U.S. Nuclear Sector to Rebound; New Profit Plays for Energy Investors

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"The revival faces many uncertainties, but will also reopen a vista of investment opportunities for energy-sector investors."

It's been 30 years since the accident at Three Mile Island effectively killed the commercial nuclear power industry in the United States. But strongly escalating concerns about global warming, growing worries about so-called "Peak Oil," and greatly improved nuclear-power technology are combining to make nuclear power an increasingly alluring option in the United States, Money Morning has been reporting.

The 30-year anniversary of the Three Mile Island accident - which occurred near Harrisburg, Pa., in the in the predawn hours of March 28, 1979 - has obviously resurrected some of these discussions. But thanks to these deep-seated and growing concerns - virtually every one of them sparked by globalization - the nuclear power industry is moving ahead with plans to build a string of new reactors in the U.S. market, The Washington Post reported this weekend.

The revival faces many uncertainties, but will also reopen a vista of investment opportunities for energy-sector investors.

The crisis that grew out of the TMI accident was long believed to have forever ended any chance that new commercial nuclear plants would be built in the United States.

But nuclear power is now making a comeback - largely out of necessity.

The United States generates about one-fifth of its electricity from the 104 reactors now in operation. Utilities have applied to build 26 new reactors, many of them expansions of existing nuclear facilities, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which has to approve the plans, says the first approvals could come by 2011.

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