Nikolett Deutsch, Attila Fiáth, Miklós Virág, László Berényi



Sensitivity of the Margin of Safety: A Nuclear Power Generation Case

pdf PDF


Nuclear power is seen as an important source of low-carbon electricity, supporting energy security goals, nuclear power plants contribute to competitive base-load electricity supply, After the Fukushima Daiichi Accident EU Member States retain their sovereignty over the use of nuclear power, some of the countries are still expanding their nuclear capacities, building or planning to build new nuclear reactors, or investing in nuclear fleet’s life-extension, upgrade or uprate activities, while some countries agreed to phase out nuclear generation by about 2022 or 2025. One of the most cited advantages of nuclear energy is said to be its relative insensitivity to fuel price fluctuation. However, due to its front-loaded cost-structure and the relatively high share of fixed versus variable costs in its costs structure, nuclear energy generation is exposed to wholesale price fluctuations. The high decline in the wholesale prices in the EU in the last few years affected negatively nuclear power plants. The goal of this study is to highlight the impact of the decline of the average selling price on the margin of safety by using a case study of an Eastern-European nuclear power plan.


nuclear power plants, energy sector, CVP analysis, margin of safety


[1].Andoura, S., Coeffe, P., & Dobbrostamat, M., Nuclear Energy in Europe, Notre Europe. Policy Brief, 2011, http://www.notre-europe.eu/media/pdf.php?file=Bref25-nuclear_energy-EN-web_01.pdf, Accessed: 04.11.2013.

[2].Biermayer, P. & Haas, R., Aspekte der zukünftigen Kernenergienutzung, Energie- und Umweltforschung 53/2008

[3].CEC, Cost of Generation Model User’s Guide Version 2 Based on Version of the Cost of Generation Model, 2010, http://www.energy.ca.gov/2010publications/CEC-200-2010-002/CEC-200-2010-002.PDF, Accessed:07.09.2017.

[4].Energinet, Technology Data for Energy Plants, Copenhagen: Danish Energy Agency, 2012

[5].Fazekas, A. I., Villamosenergia-rendszerek rendszerszintű tervezése I. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006

[6].Fisher, C., Investment in low-carbon technology Role of nuclear energy, 2013, http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/forum/meetings/doc/2013_05_30/day1/mrs_fisher_enef_2013.pdf, Accessed: 04.11.2013.

[7].Gilbert, A., Sovacool, B. K., Johnstone, P., & Stirling, A., Cost overruns and financial risk in the construction of nuclear power reactors: a critical appraisal, Energy Policy, 102, 2017, pp. 644-649.

[8].GIF, Cost Estimating Guidelines for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, 2007, https://www.gen-4.org/gif/upload/docs/application/pdf/2013-09/emwg_guidelines.pdf, Accessed: 18.09.2017.

[9].Horngren, C. T., Foster, G. & Datar, S. M., Cost Accounting, London: Prentice Hall, 2000.

[10].IAEA, Operating experience with nuclear power stations in Member States in 2017, 2017

[11].Konstantin, P., Praxisbuch Energiewirtschaft: Energieumwandlung, -transport und - beschaffung im liberalisierten Markt, Berlin: Springer, 2007

[12].OECD-NEA, The Economics of Long-term Operation of Nuclear Power Plants, 2012, http://s538600174.onlinehome.fr/nugenia/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/7054-long-term-operation-npps3.pdf, Accessed:11.10.2017.

[13].Poncelet, J.-P., Report WG Opportunities, Presentation, 2013, 8th ENEF Plenary Meeting, 30-31. May 2013, http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/forum/meetings/doc/2012_05_14/presentations/status_report_on_wg_opportunities_enef_bratislava_2012.pdf, Accessed: 04.11.2013.

[14].EC, Communication from the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament, Nuclear Illustrative Programme, 2007, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2006:0844:FIN:EN:PDF, Accessed: 13.11.2013.

[15].ENEF, Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats (SWOT) Analysis, Part 1: Strengths & Weaknesses, 2010, http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/forum/opportunities/doc/competitiveness/swot-report-part1--final.pdf, Accessed: 13.11.2013.

[16].ENEF, The contribution of nuclear power to EU 2030 energy and climate strategy, 2013, ENEF/WG Opportunities/Competitiveness, http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/forum, Accessed: 11.11.2013.

[17].Euroconfluences, The European Files: Security of Energy Supply in Europe: Continuous Adaptation, 2011, http://www.euroconfluenes.com, Accessed: 13.11.2013.

[18].IEA, Energy Technology Perspectives, PPT-slides, 2012, http://www.iea.org, Accessed: 12.11.2013

[19].IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2011, http://www.iea.org, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[20].IEA-NEA, Technology Roadmap, Nuclear Energy, http://www.iea.org/roadmaps, 2010, Accessed: 04.11.2013.

[21].IEA-NEA, Projected Costs of Generating Electricity, 2015, http://www.oecd.org/publishing/corrigenda, Accessed: 13.10.2016.

[22].Kíyar, D. & Witteneben, B. F., Nuclear Energy in the European Union after Fukushima: Political and Economic Considerations, CESifo DICE Report 3/2012, http:// www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/dicereport312-forum2.pdf, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[23].MAVIR, A magyar villamosenergia-rendszer (VER) 2015. évi adatai, 2016, https://www.mavir.hu/web/mavir/a-magyar-villamosenergia-rendszer-statisztikai-adatai, Accessed: 11.10.2017.

[24].NEA, NEA News, 2013, Vol. 31, No. 1, http://www.oecd-nea.org/nea-news/, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[25].Pintér, É. & Bélyácz, I., Vállalati pénzügyek, Pécs: PTE KTK, 2005.

[26].Prognos (2009): A Renaissance of Nuclear Energy?, http://www.prognos.com/Publications.520.0.html, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[27].Rothwell, G. Economics of nuclear power, New York: Routledge, 2016

[28].Schneider, M., Froggatt, A., Hosokawa, K., Thomas, S., Yamaguchi, Y., Hazemann, J., The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-

[29].Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2013-HTML.html, Accessed: 19.04.2017. Srinivasan, T. N. & Rethinaraj, TS G. Fukushima and thereafter: Reassessment of risks of nuclear power, Energy Policy, 52, 2013, pp. 726-736. Thomas, S., The Economics of Nuclear Power: An Update, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, European Union, Brussels, 2010.

[30].van der Zwaan, B., Prospects for nuclear energy in Europe, International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Vol.30, No.1/2/3/4, 2008, pp.102 – 121.

[31].WEC, The Role of Nuclear Power in Europe, 2007a, http://www.worldenergy.org, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[32].WEC, Nuclear Energy – Status and Outlook, 2007b, http://www.worldenergy.org, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[33].WEC, World Energy Issues Monitor 2017, 2017, http://www.worldenergy.org, Accessed: 12.04.2017.

[34].WEC, World Energy Resources, 2013, http://www.worldenergy.org, Accessed: 12.11.2013.

[35].WNA, Nuclear Power Economics and Project Structuring, 2017, http://world-nuclear.org, Accessed: 21.04.2017

Cite this paper

Nikolett Deutsch, Attila Fiáth, Miklós Virág, László Berényi. (2018) Sensitivity of the Margin of Safety: A Nuclear Power Generation Case. International Journal of Power Systems, 3, 1-10


Copyright © 2018 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0