Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Information about the construction costs and licensing of nuclear power plants

Date released
27 November 2019
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

I was wondering whether you could send us some examples of the costs involved in getting a licence for a new nuclear power plant build. Also, if you are allowed to release any information about the construction costs of nuclear power plants this would be incredibly helpful.

Information released

I confirm that under Section 1 of the FOIA, that we do not hold the information related to your request.

Regarding your first request on examples of costs in obtaining a licence for a new nuclear plant build, ONR operates on a cost recovery basis and so there is no standard fee. The cost to a prospective licensee would be determined by the charge levied against them in terms of ONR resources and any Technical Support Contractors used to support ONR both in the pre-application phase and during the assessment of the application.

The final cost is dependent on a number of factors related to the prospective licensee in determining how much pre-application engagement is required and the length of the application assessment phase. This can include time spent on advising the prospective licensee on the quality of their application, visits to the proposed site, and other engagement activities. The cost of a licence for a new nuclear plant build is therefore not comprised of fixed set costs but is dependent on the individual application.

In relation to your second request on construction costs, as the independent regulatory of nuclear safety, security and safeguards in the UK, ONR does not hold that information as it does not pertain to our regulatory remit. You may find the World Nuclear Association’s  website resources on ‘Economics of Nuclear Power’ helpful in your research.

You may wish to address this part of your request to the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) who can be contacted at .

You may also wish to contact individual licensees or power plants for this information. For example, contact details for Hinkley Point C can be found on the EDF Energy website and enquiries can be submitted on their online enquiry form.

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable