Here's why ASX uranium shares like Deep Yellow are running hot today

ASX uranium stocks are on fire this Wednesday.

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It's been a fairly miserable day for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) and many ASX 200 shares so far this Wednesday. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has retreated by 0.1% after briefly rising into green territory this morning. But let's talk about what's going on with ASX uranium shares.

Unlike the broader market, ASX uranium shares are well and truly in demand this session. Take the Boss Energy Ltd (ASX: BOE) share price. Boss Energy shares are currently outperforming the broader market, up a healthy 0.7% at $4.13 each so far.

Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) shares are doing even better, presently up a rosy 1.14% at $13.73 each.

But ahead of the pack is the Deep Yellow Limited (ASX: DYL) share price. Deep Yellow stock has rocketed a hefty 3.3% at this point of the trading day. That puts the company at $1.47 a share.

The BetaShares Global Uranium ETF (ASX: URNM) is also doing well. It's currently enjoying a 1.68% lift up to $9.70 a unit.

So what's going on here? Why are these ASX uranium shares outperforming the ASX 200 so comprehensively this Wednesday?

Why are ASX uranium shares going gangbusters today?

Well, there's been no major news or announcements out of any of the shares listed above that might easily explain this bullishness we see from ASX investors.

However, another development could be a factor here.

This morning, the Federal Opposition gave the Australian public some concrete details about its plans to establish a domestic nuclear energy industry.

Nuclear energy has been banned in Australia for decades. The only reactor on Australian soil is currently used to produce nuclear medicines. There are no nuclear power plants in the country.

But if the Opposition has its way, this is set to change. This morning, Liberal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton outlined a plan to build up to seven new nuclear reactors on the sites of decommissioned (or soon-to-be-decommissioned) coal-fired power plants.

Dutton revealed two sites in New South Wales, two in Queensland and one each in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. They include NSW's Liddell Station, the Loy Lang site in Victoria and the Tarong Station in Queensland.

Here's some of what Dutton said in the press release today:

And today, we announce seven locations, located at a power station that has closed or is scheduled to close, where we propose to build zero-emissions nuclear power plants…

Each of these locations offer important technical attributes needed for a zero-emissions nuclear plant, including cooling water capacity and transmission infrastructure, that is, we can use the existing poles and wires, along with a local community which has a skilled workforce.

A key advantage of modern zero-emissions nuclear plants is they can be plugged into existing grids. This means they can effectively replace retired or retiring coal plants…

Dutton's plan would see the first nuclear plants operational from 2035 to 2037. This could be characterised as optimistic, given that a recent CSIRO report found that it would take at least 15 years for Australia to build and fire up a nuclear plant. That would make for a 2040 start at the earliest.

A nuclear Australia

But putting that aside, it's unlikely that Dutton's announcement today will herald any new significant business opportunities for ASX uranium shares. Stocks like Boss Energy and Deep Yellow already have eager markets for their uranium across North America, Europe and Asia.

As my Fool colleague Bernd put it back in March:

Now even if Australia opts to eventually embrace nuclear power, ASX uranium shares are unlikely to see any domestic demand for their product for many years yet.

But even so, it's entirely possible that Dutton's announcement today is what is giving investors a sentiment boost.

There is arguably already an expectation that global uranium demand will only grow in the years ahead as other countries around the world swap coal for uranium. Today's announcement from the Liberal Party does nothing to dent this narrative.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Betashares Global Uranium Etf. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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