ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The nuclear energy sector, along with related exchange traded funds, has been rebounding off an exceptionally bad year. Nuclear ETFs may continue to strengthen as the U.S. announces its commitment to next-generation nuclear reactors.

Market Vectors Nuclear Energy (NYSEArca: NLR) is up 12.9% year-to-date. In comparison, the fund lost 26.2% over the past year. [Why the Uranium ETF is Rallying]

The U.S. Department of Energy affirmed its intent to fund small modular nuclear reactors, or SMRs, advancing the country’s leadership in next generation energy technologies and jump starting our nuclear industry, according to Today’s Energy Solutions.

SMRs are about one-third the size of current nuclear plants. The smaller designs are intended to offer safety, siting, construction and other economic benefits. The reactors can be manufactured offsite and transported to locations where they will be ready to “plug and play.” [ETF Chart of the Day: Nuclear Energy]

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will fund up to two SMR designs, which will be used to construct and deploy reactors by 2022.

“America’s choice is clear – we can either develop the next generation of clean energy technologies, which will help create thousands of new jobs and export opportunities here in America, or we can wait for other countries to take the lead,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in the TES article. “The funding opportunity announced today is a significant step forward in designing, manufacturing, and exporting U.S. small modular reactors, advancing our competitive edge in the global clean energy race.”

  • PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy portfolio (NYSEArca: PKN): up 8.4% year-to-date
  • iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy (NYSEArca: NUCL): up 4.5% year-to-date

Market Vectors Nuclear Energy

For more information on the nuclear industry, visit our nuclear category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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.