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Our approach to sustainable investing in nuclear power

Our approach to sustainable investing in nuclear power

15-01-2020 | Insight

Robeco acknowledges the usefulness of nuclear power in particular situations. Nevertheless, for funds with a specific focus on sustainability, our view is that it is not desirable to invest in companies that have a significant exposure to nuclear energy.

  • Jacob  Messina, CFA
    Jacob
    Messina, CFA
    CFA, MBA, Executive Director, Head of Sustainable Investing Research, RobecoSAM

Speed read

  • Nuclear power has a low carbon footprint and ensures sufficient baseload power
  • It has its place in an investment portfolio, but the merits of each case must be evaluated 
  • For funds with a specific sustainability focus, we exclude utilities with a significant exposure to nuclear energy 

Nuclear power has always been controversial, with strong opinions on both sides of the argument. We understand why some are attracted to nuclear power as a solution to society’s growing energy demand. It has a low carbon footprint, helping to achieve decarbonization targets, it ensures sufficient baseload power, and new nuclear technologies may be more flexible and provide improved safety features. 

While researchers, environmentalists and a large number of policymakers agree on the need to stop global warming, there is disagreement on the overall desirability of this low-carbon power source.

Our assessment of the sustainability impact over the nuclear life cycle and the estimated risks of nuclear power technology lead us to conclude that, for funds with a specific focus on sustainability, it is not desirable to invest in companies that have a significant exposure to nuclear energy.

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