The issue of nuclear power is taking center stage at climate talks in Copenhagen next month, and many companies are gearing up to prove their advancements with nuclear power. Related exchange traded funds(ETFs) are set to rally.

Energy demand around the world is rising, making it an ideal time to address where nuclear power fits into the equation. There are about 70 new plants under construction globally, and there could be more as the world searches for a clean-energy solution. (Will nuclear stocks and ETFs be able to benefit from the talks?)

Hannah Fairfield and Karl Russell for The New York Times report that many companies are concerned that the credit crisis has dealt a critical blow to nuclear power in the United States, which had been perceived as undergoing a renaissance since 2004. (Why nuclear is gaining favor).

There are about 26 plants under construction in the United States right now, but most of the action is coming from overseas. Companies that design reactors, such as General Electric (NYSE: GE), are experiencing rapid growth as Emerging Asia and Europe seek out their business. (Learn more about this sector).

For more stories about nuclear energy, visit our nuclear energy category.

  • PowerShares Global Nuclear (NYSEArca: PKN): up 21.3% year-to-date

  • Market Vectors Nuclear Energy (NYSEArca: NLR): up 15.8% year-to-date

  • iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy (NYSEArca: NUCL): up 28.3% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.