This paper presents methods for estimating the full costs of closing nuclear power plants. It (1) reviews recent studies of the economic costs of closing the Indian Point and Zion nuclear generating facilities, (2) offers methods for synthesizing the total costs of such closures, and (3) identifies and discusses the uncertainties associated with the major cost drivers. Scenarios describing the distribution of costs among ratepayers, stockholders, bondholders, and taxpayers are then used to illustrate alternative viewpoints on net and total closure costs. A matrix framework for conceptualizing and displaying closure costs is developed and used to illustrate the inadequacies of the cost estimates developed for recent public-policy debates.
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