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Revisiting the cost escalation curse of nuclear power: New lessons from the French experience

January 27th, 2013 by François Lévêque, Ecole des mines de Paris

Since the first wave of nuclear reactors in 1970 to the on-going construction of Generation III+ reactors in Finland and France, nuclear power seems to be doomed to a cost escalation curse. If the curse is not stopped, nuclear power competitiveness will be compromised. On the one hand, construction expenses represent about 60% on the total cost of generation of this technology and on the other hand alternative sources of energy have experienced important decreases in their fixed costs. If the trends go on, nuclear power will become more expensive while competing technologies will become cheaper.
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