Nuclear-power generation is experiencing a revival. While there hasn't been a new plant started since the Three Mile Island fiasco in 1979 (www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb0901.html
), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (www.nrc.gov
) is currently processing applications for 26 new facilities, which amounts to only half the capacity needed for nuclear to continue meeting 20% of America's energy needs.
Using Energy Information Administration's (www.eia.doe.gov
) projections that U.S. electricity demand will grow 50% over the next 30 years, NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki figures that America will need the equivalent of 50 new 1,000-megawatt nuclear-power plants just to maintain the status quo (www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/speeches/2009/s-09-008.html
More importantly for investors, while America has mixed feelings about this non-carbon-emitting energy source, other industrialized countries are stepping up their decades-old nuclear commitment; 75% of France's electricity is nuclear-generated. More than 60 new nuclear plants should come online overseas by 2015......
......Despite being politically unpopular, nuclear utilities like Exelon could actually profit if a carbon-tax system is introduced, says Miller, and are lobbying Congress to get a cap-and-trade system that doesn't undermine their regulated monopolies. Besides the utilities mentioned, he likes American Electric Power (AEP) and Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG), but is cool on Constellation Energy.
Three nuclear-oriented exchange traded funds let investors spread risk across the uranium and nuclear-power industries. Morningstar's Justice and ELF Digest (www.etfdigest.com
) Publisher David Fry favor Van Eck Associate's (www.vaneck.com
) Market Vectors Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR). Justice notes that NLR has exploited "first-mover advantage" to capture about 15 times the assets of second mover Barclays' (http://us.ishares.com
) iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy (NUCL), thus offering investors a tighter bid/ask spread.
Full Story: http://online.barrons.com/article/SB124182248204002189.html?mod=googlenews_barrons