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On the Optimal Lifetime of Nuclear Power Plants

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  • Rothwell, Geoffrey
  • Rust, John

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rothwell, Geoffrey & Rust, John, 1997. "On the Optimal Lifetime of Nuclear Power Plants," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 195-208, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:15:y:1997:i:2:p:195-208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Rothwell, Geoffrey, 1990. "Utilization and service : Decomposing nuclear reactor capacity factors," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 215-229, September.
    3. Geoffrey Rothwell & John Rust, 1995. "A Dynamic Programming Model of U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Operations," Microeconomics 9502001, EconWPA, revised 06 Feb 1995.
    4. Andrews, Donald W K, 1988. "Chi-Square Diagnostic Tests for Econometric Models: Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1419-1453, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramnath K. Chellappa & Shivendu Shivendu, 2010. "Mechanism Design for "Free" but "No Free Disposal" Services: The Economics of Personalization Under Privacy Concerns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1766-1780, October.
    2. George C. Bitros & Elias Flytzanis, 2003. "A Rehabilitation of Economic Replacement Theory," Macroeconomics 0303009, EconWPA.
    3. Cook, Jonathan A. & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia, 2015. "Wind Turbine Shutdowns and Upgrades in Denmark: Timing Decisions and the Impact of Government Policy," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 204960, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Le-Yu Chen, 2009. "Identification of structural dynamic discrete choice models," CeMMAP working papers CWP08/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Jensen, J. Bradford & Rothwell, Geoffrey S., 1998. "Transaction costs, regulation, and subcontracting at nuclear power plants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 369-381, August.
    6. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    7. repec:eee:enepol:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:129-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sanghamitra Das & Ramprasad Sengupta, 2004. "Projection pursuit regression and disaggregate productivity effects: the case of the Indian blast furnaces," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 397-418.
    9. Peter M. Schwarz & Joseph A. Cochran, 2013. "Renaissance Or Requiem: Is Nuclear Energy Cost Effective In A Post-Fukushima World?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 691-707, October.
    10. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Shimotsu, Katsumi, 2008. "Pseudo-likelihood estimation and bootstrap inference for structural discrete Markov decision models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 92-106, September.

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