Betting on Nuclear

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Description: Complicating the landscape for companies like PPL Corp, an energy and utility holding company based in Allentown, PA, are regulations that cap prices in some markets -- making the power-price squeeze invisible to consumers while simultaneously disincenting power companies to invest in increasing capacity. On the upside, Jim Miller, chairman and CEO of PPL, is hopeful that the eventual price jumps will enable power companies to invest in new plants and serve as a wake-up call to consumers. To Miller, nuclear power is the clear answer. The company is seeking US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to construct and operate a new generating unit near its Susquehanna plant -- a move that will position it for the option to seek federal credits and nuclear loan guarantees and begin a 4.5-year construction process. The new generation plans represent a redirection of resources for the company, which divested itself of its regulated electricity delivery operations in Latin America in 2007.
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