Nuclear power today accounts for around 10 percent of the total electricity generation around the world. France has long led the way proportionally, at more than 75 percent (it has the second most total reactors, behind the U. China, though building rapidly, drew less than 3 percent of its power from nuclear in 2014.
These disallowances have made utility executives and the financial community leery of further investments in nuclear power.
Public concerns about reactor safety, fed by the accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, have led to organized local and statewide opposition to new nuclear power plants. Report on Safety Characteristics of Light Water Reactors of Western Design.
In the United States, growth in demand for electricity has slowed from about 7 percent annually in the early 1970s to about 2 percent today.
In addition, extended construction schedules and high costs of building nuclear power plants have been of great concern, and the costs of operating and maintaining nuclear power plants have risen more rapidly than those of a principal competitor--coal plants.[DOE, 1988] The cost of base load generated electricity is strongly affected by capital costs, and therefore it is relatively sensitive to factors such as inflation, high interest rates, delays, and backfit requirements that increase the cost of construction.