Cost reduction programme ‘could slash nuclear risks, costs and duration’

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) says it is essential for all organisations involved to work together towards this goal

By Jonny Bairstow

An effective cost reduction programme could lower the duration and risk of nuclear projects, change the perception of construction risks and slash financial costs.

That’s according to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), which has studied a range of historic, contemporary and future nuclear power projects to see how the industry could be streamlined.

The analysis suggests plant designs must be completed prior to starting construction, project owners should develop multiple units at a single site and government support should be contingent on systematic application of best practices.

It also says the government should introduce a national programme to maximise and incentivise learning, as well as increase support of financial processes and focus on cost-effective safety regulations.

The ETI adds all organisations involved must work together to deliver an integrated programme to apply lessons learned and focus on delivering efficiencies in the labour used at nuclear power projects.

Mike Middleton, Strategy Manager for the ETI’s Nuclear programme said: “As long as nuclear power is cost competitive within the overall energy mix, it has the potential to play a significant role in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“The challenge is to realise cost reductions across a sequence of new nuclear power reactors, which can meet the expectations of government, investors and consumers.”