An ETI report identified cost drivers to support investment in new nuclear power.

The ETI has today released a summary report from its Nuclear Cost Drivers project which identifies eight key cost drivers and thirty five credible opportunities to reduce the cost of generating electricity using nuclear power. The full report and further insight from the ETI will be released later this year.

  1. Completion of the plant design prior to starting construction

  2. Following contracting best practice

  3. The project owner should develop multiple units at a single site

  4. Look to develop innovative new methods for developing labour alignment across nuclear projects

  5. Government support should be contingent on systematic application of best practices and cost reduction measures

  6. Design a UK programme to maximise and incentivise learning, potentially led by a newly-created entity

  7. Government must play a role in supporting financing process

  8. Transform regulatory interaction to focus on cost-effective safety

"there is strong confidence in the importance of the cost drivers selected and the associated cost reduction opportunities"

Through an evidence-based study of historic, contemporary and future nuclear power projects, research shows that there are a small number of understandable factors that drive the cost of nuclear plants. The analysis also highlights that there are several consistent characteristics shared amongst low cost plants and different common characteristics shared across high cost power plants. If understood and addressed they can reduce the cost of new nuclear projects.

"there is strong confidence in the importance of the cost drivers selected and the associated cost reduction opportunities"

"Evidence gathered and analysed during this Project suggests that UK nuclear new build has very significant cost reduction potential. Documented experience with multi-unit builds and intentional new build programmes indicate the range of cost savings achievable."

The project, led by Clean Tech Catalyst, Ltd (CTC) and working with Lucid Strategy, found that cost reductions achieved elsewhere in the world are a result of nuclear programmes focused on improving performance and delivering cost reduction. The ETI believes that there is significant cost reduction potential in the UK, though this will be dependent on all principal actors working together to deliver an integrated cost reduction programme, including the application of learning and a focus on delivering efficiencies in direct and indirect labour supporting nuclear power projects.

"A carefully designed programme that engages all of the key stakeholders with a shared vision and focus on the key cost drivers can start the UK down the path to affordable nuclear power."

A key finding from the project is that there is clear potential for a cost reduction programme to materially reduce the duration and risk of nuclear projects, helping to change the perception of nuclear construction risk whilst reducing interest rates and the cost of capital.

Find out more at the ETI website


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