Report: Productivity of the investment activities of the National Nuclear Waste Management Fund could be improved
A working group tasked with assessing the legal standards that regulate the investment activities of the National Nuclear Waste Management Fund and the investment instruments available to it submitted its report to Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni on 2 September 2019. The working group proposed various ways of improving the regulation and administration of the investment of assets under the Fund’s management.
It is the working group’s opinion that investment activity can be generated by creating better opportunities for improved long-term fund performance. However, moderate risk-taking and ensuring that there are, at all times, enough assets available to cover the costs of nuclear waste, should remain the leading principle.
In its report, the working group has described the present situation of the Fund and compared it with similar international funds. The working group explored various alternatives for maintaining the Fund’s value and for improving its rate of return that would enable the Fund to choose from a wider range of investment solutions in different market conditions.
As its conclusion, the working group proposes that raising the risk level in the Fund’s investment activities to enable higher returns may be done by reducing the amount lent from the Fund through measures such as limitations on premium lending. This way, part of the fund’s assets would always be available for investment activities other than premium lending.
In its report, the working group also proposes alternatives for the organisation and administration of the risk management of the Fund’s lending and investment activities, and of the Fund itself.
Nuclear facility licence holders whose activities generate or have generated nuclear waste have a legal obligation to manage nuclear waste and to pay waste management fees into the National Nuclear Waste Management Fund.
The Fund has been in operation for more than 35 years, during which time the scope and time span of nuclear facilities in Finland have expanded. During this time, research on the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been discontinued and replaced with the construction of a final disposal facility in Olkiluoto.
At the moment, the Fund assets amount to approximately EUR 2.6 billion. An increase is expected following the commissioning of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant unit. Operations are expected to continue well into the 2100s, until the existing obligations have been met.
Anja Liukko, Senior Ministerial Adviser, MEAE, tel. +358 29 506 2078
Liisa Heikinheimo, Head of the Fuels and Nuclear Energy Unit, MEAE, tel. +358 29 504 7035
National Nuclear Waste Management Fund: The purpose of the National Nuclear Waste Management Fund is to raise, store and reliably invest the funds that are going to be needed to manage nuclear waste in the future. This provides society with a financial guarantee on nuclear waste management under all circumstances. The Nuclear Energy Act contains provisions regarding the National Nuclear Waste Management Fund, its duties and its activities.
The Fund’s capital consists of the annual contributions of those with a legal obligation to manage nuclear waste, and of the Fund’s returns. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment determines the annual contributions to be paid into the Fund each year, ensuring that the Fund always has sufficient assets to cover the costs of all remaining nuclear waste management operations.