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Chapter 23 - The Expanding Decommissioning Focus: A Comparison of Coal and Nuclear Costs

Daniel H. Williams

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-NoSI-23
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Abstract:
Are nuclear power plants the only industrial facilities that deserve decommissioning attention? Absent the radiation hazards of nuclear facilities, does it matter if other types of industrial equipment are decommissioned? If they are decommissioned, is the cost and effort large enough to really worry about? Daniel Williams examines these and other questions; by comparing the costs of decommissioning at comparable coal and nuclear power plants. Williams argues that the nuclear industry is setting the standard among industries in planning and preparing for decommissioning, and that the nuclear experience provides information that can be applied to the decommissioning of all types of facilities.



Costs of Atmospheric Fluidized-Bed Combustors for Electric Power Generation

Frederick C. Scherr and Jack A. Fuller

Year: 2002
Volume: Volume23
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol23-No1-6
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Abstract:
Atmospheric fluidized-bed combustion (AFBC) is the prevalent technology in boiler design for new power plants. Using plant-level cost data from a sample of commercial AFBC powerplants, we examine the effects of fuel type (scrap coal or standard-grade coal), plant size, and plant completion date on fuel costs, operating costs, capital costs, and levelized total costs per unit of electrical output. We find important relationships between the type of fuel used and unit-output fuel costs (AFBC plants burning scrap are cheaper in fuel per unit of output, despite the lower heat content of scrap) and between operating costs and plant size (larger AFBC plants are cheaper to run). While we find that the advantage in unit fuel costs is not reflected in levelized total costs (which are affected only by plant size), this result may be caused by our procedure for calculating levelized total costs from component costs.



The Impact of Climate Policies on the Operation of a Thermal Power Plant

Orvika Rosnes

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No2-1
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Abstract:
Climate policy measures aimed at power markets influence the cost structure of producers and price patterns, and are therefore likely to influence the production decision of power plants, even in the short run. When power plants have costs related to starting and stopping, decisions on short-term production are intertemporal, and the conventional �price vs. marginal cost� rule is not sufficient to predict production in thermal power plants. This paper analyzes how the optimal production decision is influenced by climate policies: namely, CO2 trading mechanisms, the expansion of renewables and the interaction between these policies. The main result is that higher power price variation (as a result of increased wind power production) makes the thermal power producer less flexible, but the effect on emissions is ambiguous. A CO2 cost (as a result of an emission trading system) increases the flexibility of the producer and the operation decision resembles the conventional �price vs. marginal cost� rule more. This implies lower emissions. However, when the CO2 price is coupled with higher power price variation, the positive effects may be reversed since the two policies have opposing effects.



Optimal Abandonment of EU Coal-fired Stations

Luis M. Abadie, José; M. Chamorro and Mikel González-Eguino

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No3-7
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Abstract:
Coal-fired power plants face potential difficulties in a carbon constrained world. The traditional advantage of coal as a cheaper fuel may erode in the future if CO2 allowance prices increase. When would it be optimal to abandon a coal station and obtain its salvage value? We assess this question following the Real Options approach. We consider the case of a coal plant that operates in a deregulated electricity market where natural gas-fired plants are the marginal units. We assume specific stochastic processes for the fundamental uncertainties in our model: coal price, natural gas price, and emission allowance price. The underlying parameters are derived from actual futures markets. They are further used in a three-dimensional binomial lattice to assess the decision to abandon. We draw the optimal exercise boundary. Sensitivity analyses (regarding fuel prices, allowance price, volatilities, useful life, residual value, thermal efficiency, safety valves in carbon prices, time step) are also undertaken.



Nuclear Capacity Auctions

Sven-Olof Fridolfsson and Thomas P. Tangeras

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.3.sfri
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Abstract:
We propose nuclear capacity auctions as a means to correcting the incentives for investing in nuclear power. In particular, capacity auctions open the market for large-scale entry by outside firms. Requiring licensees to sell a share of capacity as virtual power plant contracts increases auction efficiency by mitigating incumbent producers' incentive to bid for market power. A motivating example is Sweden's policy reversal to allow new nuclear power to replace old reactors.





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