A Decommissioning Renaissance - HPS nuclear power plant decommissioning Nuclear decommissioning is being

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  • A Decommissioning Renaissance

    Eric W. Abelquist, Executive Vice President

    Florida Chapter Health Physics Society Cape Canaveral, FL April 10, 2015

    Presenter Presentation Notes The Nuclear Renaissance has not lived up to expectations… though we are encouraged by the new nuclear build in the US

  • Next Generation HP - Solomon


  • Decommissioning over the past 20 years • U.S. built decommissioning leadership

    in environmental cleanup and nuclear power plant D&D

    • NRC decommissioning rulemaking (1997) and related guidance (MARSSIM) in late 1990s supported 1st decommissioning wave – Trojan, CY, MY, Yankee Rowe, Big

    Rock Point, Rancho Seco • 20-year plant extensions swept

    through the industry, shifting the decommissioning timeline

    • Decommissioning industry is mature— and on the precipice of sustained worldwide growth


    Presenter Presentation Notes In 2000 we were looking ahead to 2010 to 2015 as a bow wave in decommissioning nuclear plants when ~30 plants would reach 40 y lifetimes

    Of course what happened instead was 20-y plant extensions, pushing D&D back two decades (2030 to 2035)…

    NRC has granted license renewals providing a 20-year extension to a total of 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States…and currently reviewing license renewal applications for 17 reactors (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    That said, 60 y lifetimes may not be achieved for all NPPs

  • Operational worldwide reactors by age (source: IAEA Power Reactor Information System)


    More than 50% of operational reactors worldwide are > 30 y

    Presenter Presentation Notes So here’s the world view on nuclear reactors…like Baby Boomers reaching retirement, operational reactors in large numbers are approaching the end of their lifetimes

    From a decommissioning perspective, since every nuclear power plant ever built is already in the decommissioning pipeline (that’s ~ 435 or so…one for every member of Congress), net effect of premature shuttering is that plants are moving up in the pipeline.

    So those of us focused on longer-range planning – e.g., we perform IV of nuclear plant D&D for the NRC, what looked like a significant increase of independent verification work in from 2025 to 2030 with several closures per year has moved closer

  • Projected surge in retiring nuclear plants (source: International Energy Agency)


    Presenter Presentation Notes Pace of retirements implies a huge surge in decommissioning projects About 200 of the 434 nuclear reactors in the world operational at the end of 2013 are retired by 2040, with the majority in Europe, the United States, Russia and Japan. [Note that this is cumulative graph]

    The decommissioning renaissance has not been lost on industry leaders. Bechtel and Westinghouse have launched a partnership to provide tailored decontamination, decommissioning and remediation (DD&R) services to US nuclear power plants.

    International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the cost of decommissioning the nuclear plants expected to be retired by 2040 at over $100 billion.

  • Decommissioning is a growth industry

    • Decommissioning is on the cusp of an impressive surge both in the U.S. and internationally

    • Lucrative niche for years to come

    • Fukushima Daiichi has led to an uptick in international decommissioning


    Cheap natural gas (shale gas developments)

    Slack demand for electricity

    Uptick in uranium prices due to increasing global demand

    Market factors driving premature nuclear power plant decommissioning

    Presenter Presentation Notes Nuclear decommissioning is being driven by 1) Market factors (in the US) and 2) as a consequence of Fukushima incident (internationally). Premature nuclear plant shutdowns contributing to U.S. decommissioning – utilities will tap into their decommissioning funds sooner than planned

    Market Factor explanation - Nuclear power cannot compete well in competitive wholesale electricity markets – and about 50% of our nuclear fleet operate in these merchant markets. That is, these markets are not producing price signals that appropriately value large-scale, reliable, clean electricity. So these merchant plants in unregulated markets will not fare well w/o intervention to fix electricity markets

  • What’s driving nuclear power plant decommissioning?

