The economics of nuclear power: an update
The severe challenge posed by the need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, especially in the
electricity generation sector, has led to renewed interest in the construction of nuclear power plants.
These would initially replace the aging stock of existing reactors, then meet electricity demand growth, and eventually replace some of the fossil-fired electricity-generating plants. They would also be built in new markets that up to now have not used nuclear power. In the longer term, the promise is that nuclear power could take over some of the energy needs currently being met by
direct use of fossil fuels. For example, nuclear power plants could be used to manufacture hydrogen, which would replace use of hydrocarbons in road vehicles.
The objective of this report is to identify the key economic parameters that determine the cost of nuclear electricity, commenting on their determining factors. It shows that without subsidies and
guarantees from electricity consumers and taxpayers, new nuclear power plants will not be built.