Catching the mega trend is a tricky business. If you’re paying attention, you might have a chance. Green energy was one such trend – and now we think another such trend may be developing in nuclear energy.

When oil jumped significantly a couple of years ago, Hummers were still popular. Most Americans didn’t mind filling up their 2 SUVs (remember those?). As long as gas was “reasonable” they just put it on the card. But as the global boom unfolded, the world consumed more energy than the market could supply at such “low” prices. Crude oil briefly shot up to around $150. This scared many Americans. They scaled back on their energy consumption – sometimes out of necessity.

At the same time, Al Gore (remember him?) came out with his movie about global warming. The resulting publicity about greenhouse emissions led to soaring interest in alternative energy sources. Suddenly the hybrid Toyota Prius was mainstream and incandescent light bulbs were a social faux pas. Green energy was in. Anyone who bought Green four years ago made out like a bandit.

Now crude is climbing once again as massive government deficits threaten to spark inflation and kill the dollar. Wind and solar energy should do well again but probably not as well as another energy sub-sector that we think the Obama Administration is going to favor: nuclear.

Nuclear power is the “new” alternative energy. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were decades ago. The protests are gone. The New York Times’ Green Energy blog is recognizing nuclear’s potential. Even Dr. Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, is on the side of nuclear power. Nuclear energy is now clean – and growing.

There are two ETFs that cover this niche. We especially like Market Vectors Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR). NLR owns companies across the globe in Canada, the US, France, Australia, and South Africa. It has a strong small-large cap mix, a low expense ratio, and solid volume. This 25-stock ETF concentrates on nuclear mining, storage and utilities – areas that seem poised to do well as oil surges again. And we don’t think it will be long. iShares Global Nuclear Energy (NUCL) is also available, but it focuses less on mining and more on utilities. We think NLR has more potential.

If you want to zero in with individual stocks, look for uranium mining companies. The spot price of uranium climbed once again last week to around $51 per pound, up +25% off the lows. According to metals expert, Simon Tonkin, “uranium is easy to dig up, but hard to get out”. It will take time for supply to catch up with demand. That’s just one of the reasons we see nuclear investments going higher.

Two weeks ago, we told you about uranium miner Fronteer Development (FRG), a nuclear play. If you jumped on it, you’re already up +25%. NLR is a more diversified way to take advantage of the trend. The technicals are solid. It broke out above $21.75, which became new support. The 50-day moving average is fast approaching the 200-day moving average – a bullish sign. We may get the next leg higher soon. To get involved in the nuclear sector, go with NLR.