Best Practices for Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants: How to ensure efficient plant decommissioning under different regulatory schemes
When nuclear power plants were built, focus was placed on constructing, licensing, and operating instead of on decommissioning. Rather, decommissioning was seen as a distant problem that was discounted away. This failure to plan properly has led to poor outcomes for the few decommissioning cases already conducted (McIntyre 2012). Nevertheless, hundreds of plants around the world must be decommissioned in the coming decades, many without adequate planning, experience, capacity, or funding.
Within the SNSF funded project “Best Practices for Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants: How to ensure efficient plant decommissioning under different regulatory schemes” we aim to review and identify the best practices to achieve a timely, safe, and cost-efficient decommissioning of nuclear power plants globally. We build on a three-step research process: review, economic analysis, and synthesis of best practices.
In the first project step, we research and analyze the status quo of nuclear decommissioning policy and practice in the U.S., France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the U.K., Lithuania, and Japan. Based on this deep understanding of the “situation on the ground” in each individual country, we identify general decommissioning regimes. In a second project step, we conduct analyses on each of the identified regimes focused on four main themes: legal and regulatory; financial provisions; external conditions; and decommissioning production. Third, and finally, we synthesize the findings from the country reviews and analyses to compare the various approaches and to compile a set of best practices for current and burgeoning nuclear power countries. Throughout the project, we place a large emphasis on consultation and dissemination with industry, government, and regulators from nuclear power countries.
We investigated sic countries in detail with regard to their nuclear decommissioning structure:
France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US
The full report is available as DIW documentation: Link
The individual country reports and the summary survey can be downloaded here:
- Cross-Country Survey on the Decommissioning of Commercial Nuclear Reactors: Status, Insights and Knowledge Gaps
- Nuclear Decommissioning Profile France
- Nuclear Decommissioning Profile Germany
- Nuclear Decommissioning Profile Sweden
- Nuclear Decommissioning Profile Switzerland
- Nuclear Decommissioning Profile UK
- Nuclear Decommissioning Profile USA
Workshops and Conferences
Within the project several webinars, workshops and conferences are planned to exchange with stakeholders and disseminate the project findings.
- IAEE Webnar Webinar on Decomissioning (30.05.2023, online), Presentations are available here
AT-OM Research Workshop: Technology, Economics, and (Geo-)Politics of Nuclear Power (02.06.2023, Berlin)
- Leonard Göke, Alexander Wimmers, and Christian von Hirschhausen (2023)
Economics of nuclear power in decarbonized energy systems
Preprint, submitted to Systems and Control
- Muhammad Bah (2023)
State and federal nuclear support schemes in dynamic electricity market conditions: Insights from NYISO and PJM
WWZ Working papers 2023/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel
Data Package available as Excel file: Download
- Rebecca Lordan-Perret, Rebekka Bärenbold, Hannes Weigt, and Robert Rosner (2022)
An Ex-Ante Method to Verify Commercial U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Cost Estimates
WWZ Working papers 2022/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel
- Rebecca Lordan-Perret, Robert D. Sloan, and Robert Rosner (2021)
Decommissioning the U.S. nuclear fleet: Financial assurance, corporate structures, and bankruptcy,
Energy Policy, Volume 154, 2021
2020 - 2023