Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Nuclear Power, Economics of

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_33-3

Definition of the Subject

Financial viability is an important consideration when deciding whether to proceed with any large-scale engineering project. Many studies of nuclear power economics have been undertaken in an attempt to predict its overall costs or competitiveness [1, 2, 3, 4]. While these studies tend to differ in their assumptions about construction and operating expenses, they all use similar frameworks for the analysis. In essence, the idea is to predict the total cost of producing electric power over the lifetime of a facility and compare that to the market value of the electricity produced. All other things being equal, the larger the ratio of revenue to cost, the better the project.


Economic assessments of nuclear power tend to be complicated, not just because of the number of components that have to be factored in Fig. 1. The costs of any large project also depend on how it is financed and whether this is done through the issuing of bonds by the entity...


Discount Rate Nuclear Power Plant Spend Nuclear Fuel Rankine Cycle Nuclear Power Facility 
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Special thanks to Andrew Osborne, Brady Stoll, and Geoff Recktenwald for editorial comments. Thanks to Eric Bickel and Michael Webber for useful discussions and to Nick Tsoulfanidis for editorial comments and for acting as editor for this series.


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe Colorado School of MinesGoldenUSA