Accounting for Nuclear Power Plants under IFRS: A Global Perspective
thesisposted on 2023-08-30, 20:10 authored by Haseeb Ayaz
Nuclear energy provides almost 10% of the global electricity production. Albeit the increasing reliance on nuclear power plants to derive energy in the prior fifty years, accountability in the financial statements still remains a challenging area. Since the withdrawal of IFRIC-3 Emission Rights in 2005, a wide-range of accounting treatments for the classification and recognition of carbon emission allowances are being practiced worldwide. Additionally, most companies have completely disregarded accounting disclosures on this area. Ambiguous accounting practices has jeopardised qualitative characteristics of useful financial information and withheld crucial information from wider-stakeholders. This research filled the gap in the literature by outlining the global accounting practices of the owners of nuclear power plants that follows IFRS standards. Accounting treatments for carbon emission allowances are benchmarked with nuclear fuel and asset retirement obligations for relative analysis. Materiality and consistency were tested to understand the significance of the accounting issue. To offer a broader viewpoint, an equal sample of NON-IFRS entities has also been used for comparative benchmarking. This study analysed the motivation behind the voluntary accounting treatments and disclosures in the absence of official guidelines. By adopting a mixed-methods research approach and using content-analysis technique on the annual reports and interview responses, this study has found intriguing results. Based on a minor global trend, carbon emitters have switched their accounting criteria from intangible assets to inventory method for purchased emission allowances. However, the interviewed experts supported intangible assets criteria similar to the withdrawn IFRIC-3 guidelines. Multiplicities in accounting treatments among the IFRS sample was higher than the NON-IFRS sample. The level of non-disclosures has continued to ascend, incurring transparency and comparability issues in accounting. Despite the material significance of emission allowances, disclosures were poorly presented due to the poor attention by accounting bodies. Lack of awareness for carbon emission allowances dominated the industry. Results revealed that coercive and normative pressures are more likely to result in coherent disclosures than material significance all alone.
InstitutionAnglia Ruskin University
- Accepted version