Europe’s reliance on nuclear power has given it the largest fleet of plants in the word. Yet as countries – notably Germany – begin to phase out their nuclear portfolio, the financial impact is set to be significant. The considerable costs of decommissioning nuclear plants and dealing with the fuel waste will highlight the financing provisions demanded of nuclear operators by regulators – but will such provisions be sufficient?
Standard & Poor’s has released a targeted report assessing the credit implications for the nuclear energy industry in an environment of low growth and phase-out. Specifically, the report looks at the risks and liabilities of the nuclear industry, and the implications on investment and credit ratings. S&P shows that at the end of 2014, the largest eight plant operators in Europe faced gross nuclear liabilities of $100 billion.