Here's a copy of my post on the HG board. Might provide a perspective on USEC's market in the upcoming 10-15 yrs for those like me who are long-term investers.With the recent passing of the revised energy bill, I'd expect a resurgance of nuclear energy. A quote from some other readings on the matter (I can't remember, but I think this came from the Nuclear Energy Institute): The bill, passed by Congress July 29, 2005 and signed into law by President Bush Aug. 8, is the country's first comprehensive energy legislation in 13 years. House and Senate negotiators worked long hours before their August recess to reach agreement on the bill, which breaks a four-year stalemate on energy legislation.The bill supports construction of new nuclear reactors by reauthorizing the Price-Anderson Act, the framework for industry self-funded liability insurance, for 20 years. The bill also contains other measures that would enable the construction of new nuclear plants, including:- Regulatory risk insurance to offset the financial impact of delays beyond industry's control that might occur during licensing new nuclear reactors; - Loan guarantees for up to 80 percent of the cost of innovative technologies that avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. This would include new nuclear plants, as well as clean coal and renewable energy sources. - A production tax credit of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 6,000 megawatt-hours from new nuclear plants for the first eight years of their operation, subject to a $125 million annual limit. In addition, the bill authorizes:- $1.25 billion to fund a prototype Next Generation Nuclear Plant project at Idaho National Laboratory that would produce both electricity and hydrogen; and - Funding for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative, which would foster research and development aimed at developing advanced nuclear plants, more proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel and improved methods for managing used nuclear fuel. Measures in the bill affecting existing nuclear plants include:- Further security measures reflecting improvements proposed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and supported by the nuclear industry—since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; and - Updated tax treatment of decommissioning funds to allow reclassification of pre-1984 contributions labeled as “unqualified” funds to “qualified” funds. This measure will benefit some owners of existing nuclear plants through improved tax treatment of those pre-1984 contributions. In short, I'd expect you'll see a new nuclear plant sited & built in the U.S. within the next 6 - 10 years. Bad news: most of those nuclear operators are big companies (EXC, D, SO, ETR), and those who build nuclear plants are big, big, big companies (GE, ABB), so they won't fall into the small cap arena. Although, if you're looking for some less volatile companies to round out your portfolio, keep these in mind.Hope this gives some perspective on a prospectively "dead" industry.LordMelNeither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools. -- Lord Melbourne (1779-1848)
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