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Chapter 1 - The Place of Economics in Decommissioning Policy

Martin J. Pasqualetti

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-1
No Abstract



Chapter 2 - Decommissioning Costs and British Nuclear Policy

Gordon MacKerron

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
The topic of decommissioning economics is not an isolated activity. As Gordon MacKerron shows in this chapter, decommissioning economics are linked to other, often national considerations. The advanced age of the British reactors, plus the government's desire to privatize the entire electrical utility industry, brought decommissioning to the front of public debate unexpectedly early in Britain. As decommissioning estimates have come under closer attention, they have tended to rise from early estimates. Today, the estimated costs are much higher than in the U.S. So far, the funds for this activity are only paper provisions. It appears that one source of higher costs will be increased regulatory requirements. Titus, nonengineering factors are beginning to affect decommissioning costs, as they have other nuclear costs in Britain and elsewhere. MacKerron concludes that the final costs of decommissioning are likely to be higher than estimated originally.



Chapter 3 - Utilities and Decommissioning Costs: The Meeting of Technology and Society

Kenneth P. Ballard, Margot E. Carl Everett, Willard C. Everett

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-3
View Abstract

Abstract:
Nuclear energy policy is impacted by several groups, including regulatory agencies, public interest organizations, private business, and academic research. As policy bends and changes, no group is affected more strongly than public utility companies. The principal reason for such sensitivity is that the utility companies, more than any of the other players in the decommissioning business, are the link between technology and society. This chapter presents the utility view of decommissioning within the context of PG&E's nuclear power stations at Diablo Canyon and Humboldt Bay. The discussion includes special utility problems, such as inherent uncertainties and the causes for over- and underestimating. Among the conclusions is that the overall discussion of decommissioning technology is developing outside the commercial marketplace and will likely lead to inefficiencies, and that the various social costs and ramifications of decommissioning need much more attention.



Chapter 4 - Federal Regulation of Decommissioning Economics

Robert Wood

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
As we move deeply into the new territory of large-scale decommissioning, countries around the world are looking to the United States for guidance and experience in establishing their own approaches. In the U.S., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the lead agency responsible for public health and safety issues linked to commercial nuclear power. This responsibility includes assuring adequate funds for decommissioning. In this chapter, Robert Wood introduces us to the regulations and positions of the NRC regarding decommissioning financing. The issues include why the NRC chose external funding mechanisms, how the funds should be collected and invested, the relationship between the NRC and state agencies, and fund assurance in a variety of cases including possible accident and bankruptcy. While this discussion will serve as an overview of the most significant aspects of decommissioning financing, it also introduces us to other chapters which focus on the relationships of the NRC with the states and electric utility companies.



Chapter 5 - State Regulation of Decommissioning Costs

Peter M. Strauss and James Kelsey

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-5
View Abstract

Abstract:
Even though the NRC has jurisdiction over setting regulations governing financial assurance for decommissioning, the states have the specific responsibility of setting rates for fund accumulation. Each state must include many factors in determining the appropriateness of the rate requests from the utility companies under this jurisdiction, including plant size, date of decommissioning, and configuration of the nuclear component (single or multiple units). It also must decide on proper contingency factors, estimation methodology, the likelihood of early retirement, and whether fund accumulations will include amounts for the removal of nonradioactive components and site restoration. In this chapter the authors discuss the results of their survey of how 37 state utility commissions treat these factors.



Chapter 6 - Divided Authority: Federal Vs. State Policy Roles in Decommissioning Economics

Scott M. DuBoff and Daniel F. Stenger

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-6
View Abstract

Abstract:
The previous two chapters individually examined the federal and state roles in regulating nuclear power plant decommissioning. In this chapter, attorneys Scott DuBoff and Daniel Stenger take a legal look at these issues, comparing the radiological obligations and responsibilities which dominate at the federal level and the economic obligations and responsibilities which dominate at the state level, They do this by examining how the NRC addressed the state role in its new rule on decommissioning, and by looking at the applicable regulatory provisions of several states. The authors conclude that the present dual system of regulation presents a potential for conflict on decommissioning economics, particularly with regard to the adequacy of fund accumulation.



Chapter 7 - The Cost of Decommissioning U.S. Reactors: Estimates and Experience

Gene R. Heinze Fry

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-7
View Abstract

Abstract:
Decommissioning is in its infancy, but our cost experience includes several dozen small, experimental reactors plus the 72 MWe Shippingport reactor. Decommissioning is only beginning at large reactors, but the insights already accumulated allow some use of this experience in future estimates. In this chapter, Gene Heinze Fry compares generic cost estimates plus the data for a total of 21 closed U.S. reactors. Despite the common assumption about the efficiencies that will come with more decommissioning experience, Fry finds a complete lack of scale economies. This could have implications for rates of collection, sufficiency of accumulated funds, and equity issues tied to future generations.



Chapter 8 - Applying Construction Lessons to Decommissioning Estimates

Robin Cantor

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-8
View Abstract

Abstract:
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.



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

William Murphie

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-9
View Abstract

Abstract:
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.



Chapter 10 - Estimating the Costs for Japan's JPDR Project

Satoshi Yanagihara and Mitsugu Tanaka

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-10
View Abstract

Abstract:
There has been an international flavor of cooperation in the commercial development of nuclear power. This cooperation is most strongly established with the development of strategies for decommissioning. Many countries are beginning this phase at about the same time; Japan, Canada, Germany, and the United States all are involved in dismantlement projects. This chapter, along with the next four chapters, addresses various aspects of the methodological approaches being developed to estimate decommissioning costs. Each country has adopted a different strategy for reactor decommissioning, taking its political and technical situations into consideration.Japan also has its own strategy of reactor decommissioning, reflecting the geographic and economic positions peculiar to Japan. The Japan Power Demonstration Reactor (JPDR) decommissioning program is in the process of establishing a decommissioning data base and a cost estimation methodology, as well as developing new technology for reactor decommissioning. Various information about the JPDR dismantling has been accumulated in the decommissioning data base, which will be used for: (1) planning future decommissioning of commercial nuclear power reactors; (2) verifying the developed code system for management of reactor decommissioning; and (3) managing the ongoing JPDR dismantling. The computer code system developed in this program is expected to contribute to studying cost estimation and the optimization of decommissioning plans for commercial nuclear power reactors.




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