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Chapter 24 - The Optimal Time to Decommission Commercial Nuclear Reactors

Geoffrey S. Rothwell

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-24
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Abstract:
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.



The Risk of Early Retirement of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants under Electricity Deregulation and CO2 Emission Reductions

Geoffrey S. Rothwell

Year: 2000
Volume: Volume21
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol21-No3-3
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Abstract:
During the next decade, most states in the USA will deregulate electricity generation. Nuclear power plants that were ordered and built in a regulated environment will continue to be regulated as nuclear facilities. However, under state deregulation the price they receive for their electricity will be set largely in non-regulated markets. This paper examines the competitiveness of the nuclear power industry with a probabilistic model to identify which nuclear power units face the highest risk of early retirement under deregulation. Projected outputs under both average-cost and marginal-cost pricing are compared with expected generation under continued rate-of-return regulation. Nuclear units at risk of early retirement are in regions with the lowest forecast prices or are old plants. But, if CO2 regulation targets an emission reduction to 9 % below projected 2010 levels (projected to be 24% above 1990 levels), there are only a few units at risk of early retirement after 2015.





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