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Chapter 8 - Applying Construction Lessons to Decommissioning Estimates

One of the standard practices in estimating costs for new procedures is to apply past experience. In this chapter, Robin Cantor uses prudency hearings and other data from power plant construction to illuminate some of the pitfalls likely to be encountered in preparing estimates for power plant decommissioning. Two of the most tempting pitfalls are scale and learning economies. She suggests that these presumed economies have had less impact on keeping construction costs down than expected, and that they also are unlikely to have much effect on decommissioning costs. Ignoring such evidence, she suggests, could result in decommissioning cost estimates that are too low and collection strategies that are inadequate. This finding has implications for future generations and future decommissioning options.

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Energy Specializations: Nuclear Power – Markets and Prices; Nuclear Power – 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 plant construction, Decommissioning costs, Learning, Management

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-8

Published in Volume 12, Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.