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Nuclear banks

Dodgy Deals

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Nuclear power is sometimes widely and misleadingly promoted as the solution to energy insecurity and climate change. The nuclear sector itself is gearing itself up for a new nuclear dawn and some governments still embrace nuclear as one of their energy options.

Private banks play a key role in supporting the nuclear industry, by providing financing for companies involved in nuclear power generation and for the construction of new nuclear power plants.

BankTrack believes that any bank that strives to contribute to a sustainable solution to climate change should stay away from the nuclear sector and focus entirely on investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Risks abound

Too many environmental and safety problems of nuclear energy remain unsolved until today. To mention only a few:

Safety threats:

  • Environmental, human health and social damages from mining of uranium, transportation of both fuel and waste, and processing of nuclear reactor fuel.
  • The threat of terrorist misuse of radioactive materials and the threat of ongoing nuclear proliferation.
  • The continuous threat of a big accident on the scale of Chernobyl or Fukushima.
  • The unsolved problem of how to dispose of thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste, leaving generations to come with a toxic, life threatening legacy.

Carbon footprint
Contrary to widely circulated claims, nuclear power is not a zero-carbon solution to growing energy demand. A lifecycle analysis of the nuclear fuel chain reveals that nuclear power is not carbon-free or even low-carbon (with the exception of reactor operation). The stages of the nuclear fuel chain: mining, processing, long-distance transportation, power plant construction, decommissioning and waste management, account for combined CO2 emissions comparable to, or higher than, those resulting from burning natural gas to make electricity (Matthes 2005 and Sims 2005).

Economic nonsense
At best, nuclear energy represents a slow, expensive, and very limited contribution to reducing GHG emissions. Investments in energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy sources offer a far cheaper, flexible and cost-efficient approach, delivering more GHG abatement per amount of money and time invested (Lovins 2005).

Public rejection
Despite massive efforts to manufacture a new acceptance for nuclear  energy, citizens in most countries remain wary to staunchly opposed to nuclear energy. Public perception of nuclear power has been shaped by events such as the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and the Fukushima disaster of 2011.

Bank of China
Bank of China is one of China's Big Four joint-stock commercial banks. Bank of China offers commercial banking, investment banking, insurance, asset management, aircraft…
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management…
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is one of the main banks in Europe. It was created on 23 May 2000 through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas.…
Citigroup Inc., doing business as Citi, is a major American financial services company based in New York, NY. Citigroup was formed from a merger between Citicorp and financial…
Crédit Agricole
The Crédit Agricole Group is a unified but decentralised group consisting of 39 Regional Banks, Crédit Agricole S.A. and many subsidiaries. It includes Crédit…
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank was founded in 1870 and is a leading global investment bank. It has operations throughout the world and has a strong presence in Germany and Europe. The bank´s…
Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC operates from around 6,100 offices in 72 countries and…
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is one of the Big Four Banks of the United States (along with Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo). The firm was formed in…
RBS was founded in 1727 and is one of the major UK banks. RBS has 40 million customers using the financial services of over 30 brands, including NatWest, Direct Line, Churchill,…
Société Générale
Société Générale ("SocGen") is one of the oldest banks in France, dating back to 1864. The original name was Société…
Angra 3 nuclear power plant
Baltic nuclear power plant- Kaliningrad
Russian Federation
In 2008 the local government in Russian Kaliningrad region and the Russian state-owned nuclear power corporation "Rosatom" announced a plan to build two nuclear reactors…
Cernavoda nuclear power plant (units 3 & 4)
The plans to build Romania's Cernavoda nuclear power plant are old - they were part of an energy policy devised by the dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu who was deposed in 1989…
Jaitapur nuclear power plant
The Jaitapur project plans to host two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) of 1,650 MWe each, with possible extension by four additional units. The Generation III+ class…
Mochovce nuclear power plant (units 3 & 4)
The building of Slovakia's Mochovce 3 and 4 nuclear reactors is the longest running nuclear construction project anywhere in Europe. The reactors were designed by the Soviet…
Temelin nuclear power plant (units 3 & 4)
Czech Republic
The construction of the third and fourth reactors at the Czech Republic’s Temelin nuclear power plant is another Soviet era stop-start and much delayed farce. Like…
Visaginas nuclear power plant
Visaginas is the atomic phoenix the Lithuanian government hopes will rise from the ashes of the Ignalina nuclear power plant. Ignalina was finally closed in 2009 for safety…
check dodgy deals on record
Created in 2001 and 90% owned by the French state, this multinational conglomerate boasts of interests in every aspect of nuclear power from uranium mining to nuclear fuel…
Like its rival and fellow French multinational AREVA, Électricité de France (EDF) is one of the biggest players in the global energy game. In fact, with more…
ENGIE (known as GDF SUEZ until April 2015) is the largest independent power producer in the world. In 2013 it operated 600 power plants worldwide. It had 113.7 GW of installed…
RWE is Europe's second largest electricity generator and one of Europe's five leading gas and electricity companies. Founded in 1898, the company is active in the generation,…
Sweden's state-owned Vattenfall is Europe's sixth largest generator of electricity and largest producer of heat. In 2013, Vattenfall's total installed capacity across all…
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Indian Villagers Say Reactor Will Destroy Livelihoods
Apr 18, 2011 - April 6 (Bloomberg) -- Fisherman Amjad Borkar and mango grower Praveen Gavankar talk about their opposition to a proposed nuclear power plant in Jaitapur on the western coast of India. In the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster, local villagers fear the plant, to be built with France’s Areva SA, will damage their health and their livelihoods. The opposition pits fishermen and farmers against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, which is struggling to bridge a 10 percent peak power shortfall needed to maintain growth in one of the world's fastest growing economies.

Où va votre argent ? Le projet de Jaïtapur, en Inde
Dec 08, 2010 - Greenpeace France short video (in French) on the radioactive investments of BNP Paribas.

Tell BNP Paribas: STOP dangerous nuclear investments
Oct 21, 2010 - Greenpeace launched a new campaign against banks financing dangerous nuclear power plants, like Angra 3 in Brazil, financed by BNP Paribas. Part of the campaign is this great movie


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