A analysis group that gives data to institutional traders stated price estimates to decommission U.S. nuclear crops fell in 2017 for the primary time in a decade. The Callan Institute, headquartered in San Francisco, California, in a report launched November 28 stated decommissioning price estimates dropped by 2.5% final 12 months, to $88.eight billion.

Callan’s information exhibits prices estimates have stabilized over the previous few years, shifting in a spread between $88.1 billion and $91 billion.

As an instance, the report checked out Duke Energy’s estimate to decommission its 860-MW Crystal River three nuclear plant in Florida. Duke Energy, in information submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in June, stated its newest determine predicts whole decommissioning prices at $895.9 million, in 2017 . Duke Energy in 2013, when it determined to shut the plant, estimated Crystal River’s whole decommissioning prices at $1.18 billion. The utility with its most-recent estimate stated prices have been “about 10% decrease than anticipated.”

The Crystal River nuclear plant was an iconic picture alongside Florida’s Gulf Coast, earlier than Duke Energy shut it down in 2013. The plant had been offline since 2009. Courtesy: Duke Energy

A dozen nuclear reactors are scheduled to shut over the subsequent seven years, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s along with the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, which closed in September. (Click right here for a video retrospective of the plant.)

Callan’s report says a number of nuclear plant operators lowered their estimate for decommissioning previously 12 months, with some unchanged, whereas a couple of operators elevated their price estimates. Plants performing fast decommissioning below the DECON process—wherein any radioactive gear and materials is faraway from a website and disposed at a industrial low-level waste facility, or decontaminated sufficient so the location will be launched for unrestricted use shortly after ending operation—noticed their estimates lower, particularly at two in California: Southern California Edison’s San Onofre plant, and Pacific Gas and Electric’s Humboldt Bay plant.

Callan’s report stated decommissioning operators are utilizing expertise developments, together with economies of scale, to cut back the time required for decommissioning procedures, which helps lower prices. Also, the elevated want for decontamination and dismantling providers has resulted in firms creating ventures particularly for decommissioning, with new enterprise fashions wherein teams specializing in closure efforts are taking up possession of closed and retiring crops.

U.S. rules require decommissioning prices to be met by a Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund (NDTF). Callan’s 2018 Nuclear Decommissioning Funding Study, based mostly on 2017 information and masking 27 investor-owned and 26 public energy utilities (excluding public energy homeowners with small shares)with an possession curiosity in additional than 100 working and non-operating U.S. reactors, exhibits greater than $69 billion within the fund in 2017, a $5.5 billion (eight.7%) improve from the prior 12 months. Callan stated the rise “will be attributed largely to capital market efficiency in 2017,” with each inventory and bond funds shifting greater. Callan stated investor-owned funds account for about 89% of the NDTF, with public energy funds accounting for the remainder.

Callan’s information exhibits operators elevated their fund balances whereas additionally decreasing their fund contributions for a 3rd straight 12 months, with whole annual operator contributions down $40 million (13.four%) in 2017 to $258 million. Said Callan: “In 2017, investor-owned contributions had been half of their 2008 degree whereas public energy contributions had been roughly 1 / 4 of their 2008 degree.”

Darrell Proctor is a POWER affiliate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).

The submit Data Shows Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Costs Falling…

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