The Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) share price is sizzling today, up 13.2%.
Paladin shares closed yesterday at 74 cents and are currently trading for 83 cents.
And it's not just the Paladin share price rocketing higher. Most every ASX uranium share is smashing the benchmark today.
So, what's going on?
What's grabbing ASX investor attention today?
Japan's prime minister Fumio Kishida announced yesterday that his nation will explore the development of next-generation nuclear power plants, with plans to reopen a number of closed plants by next northern summer.
And those plans look to be driving the Paladin share price skywards today.
As reported by Bloomberg, Japan's government hopes to restart seven more nuclear reactors atop the 10 currently online. Japan has 33 potentially operational plants at the moment.
"Nuclear power and renewables are essential to proceed with a green transformation. Russia's invasion changed the global energy situation," Kishida said.
Japan heavily depends on gas, oil, and coal imports for its energy needs. And its nuclear generation was gutted following the tsunami that led to the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011.
Japan's 10 nuclear plants that are currently online provided roughly 7% of the nation's electricity needs in 2021. But the government appears determined to ramp that figure up.
And it's not just Japan that may be adding to their nuclear capacity, driving demand for uranium and providing tailwinds for the Paladin share price.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global nuclear capacity will need to double by 2050 to meet the IEA's net zero scenario.
The IEA states:
Long-term operation of the existing nuclear fleet and a near-doubling of the annual rate of capacity additions are required.
While some of this additional nuclear capacity will not come online until the late 2030s, policy decisions are required now to put nuclear back on track.
Japan looks to be making those policy decisions this week.
Paladin Energy share price snapshot
Although it's slipped 12% in 2022, the Paladin Energy share price remains up a healthy 70% over the past 12 months. By comparison, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is down 7% over the full year.