Cameco Corporation (TSX:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ) may be one of the largest uranium miners in the world, but the stock’s performance over the past year is hardly reflective of a company that accounts for nearly 18% of the world’s global production of uranium.

There are a number of reasons why the stock is trading low, but even more reasons exist as to why this stock could go significantly higher over the next few years.

Why the stock is low

Nuclear power remains a prime candidate for countries that are experiencing growth and looking to acquire a relatively inexpensive and clean source of energy. By some measures, global nuclear energy production saves nearly 2.4 billion tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions that’s produced by burning coal.

While this sounds great, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which damaged the Fukushima nuclear reactor, effectively decimated demand for uranium and nuclear power plants. What has followed since then is the gradual drop of the price of uranium and, by extension, Cameco’s stock.

As demand for uranium bottomed after the disaster, supply started to increase and wasn’t met–at least initially–with a slowdown in mining. Even worse is the fact that nuclear reactor construction effectively came to a halt after the disaster as countless countries turned to other forms of energy. Effectively, there was a glut of uranium in the market, which further depressed uranium prices.

Why the stock will go higher

Over the past few years there has been a renewed interest in nuclear power. There are a number of reasons for this, but the low price of uranium, a focus on clean-energy production, and the massive power needs coming from India and China in particular have kick-started the uranium market.

In India alone, there are 20 active reactors and another 20 are under construction or about to break ground. A further six reactors are set to be developed over the next few years, all of which are needed to keep pace with the infrastructure boom the country is experiencing.

China is also in the midst of a boom; it aims to more than quadruple the number of reactors over the next few years; it already has +30 reactors in use.

As more reactors come online, demand will start to kick up for uranium, which should drive Cameco higher as well. Beyond India and China, there are approximately 60 reactors worldwide that are under construction with countless others planned.

Investing in Cameco? Think long term

It’s fairly easy to look at the drop in share price of Cameco over the past year and deduce that the company is no longer a viable investment option. But Cameco has always been about the long term.

The renewed interest in nuclear power will put pressure on uranium prices and drive them and Cameco higher. Currently, the stock trades below $14–down over 50% since the Japanese earthquake.

Given the potential upside to the stock as well as the current depressed price, in my opinion, Cameco remains a great long-term investment option.

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Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.