Keywords: Real option, research, nuclear


In a context of mix signals regarding worldwide nuclear development, this paper aims at assessing the economic value of pursuing research in Generation IV fast reactors today, given that it would allow industrial deployment around 2040 in case of high uranium prices. Two key variables shall be considered as inputs for the assessment: the price of uranium and the overcost of Generation IV reactors compared with the previous generation. Our model is based on the “real options” theory which demonstrates that this value is positive and outweighs the risks associated with the competitiveness of Generation IV. It is quite simple but it clarifies and introduces important aspects of the field.


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