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On the Optimal Lifetime of Nuclear Power Plants

  • Rothwell, Geoffrey
  • Rust, John

The authors present an empirical model of optimal operation of nuclear power plants. The optimal lifetime is the solution to an optimal stopping problem: the plant is closed when the expected discounted losses from continued operation exceed the discounted costs of decommissioning. The authors forecast the evolution of the nuclear power industry under the current regime of forty-year operating licenses and for a policy allowing twenty-year license extensions. They conclude that the extension would double the expected discounted value of U.S. nuclear power plants and double the undiscounted electrical power output of the U.S. nuclear industry over its remaining lifetime.

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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 195-208

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:15:y:1997:i:2:p:195-208
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  1. Andrews, Donald W K, 1988. "Chi-Square Diagnostic Tests for Econometric Models: Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1419-53, November.
  2. Rothwell, Geoffrey, 1990. "Utilization and service : Decomposing nuclear reactor capacity factors," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 215-229, September.
  3. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  4. Geoffrey Rothwell & John Rust, 1995. "A Dynamic Programming Model of U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Operations," Microeconomics 9502001, EconWPA, revised 06 Feb 1995.
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