Nuclear power

Public concerns about nuclear power increased considerably after the nuclear incident in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011. As a result, many countries reviewed existing nuclear power programs and Germany decided to phase out its nuclear power plants by 2022.

Nuclear power

This development is supported by opponents of nuclear power who warn of the environmental and safety risks, the clean energy benefits of nuclear power notwithstanding.

Renewable energy sources will not be capable of replacing nuclear power globally in the medium term and as many as 20 countries around the world are considering activating their first reactor before 2030 to satisfy their energy needs. The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 deemed nuclear power to be a key source of low-carbon electricity generation which could make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of energy. Deutsche Bank will continue to support civil nuclear power as a zero-carbon transitional energy source.

To ensure appropriate safety and sustainability, Deutsche Bank has introduced guidelines which apply to all banking and financial services for clients actively involved in the civil nuclear power sector. The guidelines set out country and project-related criteria to be considered prior to commitment. The criteria require the ratification of key international conventions and treaties such as the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Moreover, they require adherence to environmental, safety, and social standards, for instance compliance with the minimum health and safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a completed safety assessment according to the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association’s standards, and an evaluation of seismic activities, flood risks and resettlement plans if necessary.

Due diligence with regards to project specifics and country of operation

Our sustainability check ensures that specific country and project-related criteria are thoroughly reviewed. These criteria apply to any type of financial involvement by DB and refer to adherence to international conventions and treaties as well as environmental, safety, and social assessments.

Enhanced due diligence with regards to project specifics and country of operation includes questions regarding the ratification of key international conventions and treaties such as:

  • Convention on Nuclear Safety (NS) (IAEA, Vienna 1994),
  • Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (RADW) (IAEA, Vienna 1997),
  • Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (ENC) (IAEA, Vienna 1986),
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) (UNO, New York 1968).

On the project side, the evaluation of significant seismic or flood risks, the impact on and protection of communities, and the adherence of the project design, construction, and operation to the minimum health and safety standards by International Atomic Energy Authority receive special attention. 

Potential business opportunities are reviewed on a case by case basis by applying our internal criteria as above. The decision to pursue or to withdraw from a particular business opportunity is based on the due diligence results.

Deutsche Bank has been criticized for supporting the nuclear industry. Why does Deutsche Bank continue to be involved?

Deutsche Bank supports a well-balanced global energy system that is forward-looking and that takes account of economic conditions as well as environmental and health and safety considerations.

At present, it is still not possible to meet the substantial global energy demand solely through renewable energy sources. For this reason, we will continue to finance a diversified range of energy including nuclear power in countries where it might be appropriate. Given the increasing energy demand, we believe that nuclear power will remain a key source of low-carbon electricity generation.

At the same time, we provide financing also for the development and utilization of renewable energies. In this field, Deutsche Bank is among the most important investors and providers of financing worldwide.

How are specific criteria and standards incorporated in Deutsche Bank’s day to day decisions on business with the nuclear industry?

An explicit sustainability guidance related to civil nuclear energy was introduced in 2012. It ensures that specific country and project-related criteria are thoroughly reviewed. These criteria apply to any type of financial involvement by Deutsche Bank and refer to adherence to international conventions and treaties as well as environmental, safety, and social standards (e.g. Convention on Nuclear Safety, Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).

On the project side, the evaluation of significant seismic or flood risks, the impact on and protection of communities and the adherence of the project design, construction, and operation to the minimum health and safety standards by International Atomic Energy Authority receive special attention.

Is there any type of transaction related to the civil nuclear sector that Deutsche Bank generally would object to support?

Potential business opportunities are reviewed on a case by case basis by applying our internal criteria. The decision to pursue or to withdraw from a particular business opportunity is based on the due diligence results.

For details see our Corporate Responsibility Report.

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