Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator

© Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2015

By Robert Rosner, Jeremy Klavans, and Sam Olofin


Discussions of the future of nuclear power often focus on safety, proliferation, waste storage, and carbon emissions - accepting cost as a given. This tool breaks the cost of investing in nuclear power into its component parts and considers the price of three configurations of the ‘fuel cycle’ - that is, the process that includes everything from the mining and production of uranium fuel to the disposal of spent fuel after it has been used to generate electricity. (A more thorough discussion of the development of this tool can be found here.)



Estimate the price of power from each fuel cycle (once-through or limited recycle in a light water reactor, full recycle in a fast reactor). Test how sensitive the price of electricity is to the cost of components.



Explore the calculator and change default values based on different empirical studies. Select data from different countries (coming soon).



Learn more about the component parts of the fuel cycle. Get definitions for new terminology. Find links to other online resources.