Economics of Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation, except where there is direct access to low-cost fossil fuels. In assessing the economics of nuclear power, decommissioning and waste disposal costs are fully taken into account.

Energy Security

Since the 'oil shocks' of the early 1970s, energy security has been a high priority in energy policy for many countries. With uncertain fuel prices it is also a factor for utilities in making investment decisions.

Energy Subsidies

Substantial amounts have been invested in energy R&D over the last 30 years, much directed at developing nuclear energy. Nowhere in the world is nuclear power subsidised per unit of production. In some countries however it is taxed because production costs are so low.

Externalities of Electricity Generation

Fossil fuels receive indirect subsidies in their waste disposal as well as some direct subsidies. Nuclear energy fully accounts for its waste disposal and decommissioning costs in financial evaluations.

Financing Nuclear Energy

A nuclear power plant project is characterised by high upfront capital costs and long construction periods, low and stable operational costs, and lengthy payback periods. This investment profile, combined with the risks associated with construction, mean that the cost of financing is a key determinant of the cost of electricity generated.