This paper provides a theoretical study of the effects of ambient conditions on the thermodynamic performance of a hybrid combined-nuclear cycle power plant. The operational parameters investigated are based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics, which include the ambient air temperature and ambient relative humidity (Φ). The results obtained for the gas turbine model are shown to agree very well with operational data from the Al-Zour Emergency power plant in Kuwait. The ambient temperature was studied within the range of 0–55 °C. The analysis shows that the ambient air temperature has strong effects on plant performance and that operating the system at a high temperature will degrade the performance. Power output is reduced when the temperature is above the standard ambient temperature of 15 °C, and this loss rate is about 17% at 55 °C. The effect of ambient relative humidity (Φ) becomes significant only at higher temperatures. The ambient temperature has a large effect on the exergy destruction of the heat recovery steam generator exhaust, but it has little effect on other components of the plant. The analysis also indicates that reducing the temperature from 55 to 15 °C could help decrease the total exergy destruction of the plant by only 2%. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.