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The Risk of Early Retirement of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants under Electricity Deregulation and CO2 Emission Reductions

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  • Geoffrey S. Rothwell

Abstract

During the next decade, most states in the USA will deregulate electricity generation. Nuclear power plants that were ordered and built in a regulated environment will continue to be regulated as nuclear facilities. However, under state deregulation the price they receive for their electricity will be set largely in non-regulated markets. This paper examines the competitiveness of the nuclear power industry with a probabilistic model to identify which nuclear power units face the highest risk of early retirement under deregulation. Projected outputs under both average-cost and marginal-cost pricing are compared with expected generation under continued rate-of-return regulation. Nuclear units at risk of early retirement are in regions with the lowest forecast prices or are old plants. But, if CO2 regulation targets an emission reduction to 9 % below projected 2010 levels (projected to be 24% above 1990 levels), there are only a few units at risk of early retirement after 2015.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey S. Rothwell, 2000. "The Risk of Early Retirement of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants under Electricity Deregulation and CO2 Emission Reductions," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 61-87.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2000v21-03-a03
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    Cited by:

    1. Toth, Ferenc L. & Rogner, Hans-Holger, 2006. "Oil and nuclear power: Past, present, and future," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-25, January.
    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. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:150-166 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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