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Chapter 9 - Greenfield Decommissioning at Shippingport: Cost Management and Experience

Although there are many indications that nuclear power plants are likely to stay on site for a period of 60 to 100 years after closure, there are also several reasons to remove the facility from the landscape, such as the desire to use the site for a new power plant or other purpose, safety, and aesthetics. Such removal is underway in several countries including Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In this chapter, William Murphie gives us a unique look at the internal cost management and engineering planning experience acquired during the first U.S. commercialsize plant removal, recently completed at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station near Pittsburgh. The project was especially valuable as it provided a detailed comparison between estimated and actual costs. Some of the more important findings were that (1) detailed advance planning is cost effective, (2) labor costs can result in significant increases in total costs, (3) waste disposal costs can bring about substantial discrepancies between planned and realized costs, and (4) actual costs were within 10 percent of the estimated costs. Although there are several differences between the Shippingport reactor and other power plants, this project afforded the nuclear community an early opportunity to gain insights into many of the contingencies that may occur with full dismantlement.

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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 decommissioning, Shippingport nuclear plant, US, Decontamination costs

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-9

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