Based on a review of existing studies, the authors advance a method for estimating the total costs associated with the premature closure of a nuclear power plant facility. The methodology is described in terms of the planned closure of an operational plant but can easily be generalized to cover the forced, immediate closure of a nuclear facility following, say, a severe accident. Illustrating the procedures and the state of current costing information by analyzing the postulated voluntary closure of Indian Point Units 2 and 3, the authors find the differential cost of closure over keeping the units open at between $7 billion and $17 billion. Cost uncertainty of this magnitude seriously degrades the decisionmaking ability of both private and public authorities.
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