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The economics of nuclear power plant lifetime extension

The economics of nuclear power plant lifetime extension

Thomas, Steve (2014) The economics of nuclear power plant lifetime extension. In: Haverkamp, Jan, (ed.) Lifetime extension of ageing nuclear power plants: Entering a new era of risk. A report commissionned by Greenpeace. Greenpeace Switzerland, Zurich, Switzerland, pp. 66-98.

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The nuclear power plants that came on line in the 1970s, and which make up a significant proportion of the world’s nuclear generating stock, are now coming to the end of their expected operating life, typically 30–40 years. The replacement of these reactors with new nuclear capacity is highly problematic, for example in terms of cost, finance and siting, so utilities are increasingly looking to extend the lifetime of their existing nuclear power plants as the easiest way to maintain their nuclear capacity. If the cost
of modifications were to prove relatively low life-extended plants could be highly profitable to their owners because the capital cost (which makes up the majority of the cost of a unit of nuclear electricity) will already have been paid off, leaving only the operating and maintenance (O&M) costs to be paid.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: [1] Chapter 2. Part of a study, commissioned by Greenpeace, consisting of four chapters that address different aspects of Europe's ageing reactor fleet and issues relating to its lifetime extension. In Chapter 2, Prof. Stephen Thomas of the University of Greenwich assesses the role of economics in decisions on the lifetime extension of old nuclear reactors. The opinions in the different chapters represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with those of Greenpeace.
Uncontrolled Keywords: life-extension, nuclear power, economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:27

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