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

Lina Escobar Rangel () and François Lévêque ()
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Lina Escobar Rangel: CERNA i3 - Centre d'économie industrielle i3 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres
François Lévêque: CERNA i3 - Centre d'économie industrielle i3 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres

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Abstract: Since the first wave of nuclear reactors in 1970 to the construction of Generation III+ reactors in Finland and France in 2005 and 2007 respectively, nuclear power seems to be doomed to a cost escalation curse. In this paper we reexamine this issue for the French nuclear power fleet. Using the construction costs from the Cour des Comptes report, that was publicly available in 2012, we found that previous studies overestimated the cost escalation. Although, it is undeniable that the scale-up ended up in more costly reactors, we found evidence of a learning curve within the same size and type of reactors. This result confirms that standardization is a good direction to look, in order to overcome the cost escalation curse.

Keywords: French nuclear power; construction cost; learning effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-12-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00780566
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