Construction Costs Soar for New Nuclear Plants

October 15, 2008

NEW YORK Oct. 15, 2008 Construction risk is the overriding risk for new U.S. nuclear power plants, according to a report published today by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "Construction Costs To Soar For New U.S. Nuclear Power Plants". We believe that labor and material cost increases are particularly acute for nuclear plants given their specialized labor needs, material intensity, and a tight supply chain for key components. The scanty construction track record for the new technologies and an untested regulatory process only complicate the risks.

We have broadly categorized risks pertaining to power plant construction issues in four categories. While some of these are also applicable for other types of power plants, we believe that the issues are more acute in the case of nuclear power:


-- Cost inflation in input materials and labor, especially nuclear-related labor;


-- Unavailability of turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts and supply chain bottlenecks;


-- A limited construction track record; and


-- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) supervision process.


The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, the real-time Web-based source for Standard & Poor's credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, at If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-9823 or sending an e-mail to Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at; under Credit Ratings in the left navigation bar, select Find a Rating, then Credit Ratings Search. Members of the media may request a copy of this report by contacting the media representative provided.

Wayne Young
404-310-4086 Phone
770-689-0458 Fax

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