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The Financing of Nuclear Power Plants

image of The Financing of Nuclear Power Plants
Many countries have recognised that greater use of nuclear power could play a valuable role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, given the high capital cost and complexity of nuclear power plants, financing their construction often remains a challenge. This is especially true where such financing is left to the private sector in the context of competitive electricity markets. 

This study examines the financial risks involved in investing in a new nuclear power plant, how these can be mitigated, and how projects can be structured so that residual risks are taken by those best able to manage them. Given that expansion of nuclear power programmes will require strong and sustained government support, the study highlights the role of governments in facilitating and encouraging investment in new nuclear generating capacity.

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The major challenges to financing new nuclear power plants

Nuclear Energy Agency

There are several major financial risks which potential investors need to assess before deciding whether to go ahead with construction of a new NPP, each of which can present a significant challenge to the viability of the project. These various risks can be seen in two broad categories: factors which could delay the construction or otherwise increase the capital cost of the plant before it enters operation; and factors which could affect the plant in operation and thus its ability to earn a return on investment.

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