PhD Studentship: Alternative Contracting and Financing Approaches for Nuclear Power Plants

University of Leeds

  • Funded PhD project: Worldwide (International, UK and EU)
  • Value: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance grant matching the Research Council UK rate (£14,553 for 2017/18).
  • Number of awards: 1
  • Deadline: Ongoing
  • Supervisors: Contact Dr Giorgio Locatelli to discuss this project further informally. 

Project description

The current proposal focuses on alternative contracting and financing approaches for new Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). Often, modern new built programmes require alternative contracting and financing approaches. Historically NPPs were deployed by large public utilities acting as client and reactor vendors acting as a main contractor using Turn Key contracts. The traditional approach relied extensively on the public finances and support. After energy liberalisations in the 80’s, and the financial crisis started in 2008 the traditional financing and contracting approach are no longer suitable for new built programmes. Modern nuclear programmes require a financing approach that is less dependent on the public budget.

Ideally, nuclear projects would be extensively financed private funds (e.g. syndicate loan, bond financing) and entrepreneurs. The alternative financing approaches would be reflected in the contracting, which establish alternative attribution of risks and responsibilities among investors and industry stakeholders. Examples of alternative financing and contracting approaches include: Public-Private Partnership, project financing, incentive contracts, open contracts. These alternative approaches are not directly applicable to the nuclear industry. The research will identify the barriers to the adoption of alternative financing and contracting in Nuclear, and it will try to overcome them. The school of civil engineering in the University of Leeds in represent an ideal opportunity because of the active faculty of engineering and the strong connection with the Business school.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent, and/or a Master's degree in a relevant engineering, management, business or economics related discipline.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Alternative contracting and financing approaches for nuclear power plants' as well as Dr Giorgio Locatelli as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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