of the world's biggest, if not the biggest, uranium trader through its control of Nufcor.

2008 June 26, Nufcor was bought by the Constellation Energy Group, a U.S. firm that operated several nuclear power plants, for about $103 million. (Exelon has owned Constellation Energy since 2011)

2009 Goldman acquires Nufcor from Constellation Energy as part of a purchase of 900,000 pounds of uranium. Nufcor is the biggest private trader of uranium.

Details about Goldman's uranium venture are included in the 2014 US Senate report chaired by Carl Levin and including Senator John McCain title: "Wall Street Bank's Involvement with Physical Commodities":

From Senate Report: page 113 Constellation Acquisition. After its conversion to a bank holding company, Goldman continued to expand its physical commodity activities. In 2009, according to a Goldman presentation to the Federal Reserve,  Goldman purchased over 3,000 trading assets involving U.K., French, and German power and U.K. natural gas; as well as about 60 coal contracts, 20 time and voyage freight agreements, and 900,000 pounds of uranium ore from Constellation Energy, a U.S. utility and trading business. Included in that acquisition was Nufcor International, a uranium trading company which stored and traded uranium ore in various stages of enrichment, as further described below...
...Page 124: In 2009, Goldman purchased Nufcor, and expanded its business over the
next five years, resulting in Goldman’s buying millions of pounds of uranium, controlling inventories of physical uranium at storage facilities in the United States and Europe, and becoming a long term supplier of physical uranium to nine utilities with nuclear power plants. Because no employees who conducted Nufcor’s business joined Goldman after the sale, Goldman employees ran the business. In 2014, for a variety of reasons, Goldman decided it would sell Nufcor or wind it down... 

I find no evidence that Goldman has successfully sold Nufcor. 

Since 2011 Constellation Energy, which no longer owns Nufcor, has been owned by Exelon.

In 2006 and 2007 hedge funds piled into Uranium. Goldman is noteworthy because of the scope of its involvement the leverage that involvement affords it over uranium pricing and, no doubt, demand.

If you want to know why nuclear is pursued despite its obvious costs and risks, there is no better place to begin understanding than addressing who benefits from the global uranium trade.


  1. How very interesting, to say the least.

  2. So GS made many people homeless and destitute and have contributed a large part of this nuclear nightmare. Great many can die homeless in the radioactive rain with cancer.