From Nuclear Waste, a New Sovereign Wealth Fund Rises

July 17, 2017 by Sven Behrendt

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Germany, of all unlikely contributors, has just added a new sovereign wealth fund to the global investor community – albeit one with an unprecedented mandate and funding model. On December 15, 2016, the German Bundestag, the national Parliament, passed legislation for the reallocation of responsibilities for nuclear waste disposal, effectively creating a sovereign fund to address the future costs of safely disposing of radioactive materials generated by commercial nuclear energy production. The legislation came into effect last month, on June 16. At its core is the new investment vehicle, known as the "Fonds zur Finanzierung der kerntechnischen Entsorgung," perhaps best translated as the Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund (NWDF). On July 3, the NWDF received €23.6 billion ($27 billion) in cash from four energy companies that operate or hold stakes in nuclear power plants in Germany: EnBW, E.ON, RWE, and Vattenfall, as well as a public-services utility owned by the…

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