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Looking back to see the future: building nuclear power plants in Europe


  • Giorgio Locatelli
  • Mauro Mancini


The so-called ‘nuclear renaissance’ in Europe is promulgated by the execution of two large engineering projects involving the construction of two European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) in Flamanville, France and Olkiluoto in Finland. As both projects have faced budget overruns and delays, this paper analyses their governance and history to derive lessons useful for the construction of future projects. Analysis indicates that the reasons for these poor outcomes are: overoptimistic estimations, first-of-a-kind (FOAK) issues and undervaluation of regulation requirements. These pitfalls have the potential to impact on many other engineering construction projects and highlight fruitful areas of further research into project performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Locatelli & Mauro Mancini, 2012. "Looking back to see the future: building nuclear power plants in Europe," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(8), pages 623-637, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:30:y:2012:i:8:p:623-637
    DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2012.684884

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:138-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Brookes, Naomi J. & Locatelli, Giorgio, 2015. "Power plants as megaprojects: Using empirics to shape policy, planning, and construction management," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 57-66.
    3. Giorgio Locatelli, 2018. "Why are Megaprojects, Including Nuclear Power Plants, Delivered Overbudget and Late? Reasons and Remedies," Papers 1802.07312,
    4. Locatelli, Giorgio & Invernizzi, Diletta Colette & Brookes, Naomi J., 2017. "Project characteristics and performance in Europe: An empirical analysis for large transport infrastructure projects," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 108-122.
    5. Locatelli, Giorgio & Mancini, Mauro & Todeschini, Nicola, 2013. "Generation IV nuclear reactors: Current status and future prospects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1503-1520.

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