A few nuclear news items have caught my eye lately, and all but one is quite positive for the sector. We'll start with the good stuff.

You remember Denison Mines' (AMEX:DNN) dreary disclosure, right? The one about the miner having doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern? Well, that cloud has lifted since Denison found a friend in Korea Electric Power, which took a 19.9% equity stake to help stabilize one of North America's leading uranium miners. KEPCO has secured 20% of Denison's future supply in return, so that's one gleeful generator.

Today, Denison signed a sales contract with an unnamed utility for 5 million pounds of uranium, beginning in 2011. Customers clearly have faith that the firm will be alive and kicking many years from now. Welcome back from the brink, Denison.

As for North America's better-known uranium miner, Cameco (NYSE:CCJ), that firm's finally hammered out an agreement with the Kyrgyz government regarding subsidiary Centerra Mining's Kumtor gold project. Fears of nationalization have plagued this operation for a while now, and this clears the way for a more orderly disposal down the road.

China appears focused on its goal of firing up 30 new reactors by 2020, and Shaw Group (NYSE:SGR) couldn't be more pleased. The firm today announced that it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with a key Chinese state-owned enterprise. The two firms are already working together on two pairs of reactors being assembled in the provinces of Shandong and Zhejiang.

On the home front, the news is mixed. French nuclear ace Areva struck a rather bullish note by doubling the requested amount of licensed capacity for its proposed Eagle Rock enrichment plant in Idaho. Areva, one of USEC's (NYSE:USU) competitors for federal funding, will initially build the same facility as envisioned before. This leaves open the door to a hassle-free expansion in the future. Maybe we shouldn't read too much into this revised request, but Areva did note its "confidence in the revival of the U.S. nuclear energy sector."

The bad news for nuke fans is that Ameren (NYSE:AEE) dropped a planned addition to Missouri's only nuclear plant last week. The utility was unable to sway the state legislature to provide funding via rate increases in advance of operations. With a front-loaded cost of $6 billion at the very minimum, the lack of a "pay-as-you-go" cost recovery mechanism makes new nukes more or less a nonstarter.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cameco. The Fool has a nifty disclosure policy.