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Submission + - Nuclear Trashmen Gain From Record U.S. Reactor Shutdowns (

mdsolar writes: "More than 50 years into the age of nuclear energy, one of the biggest growth opportunities may be junking old reactors.

Entergy Corp. (ETR) said Aug. 27 it will close its 41-year-old Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in 2014, making the reactor the fifth unit in the U.S. marked for decommissioning within the past 12 months, a record annual total. Companies that specialize in razing nuclear plants and hauling away radioactive waste are poised to benefit.

Disposal work is “where companies are going to make their fortune,” Margaret Harding, an independent nuclear-industry consultant based in Wilmington, North Carolina, said in an phone interview. Contractors that are usually involved in building reactors, including Bechtel Group Inc. and URS Corp. (URS), “are going to be looking very hard at the decommissioning side of it.”

With Dominion Resources Inc. (D), Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) and Edison International (EIX) shuttering reactors this year — and Exelon Corp. (EXC) planning to close its Oyster Creek plant in 2019 — the U.S. nuclear fleet of 104 units is shrinking, even as Southern Co. (SO) and Scana Corp. (SCG) build two units each. The reasons vary: Edison and Duke are permanently removing damaged plants from service. Entergy and Dominion are retiring the units because of factors including a glut of natural gas, a competing fuel."

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Nuclear Trashmen Gain From Record U.S. Reactor Shutdowns

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