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Summary: www.electricitypolicy.org.uk
Financing the Nuclear Renaissance
EPRG Working Paper 0814
WJ Nuttall and S Taylor
This paper considers the key economic risks associated with nuclear power. The
cost structure of nuclear power differs significantly from that of fossil-fuelled
electricity. In the case of nuclear the majority of costs are associated with the
construiction phase whereas for gas-fired power the bulk of the costs relate to the
purchase of fuel. Nuclear energy planning forces long-term considerations of at least
90 years. From the idea to build a plant there could be five years of administrative
approvals followed by five years of construction. Once completed the plant can be
expected to run for 60 years before being shutdown and then decommissioned over
a 20 year period. Within this 90 year envelope it is the five year period of
construction where the economic risks are concentrated. Operational nuclear power
plants have already cleared that risk and hence are more attractive targets for initial
investment than new build projects. The authors suggest that the first glimmers of a
US nuclear renaissance were visible in 2000 when dramatically higher prices were
achieved for second-hand nuclear power plants following a period of depressed
prices in the 1990s. The paper closes with a consideration of the prospects for


Source: Aickelin, Uwe - School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences