Nuclear Power Investment
Advantage Capital Strategies identifies industries that have detrimental environmental, social, and economic effects and takes action to mitigate risk both through screening and advocating for change
The Nuclear Power Industry Explained
Nuclear energy is created when nuclear reactions occur and release heat, which is used to produce steam that powers turbines and creates electricity . This electricity can then be used to power electric cars, heat and light our homes and businesses, and more.
Advantage Canada SRI is not screening for companies who derive their primary source of revenue from the production, use, or supply of nuclear power. While we acknowledge that nuclear power is a complex industry, we have chosen not to divest primarily because nuclear power produces fewer greenhouse gases than coal, oil, or gas.
Accordingly, we have not divested from companies that use nuclear power as part or all of their electricity supply, produce nuclear power, or mine uranium.
The Economic Rationale for Investment
In terms of cost, nuclear energy reactors are considered to be one of the most efficient methods available for producing power . Energy generated by nuclear power is very efficient because of the power of uranium: one kilogram of uranium contains the same amount of energy as two or three million kilograms of oil or coal .
Public sentiment towards the use of nuclear power for energy represents a risk to investment that must be monitored. Changes in public sentiment could pressure governments to impose stricter regulations or prohibitions on nuclear power. Although extremely rare, nuclear disasters that occur due to natural disasters or human error also represent a risk, albeit one that is low likelihood.
The Social Rationale for Investment
One concern often voiced about nuclear power is the fear that it could lead to the production of nuclear weapons. Advantage Canada SRI does not invest in any form of weapons production. Historically, nuclear weapons and nuclear power have existed independently of one another . There are more than 20 countries who have invested in the production of nuclear power exclusive of nuclear weapons . <a< p=””> </a<>
The Environmental Rationale for Investment
Unlike coal, oil, and gas, nuclear energy is almost entirely free of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and it is entirely free of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides . This makes nuclear energy a ‘cleaner’ energy source than coal, oil, or gas. Nuclear power could help ease global dependency on fossil fuels and therefore aid in the fight against climate change. Currently, nuclear power is responsible for generating about 15% of the global electricity supply .
One of the main concerns with nuclear power is the safe disposal of nuclear waste generated by the power plant. Nuclear waste is safe if disposed of properly, often buried deep underground where it decays over time. According to the Government of Canada, “all the radioactive waste in Canada, including used nuclear fuel, is currently held in safe, secure and environmentally sound interim storage facilities” . Overall, the production of nuclear power produces far less waste than the production of fossil fuel power .