Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Perma-Fix: From Nuclear Waste to Medical Isotopes - Part II

The last post left off with Dr. Louis Centofanti, the chief executive officer of Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI:  Nasdaq), standing at the podium of the 8th International Conference on Isotopes sponsored by the World Council on Isotopes.  The health care executives in attendance at the meeting were eager to find out how a nuclear waste expert like Perma-Fix could help solve looming shortages in a very important radiological isotope called Technetium 99 or Tc-99m.  Tc-99m is extracted from a parent material called Molybdenum-99 or Mo-99.  All of the Mo-99 available today is made through fission of enriched uranium in an approved nuclear reactor, at least two of which are going off-line in the next two years. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Perma-Fix's Pursuit of Medical Isotopes - Part I

In August 2014, Dr. Louis Centofanti, the chief executive officer of Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI:  Nasdaq), delivered a paper at the 8th International Conference on Isotopes sponsored by the World Council on Isotopes.  Perma-Fix is a self-described nuclear services company that provides “nuclear and mixed waste management services.”  Indeed, PermaFix’s bread and butter come from government contracts like the one recently announced to characterize and treat wastes from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  These are wastes generated by government scientists as they developed nuclear weapons and energy technology.  Granted isotopes are in the nuclear neighborhood, but why would a company with such weighty responsibilities rub elbows with health care industry representatives?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fuel Cell Follies off the Road

Consumer adoption of hydrogen-fueled vehicles could have quite a catalytic impact on the entire fuel cell industry.  Two of the public fuel cell technology companies come to mind first:  Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG:  Nasdaq), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL:  Nasdaq) and Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP:  Nasdaq).  These companies have been toiling away for years on fuel cell technologies, finding success on the periphery with industrial, campus and power generation solutions.  All three companies trade at modest prices and could look like great bargains for investors with an extended investment horizon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fuel Cell Cars: Hedge Against Failure

Last month the head of Volkswagen’s Japan operations, Shigero Shoji, joined Tesla’s Elon Musk is expressing skepticism for fuel-cell powered cars.  Everyone expects Musk to down play the importance of anything but electric cars since he has staked his reputation on the Tesla all-electric car.  However, Shoji is from Japan where the government has invested heavily in hydrogen infrastructure and offers consumers large subsidies for fuel-cell-power cars.