Unpredictable change in nuclear energy investments

The Benenson Strategy Group, in conjunction with First International Resources, recently conducted a survey and declared that many Europeans support the recent cuts made in nuclear energy development. It is believed these results were due to recent developments at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima-1 and the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. The survey, conducted in seven countries: Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine, revealed that even before the earthquake in Japan, most Europeans did not favor nuclear energy. Only 12% of the respondents supported an increase in German nuclear energy investment, while 70% were opposed.

On the other hand, a great deal of respondents in Ukraine supported increased investment in nuclear power. At the same time, around 50% of those surveyed believed that nuclear energy investments would improve their economies. The survey also showed that the most recognized benefits of nuclear energy were its low cost and reduced impact on the environment, when compared to fossil fuel based power generation.

This survey in Ukraine was conducted among 1,021 adults, and more than 500 respondents in each country shared their views in face-to-face and telephone interviews. After the natural disaster in Japan, the country’s nuclear alert has ignited global debate regarding the risks involved in nuclear energy. However, companies which generate nuclear energy and their insurance companies were the hardest hit by the market. Stock markets in various countries were affected badly.

NuScale Power recently received around $5 million USD as a nuclear energy investment to carry out a project for the generation of electricity. A portion of a pension fund is to be used by a United States power company for building the nuclear reactor. The company is situated in the small town of Corvallis, Oregon, where a financial institution known as Michael Kenwood Group will finance $35 million USD to carry out the nuclear reactor project. In a press release it was noted that a civil action by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States against a partner of Michael Kenwood Group, the main investor of NuScale Power, has forced the company to reduce its expenses.

Governments around the world questioned the use of nuclear energy as a result of the problems in Japan from the recent earthquake. German Chancellor Angela Merkel suspended for 3 months his decision to extend permission for the construction of 17 new nuclear power plants over the next 12 years. The Swiss have halted the approval of new nuclear plants, and other countries in the European Union support further examination of nuclear power safety. In Taiwan, the state-run Tai Power announced plans to evaluate whether or not to cut the production of nuclear energy within the country.