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Economic and Regulatory Factors Affecting the Maintenance of Nucleaer Power Plants

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  • James G. Hewlett
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the factors causing the escalation in the 1980s and' subsequent leveling off of nuclear power plant non-fuel Operating and Maintenance (O&M) costs. Over the period 1974-93, real (inflation-adjusted) non-fuel O&M costs escalated from about $23 to about $97 per kilowatt of installed capacity (kW). However, much of the escalation in costs occurred in the 1980s. Over the period 1975-87, real O&M costs escalated at an annual rate of about 11 percent. Since then, the annual growth rate in real O&M costs fell to about I percent. The research found that the escalation in O&M costs was primarily due to increased regulatory activity by the Nuclear Regulatory, Commission. More important, there is little evidence that the moderation in the growth in O&M costs was regulatory induced, but instead was due to changes in the economic incentives to improve plant performance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

    Volume (Year): Volume17 (1996)
    Issue (Month): Number 4 ()
    Pages: 1-31

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1996v17-04-a01

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    Cited by:
    1. Yeh, Sonia & Rubin, Edward, 2007. "A centurial history of technological change and learning curves or pulverized coal-fired utility boilers," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt4xn4w7rn, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Koomey, Jonathan & Hultman, Nathan E., 2007. "A reactor-level analysis of busbar costs for US nuclear plants, 1970-2005," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5630-5642, November.
    3. Yeh, Sonia & Rubin, Edward S., 2012. "A review of uncertainties in technology experience curves," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 762-771.

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