Nuclear new build has been progressing steadily since the year 2000, with the construction of 94 new reactors initiated and 56 completed reactors connected to the grid. Among these new reactors are some of the first generation III/III+ reactors of their kind. Drawing on a combination of conceptual analysis, expert opinion and seven in-depth case studies, this report provides policymakers and stakeholders with an overview of the principal challenges facing nuclear new build today, as well as ways to address and overcome them.
It focuses on the most important challenges of building a new nuclear power plant, namely assembling the conditions necessary to successfully finance and manage highly complex construction processes and their supply chains. Different projects have chosen different paths, but they nonetheless share a number of features. Financing capital-intensive nuclear new build projects requires, for example, the long-term stabilisation of electricity prices whether through tariffs, power purchase agreements or contracts for difference. In construction, the global convergence of engineering codes and quality standards would also promote both competition and public confidence. In addition, change management, early supply chain planning and "soft issues" such as leadership, team building and trust have emerged over and again as key factors in the new build construction process. This report looks at ongoing trends in these areas and possible ways forward.