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Chapter 24 - The Optimal Time to Decommission Commercial Nuclear Reactors

One of the key questions related to decommissioning is its optimal timing. In this final chapter, Geoffrey Rothwell integrates the findings presented in Nuclear Decommissioning Economics by proposing a model of discounted decommissioning costs. The real cost of decontaminating a reactor is specified as a function of its size, the volume of radioactive material, radiation exposure regulation, and the rate of productivity change in the decommissioning industry. The model allows calculation of an optimal waiting period between reactor shutdown and decommissioning. The optimal waiting period decreases with tighter radiation exposure regulation and higher inflation rates for radioactivewaste burial.

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

JEL Codes: Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q40: Energy: General, L94: Electric Utilities, D24: Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

Keywords: Nuclear decommissioning, Optimal timing, Decontamination, Demolition costs, Radioactive waste burial

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-24

Published in Volume 12, Special Issue of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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