At the end of its operational lifetime, a nuclear power plants must be decommissioned. With only about a dozen commercial nuclear power plants having been commissioned world-wide, the nuclear industry and policy makers face challenges regarding this previously underestimated step in the nuclear back-end. World-wide, only a about a dozen commercial nuclear power plants have been fully decommissioned. This limited experience and looming shutdown of many nuclear power plants in ageing fleets could lead to project duration and cost overruns, and consequentially questions regarding liability, if issues are not addressed by policy makers. In this webinar, we introduce nuclear decommissioning as a field of research for energy economists by first providing insight into case-study-based research on regulation, organization, and financing of nuclear decommissioning conducted in a joint research project by the University of Basel and the Technical University of Berlin. Based on this, we more closely analyze two approaches for private sector involvement and close with some insight on how to estimate the costs of a decommissioning project.
Prof. Dr. Christian von Hirschhausen is Professor of Economics at the Workgroup for Economic and Infrastructure Policy (WIP) at Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin), and Research Director at DIW Berlin (German Institute for Economic Research). He obtained a PhD in Industrial Economics from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris and was previously Chair of Energy Economics and Public Sector Management University of Technology (TU Dresden). Von Hirschhausen focuses on the regulation and financing of infrastructure sectors, mainly energy, and is a regular advisor to industry and policymakers, amongst them the World Bank, the European Commission, European Investment Bank, and several German Ministries. Von Hirschhausen also focusses on energy technologies and is one of the coordinators of a research project on nuclear energy in Germany, Europe, and abroad, including the first independent monitoring of the decommissioning process of German nuclear power plants.
Prof. Dr. Hannes Weigt is professor for energy economics at the University of Basel, head of the of the interdisciplinary Research Center for Sustainable Energy and Water Supply (FoNEW), and leads the newly initiated 2023 SWEET research network SWEET-CoSi (Co-Evolution and Coordinated Simulation of the Swiss Energy System and Swiss Society). His main research interests are the analysis of energy markets and energy policy, especially on electricity markets and model-based scenario development.
Dr. Rebecca Lordan-Perret is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Energy Economics group at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Basel. Her research interests are rooted in the link between energy and environmental issues. Rebecca has explored many manifestations of the tension between supplying modern society energy needs and protecting the environment, including energy waste disposal (e.g., nuclear energy and coal); operational safety and security risks and uncertainty; national security; and public policy communication. For this research, Rebecca has drawn on her multidisciplinary training in public policy, employing methods from econometrics to political economy to behavioral economics. Currently, Rebecca is focused on research for a SNSF grant to develop global best practices for nuclear decommissioning and other projects on energy and environmental policy topics. Prior to joining the Energy Economics Group in 2017, Rebecca completed her PhD and her MPP in Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
Muhammad Maladoh Bah, M.Sc. is a PhD candidate and assistant at the Chair of Energy Economics at the University of Basel. He is also a researcher at the Research Center for Sustainable Energy and Water Supply (FoNEW). He is currently engaged in a joint project with the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) on nuclear decommissioning. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) with a focus on environmental economics and energy policy. His current research interests include electricity markets, nuclear support policies and nuclear decommissioning.
Alexander Wimmers, M.Sc. is a research associate of the AT-OM research group at the Workgroup for Economic and Infrastructure Policy (WIP) at the Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin), Germany. Before joining WIP, he worked as a consultant for renewable energy markets at a renowned energy consulting firm in Berlin. He holds an MSc in Business Administration and Engineering (Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen) from RWTH Aachen University.
His current research focuses on the political economy of nuclear power, from new build, operation and decommissioning to nuclear waste management. He is a member of a long-term research project on nuclear decommissioning.
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