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James Brown

Jan 7, 2015
01:56

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This website is not savings changes to the proposal, so I have posted the key steps below: 1.- Pool retirement savings into a large single purpose financial fund to construct a generic nuclear reactor design on a global scale with generic suppliers to lower costs. 2.- Use the funds to invest in the construction of a generic nuclear reactor design of III or III+ generation to be licenced globally. 3.- Secure multiple generic component suppliers to allow lowest cost manufacturing of components and construction. 4.- Lower the cost of the design and construction of the generic nuclear design with large scale deployment with minimal changes to the designs and expertise involved. 5.- Reduce financing costs and minimise construction delay risks by internalising the risks and relying only on the financial fund. 6.- Once the nuclear plants are operational receive a steady revenue stream or on-sell them for a profit to other operators as the largest risk (the construction risk) will no longer deter other investors from financing nuclear reactors. 7.- The financial fund will lower the cost of constructing a generic nuclear reactor, reducing the cost with each new plant and lowering the risk for the industry overall. This will not only reduce GHG emissions directly from the nuclear plants constructed by the fund replacing fossil fuel plants, but will also lower the risk for other investors in the industry resulting in greater deployment of nuclear power plants overall. 8.- Investors concerned that there is some risk of failure should consider the alternative which is continued investment in fossil fuels that will result in guaranteed failure from climate change and a carbon bubble.

Tim Elder

Apr 29, 2015
07:48

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I also had problems with saving; I think their wording is misleading. I think it said "publish" not "save." I had more problems with their system timing out and "disappearing" all my changes.

James Brown

Apr 30, 2015
03:00

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Thanks Tim. If enough people support it, I will attempt it again.

Dustin Carey

Jun 4, 2015
12:16

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Hi James, Very interesting proposal. I can see it being a rather tough sell, however. Pension funds tend to be extremely risk-adverse. They're only now beginning to divest from fossil fuels since the alarm over an emerging carbon bubble has been rung. As such, I can see a high degree of hesitancy in directly funding infrastructural initiatives, effectively locking the success of the fund with the business success of the plant. Have you put any thought into outreach to these funds and the communication of risk? Best regards, Dustin Carey

James Brown

Jun 4, 2015
01:28

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Hi Dustin Thank you for your comments and I am in full agreement. This is a tough sell - especially since the stakeholders are risk averse and will not likely have any alternative source of retirement funds. However, as one of these stakeholders with a very modest income I am also very aware that my future livelihood is currently based on fossil fuel assets that can never be realised. Furthermore, as only around 5% of energy comes from scalable nuclear and solar/wind assets the pension funds will be struggling to find alternative investments when they divest from fossil fuels. This will mean pension funds will either increasingly accept lower returns or accept higher risk. Personally I will be happy to accept the higher risk than accept a pension that guarantees I will be below the poverty line. However I do accept that this risk profile will not be acceptable to everyone. Then again we only need one dedicated nuclear pension fund for it to be a success. An outreach process would certainly be an important step early on in the process. Please do provide more comments as they are greatly appreciated. Kind regards James

Dustin Carey

Jun 4, 2015
10:22

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Hi James, I'm very pleased to hear you're confident enough in this idea that you would not be opposed to using your own retirement funds. Undoubtedly a strong sign of commitment. I've been quasi-involved with a local branch of 350, looking at encouraging the University of Waterloo to divest its endowment from fossil fuel profiles. The lack of diversity among carbon-safe portfolio options has been noted as a considerable barrier to this end by faculty deans. Some options are materializing to satisfy this demand, but options are still limited. I think there's definitely space for the proposal of a pro-nuclear pension fund. Admittedly, finance is not my area of expertise, so there might be some basic flaw to this concern, but will this fund require some form of immediate return-on-investment holdings? Nuclear reactors, even ones in which the building goes smoothly, are lengthy projects, and will take years to repay that investment. So, as I would understand it, a diverse profile would be needed as well as a dedicated portion for nuclear funding. Have you put any thought into this, and what types of holdings might make up this aspect of the fund's investment? Cheers, Dustin

James Brown

Jun 5, 2015
01:22

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Hi Dustin Thanks again for the comments and stimulating discussion. I have a Bachelor and Master in Economics and Finance and have published papers on the economics of nuclear, however none of this qualifies me for providing financial advice for individuals saving for retirement. My comments (and proposal) are to stimulate an economic policy discussion which hopefully inform policy makers about new opportunities for both financing nuclear projects and identifying alternate sources of pension/retirement funding. My personal retirement fund (which may not have a typical portfolio diversification) consists of about 20% domestic equity, 20% foreign equity, and about 10% in property, FDI, fixed interest, short-term and other instruments. This type of portfolio provides both the short-term revenues as well as stable long-term returns suitable for retirement funds. So in this circumstance this portfolio could say allocate anywhere up to 40% to dedicated nuclear funds. While I have some financial literacy and actively manage my retirement account and would be happy to allocate more to a dedicated nuclear fund, I would suspect that in practice any single dedicated fund (or company stock holding) would not exceed about 10% of a retirement portfolio due to the diversification and retirement cash flow timeframes. Kind regards James

Roy Russell

Nov 28, 2015
11:49

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Peer financing of nuclear reactors is a great idea.  I would advise that they should also be small, so the risks are kept smaller.  If one gigantic project fails then it is a big loss.  However if one smaller project out of 100 fails then it is only a 1% failure.

However, I  would not pitch it as a retirement fund vehicle.  People who are invested in retirement funds are more risk averse with these investments.  I would instead pitch it as a regular investment, but one which has a very long view and a long term payback.