Replacement Energy Cost Estimates for Nuclear Power Plants: 2020-2030 – Final Report (NUREG-2242)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: June 2021
Date Published: June 2021

Prepared by:
K. Collison, ICF
E. Gormsen, ICF
R.F. Schofer, NRC
Dr. Boddu Venkatesh, ICF Project Manager
Pamela Noto, NRC Project Manager
Amy Sharp, NRC Project Manager

ICF Incorporated, L.L.C.
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Replacement energy costs are estimated for the United States wholesale electricity market regions with nuclear electricity-generating units over the 2020–2030 report period. These estimates were developed to assist the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in evaluating proposed regulatory actions that (1) require safety modifications that might necessitate temporary reactor outages and (2) reduce the potential for the loss of generation associated with a possible severe reactor accident. Estimates were calculated using ASEA Brown Boveri’s (ABB’s) PROMOD model and ICF’s Integrated Planning Model (IPM) for North America. 

The models simulate dispatching a collection of generating units in merit order (i.e., lowest to highest incremental cost of dispatch) until the regional power demand is met. Each generating unit is characterized by the technology and fuel it uses to generate electricity, the unit’s heat rate, and the variable and fixed costs incurred in owning and operating the unit. To estimate the replacement energy cost, the report models a Reference Case, in which all operational nuclear power plants are generating, and an Alternative Case, in which a nuclear generating unit is taken offline so that the next unit in merit order is dispatched to replace the lost generation. The difference in market clearing prices between the two cases is the replacement energy cost.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, June 30, 2021