Ah the warm, fuzzy feeling of a blowout quarter. Major contractor Shaw Group (NYSE:SGR) turned in some huggable results on Wednesday, reversing a loss from the same quarter in the prior year. Quarterly revenue rose 33% to a record $1.6 billion, thanks especially to big results from the fossil and nuclear power business. Earnings and backlog also reached all-time highs.

Earnings per share blew past even the most ebullient of analyst estimates. I'm willing to cut the Wall Street Fleet a little slack here. Visibility into Shaw Group's inner workings has been obscured by financial restatements, and financial controls are still being firmed up by a new CFO.

Shaw Group has fingers in a lot of pies. It serves industry giants of all stripes, whether it's providing maintenance services for Honeywell (NYSE:HON), a petrochemical plant for ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), or environmental services for Waste Management (NYSE:WMI). But for me, the biggest takeaway from Wednesday's conference call was just how bullish this group is on nuclear power.

CEO Jim Bernhard described the nuclear market as "very, very robust." In China alone, the company has booked $700 million in backlog for four new plants. The U.S. is the biggest nuclear market of all, and thanks to Shaw's investment in Westinghouse, it's going to be deeply involved in the nuclear renaissance right here at home.

For investors who can't make heads or tails of the uranium supply/demand situation, Shaw Group offers a pretty compelling way to go nuclear without betting on a fuel producer like Cameco (NYSE:CCJ) or USEC (NYSE:USU).

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