I recently attended the World Nuclear Association's (WNA) Fall Symposium in London where I joined the Energy and Nuclear Power Panel with the likes of Areva (NASDAQOTH:ARVCF), ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), The Weinberg Foundation, The Ux Consulting Company, and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. The discussion focused on the future of nuclear power and followed an updated 2040 Outlook by ExxonMobil that definitely raised some eyebrows, including mine.

Trading our addiction to crude oil with a new addiction on natural gas means prices for natural gas are not going to stay at 40-year lows much longer. This could swing investor capital "finally" back into the nuclear sector post-Fukushima, especially with the rapid development of advanced microgrids, grids that can sustain themselves if a power outage hits an area. If nuclear power can find ways to use waste as a catalyst for fuel and minimize safety concerns, this industry will attract new investors. 

Additionally, my rather strong bullish stance on the potential for electric vehicles is actually very promising for the nuclear industry since demand for 24/7 base load power will only intensify the need for a more efficient and modern smart grid, especially with the world's population expected to grow more than 25% to 9 billion by 2040 according to ExxonMobil. This makes Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE:BWC) an intriguing name, especially with existing support of the Department of Energy for its small modular reactor design. 


John Licata has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.