Far more nuclear generation capacity is expected to be retired rather
than added through 2050, a study
by the Energy Information Administration indicated.
Though 9.1 GW of new capacity
is projected to be added, 29.9 GW
is expected to be retired. The reac-
tors already announced for closure
include Palisades in 2018, Pilgrim
Unit 1 in 2019, Oyster Creek Unit
1 in 2020, Indian Point Units 2 and
3 around 2020 and Diablo Canyon
Units 1 and 2 in 2025 and 2026.
Though Quad Cities Units 1 and 2
and Clinton Unit 1 were set for retirement, financial incentives passed by
the state of Illinois caused the operators of those plants to keep them open.
EIA assumes 25 percent of nuclear
capacity now operating without announced retirement plans will be removed from service by 2050.
The four new reactors under con-
struction at V.C. Summer and Vogtle
are included in the assessment, EIA
said their future process is uncertain
due to the bankruptcy of Westing-
New nuclear power plants are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission for 40 years, though 90
percent of currently operating nuclear plants are either operating under
or have applied for 20-year license
renewals. Nearly all nuclear plants
now in use began operation between
1970 and 1990.
Nuclear Generation Expected to Decline with Reactor Retirements
Sources: Southern Power and Toshiba Reach Financial Agreement for Vogtle
Southern Company and Toshiba have reportedly
agreed on liability payments for the unfinished Units 3
and 4 at the Vogtle nuclear power plant.
Under the deal, Toshiba’s liabilities will be capped at
$3.6 billion and will be payable over the next three years.
Southern announced on Friday it would take over
management of the Vogtle expansion from Toshiba’s
Westinghouse subsidiary, which filed for bankruptcy
earlier this year.
The deal is contingent on Toshiba reaching a similar
agreement with SCANA over the similar nuclear expansion
at V.C. Summer, the sources indicated.
Southern Company CEO Thomas Fanning said earlier
this month the company hasn’t decided it will finish
building the plant even if Toshiba pays out its liabilities.
Consider Ending Nuclear
The Michigan Public Service Commission
is considering the termination of a nuclear
power purchase contract.
Entergy had announced they plan to shut
down the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in
2018, and the power purchase agreement
with Consumers Energy runs through
2002, the Associated Press reported.
Consumers had proposed to recover the
$172 million buyout payment through
customer rates, though a financing order
application indicates customers would still
save between $54 million and $1.1 billion
by ending the contract early.
TVA’s Plan for SMRs
Runs into Snags
Efforts by the Tennessee Valley
Authority to build a small modular nuclear
reactor at its Clinch River site has run into
setbacks, TVA officials said.
Joe Hoagland, TVA’s vice president of
stakeholder relations, told the Knoxville News
Sentinel the project still has three significant barriers
that must be crossed before the project can begin.
The first barrier is a lack of electrical demand.
Hoagland said the TVA hopes to have the SMR
in place by the time the TVA eventually
decommissions its current nuclear plants.
Secondly, the installation and operational
costs of SMRs are still too high compared
to other power generation technologies.
And finally, the technology is still under
development. Though companies have
submitted SMR designs, the review process
could take up to five years.
Though the TVA has filed an early site
permit application for the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, it did so due to the lengthy
process for planning and building a nuclear
plant. The plans don’t specify a specific design.