Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Shop

IAEE Members and subscribers to The Energy Journal: Please log in to access the full text article or receive discounted pricing for this article.

Economic and Regulatory Factors Affecting the Maintenance of Nucleaer Power Plants

Abstract:
This paper examines the factors causing the escalation in the 1980s and' subsequent leveling off of nuclear power plant non-fuel Operating and Maintenance (O&M) costs. Over the period 1974-93, real (inflation-adjusted) non-fuel O&M costs escalated from about $23 to about $97 per kilowatt of installed capacity (kW). However, much of the escalation in costs occurred in the 1980s. Over the period 1975-87, real O&M costs escalated at an annual rate of about 11 percent. Since then, the annual growth rate in real O&M costs fell to about I percent. The research found that the escalation in O&M costs was primarily due to increased regulatory activity by the Nuclear Regulatory, Commission. More important, there is little evidence that the moderation in the growth in O&M costs was regulatory induced, but instead was due to changes in the economic incentives to improve plant performance.

Purchase ( $25 )

Energy Specializations: Nuclear Power – Markets and Prices; Nuclear Power – Policy and Regulation; Electricity – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Nuclear energy, power plant maintenance, energy policy, economic analysis, operating costs

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No4-1


Published in Volume17, Number 4 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.