Related: 2 Uranium ETFs to Access the Nuclear Trade

Uranium remains controversial even six years after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. In response to the fallout, anti-nuclear activists have aggressively petitioned courts to block restarting the plants. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been a vocal nuclear power proponent, arguing that atomic power, which generated almost one-third of Japan’s electricity pre-Fukushima, helps diminish the country’s reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.

“Two states, New York and Illinois, have recently taken steps to subsidize aging nuclear generating stations. Both states used a variant of the SC-CO2 concept to justify above market payments to these base load power stations. The states’ rationale was simple. This subsidy was not related to either capacity or energy production. Rather it was an indirect payment for power produced with certain environmental attributes, in this case, low carbon emissions,” according to OilPrice.com.

Spot uranium prices ticked higher earlier this month, but the long-term trend for the commodity has been mostly bearish. Supply should be falling, though. Earlier this year, the Department of Energy announced reductions to uranium dispersals and some major uranium-producing countries have pared output.

For more articles on uranium ETFs, visit our Uranium category.