Energy security, in the 21st century, draws significant attention in most countries worldwide, because the national security and sustainable development depend largely on energy security. The anticipated fossil energy depletion and the instability of their supply drive many countries to consider nuclear energy as their alternative energy source for the enhancement of their national energy security. In this study, indicators measuring the level of energy security in the electric power sector are developed and applied for the assessment of the effectiveness of four electric power system schemes which deploy different nuclear fuel cycle technologies, with consideration for the diversification of the energy markets and the vulnerability to economic disruption. Results show that the contribution of the closed fuel cycle scheme is larger than the once-through fuel cycle scheme in the perspective of energy security. In addition, the completely closed fuel cycle with the spent fuel recycling enhances the national energy security to the maximum extent compared to all other fuel cycle schemes. Since a completely closed fuel cycle is hardly affected by the uranium price changes, this scheme is found to be the most favorable scheme, ensuring the stable profit of utilities and stabilizing the electricity tariff. In addition, the completely closed fuel cycle scheme provides the best enhancement of national energy security with respect to energy supply, under reasonable price conditions. The indicators developed in this study can be utilized as a useful instrument for the measurement of the level of the energy security, especially by the countries importing energy resources for the generation of electric power. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.