Comparing Government Financing of Reactor Exports

(Columbia University, New York, 25 August 2022) This report, part of wider work on nuclear energy at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, compares the financing terms offered between 2000 and 2021 by the world’s major exporters of nuclear power plants: Russia, France, the Republic of Korea (ROK), China, and the United States. Decarbonizing the world’s energy supply by 2050 will require financing low-carbon energy projects at a cost of upwards of trillions of dollars. Nuclear energy is one of the few dispatchable low-carbon energy resources, and studies by the International Energy Agency have estimated a possible doubling of nuclear power as part of scenarios for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. Large, capital-intensive projects such as nuclear power plants can be challenging for some countries to finance, however. As a result, countries wishing to build nuclear reactors look for attractive financing from supplier nations in the form of loans and equity.