    Shutdown due to market factors:

    • Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant in WI

    • Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

    • Exelon considering closing some of its nuclear

    stations due to market conditions—reportedly

    losing $1 B over the past 5 years

    Aggressive competition:

    • Competitive markets undervalue major attributes of nuclear power plants—

    nuclear power’s clean, reliable, base-load electricity cannot compete with

    spot market prices for natural gas and subsidized renewables


    Shutdown due to equipment issues:

    • Crystal River Nuclear Plant in FL

    • San Onofre Nuclear Generating

    Station Units 2 and 3

    Presenter Presentation Notes Shutting down perfectly good reactors that contribute emission-free, base-load electricity to the grid is NOT good for U.S. Period.

  • Timing matters—DECON vs. SAFSTOR


    Not all decommissioning is market- driven…planned DECON continues at Humboldt Bay Power Plant and Zion Nuclear Facility

    SAFSTOR is an attractive option when decommissioning funds insufficient

    Vermont Yankee may sit for decades while its radioactive components cool and its decommissioning fund grows

    Presenter Presentation Notes An important factor when talking about a decommissioning renaissance is the decommissioning option selected - DECON vs. SAFSTOR. SAFSTOR, or deferred dismantlement, can push back D&D and ultimate restoration of the site for decades (NRC requires decommissioning to be completed within 60 y of shutdown). Humboldt Bay entered SAFSTOR in 1985.

    Vermont Yankee expected to cost nearly $1.25 billion to dismantle the plant, which likely won't occur until the 2040s or later.

  • Internationally, nuclear decommissioning is picking up steam… not from fission

    • 10 Magnox reactors in the UK

    • Germany plans to shutter all 20 of its nuclear power plants (NPPs) by 2022

    • Belgium and Switzerland planning phase out of their nuclear plants (2025 and 2034, respectively)

    • France has 13 experimental and power reactors slated for decommissioning—9 reactors currently undergoing DECON

    • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station—and many of Japan’s nuclear fleet may be prematurely decommissioned



    Presenter Presentation Notes Besides the U.S., decommissioning hot spots include UK, Germany, France and Japan

    In fact, UK probably leads the world in nuclear decommissioning today due to Magnox reactor decommissioning program (10 reactors)

    Switzerland has 5 nuclear reactors generating 40% of its electricity…June 2011 parliament resolved not to replace any reactors, effectively phasing out nuclear power by 2034

    Will discuss more specifics for each of these countries on next few slides

  • Cavendish Fluor partnership to decommission Magnox nuclear sites

    • Planned expenditure for Magnox Ltd 2015/16 ~$900 M

    • 10 Magnox nuclear power stations and 2 nuclear research sites: – Berkeley, Bradwell, Chapelcross,

    Dungeness A, Hinkley Point A, Hunterston A, Oldbury, Sizewell A, Trawsfynydd and Wylfa

    – Winfrith and Harwell research sites


    Presenter Presentation Notes Joint venture between Cavendish Nuclear and Fluor selected by UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in September 2014

    Planned spend from NDA draft Business Plan 2015-2018 setting out key objectives and expected progress for all sites over the next three years.

  • Germany’s nuclear decommissioning • Four nuclear operators—E.ON, RWE,

    EnBW, and Sweden’s Vattenfall— estimate nuclear reactor decommissioning will cost $ 1 billion per plant….a recent estimate is $24.2 billion total

    • Prefer immediate dismantling route (as opposed to SAFSTOR) and re-use of site (green field)

    • Seeks a fleet-wide approach to decommissioning for economies of scale

    • Re-started search for high-level waste repository


    Presenter Presentation Notes Estimate from World Nuclear News, Jan 8, 2015

  • Belgium, Bulgaria and France • 7 Belgium nuclear reactors will be shuttered at

    40 y—decommissioning commencing 2014 to 2025

    • Bulgaria: EU funds to support decommission Units 1 to 4 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant; decommissioning will soon commence for Units 1 and 2

    • French decommissioning proceeding, need intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal site: – 1 pressurized water reactor (PWR);

    300MW – 1 heavy-water reactor (HWR); 70 MW – 6 natural uranium/gas-cooled reactors; 70

    to 540 MW – 1 fast-breeder reactor (FBR); 1240 MW


    Presenter Presentation Notes Belgium pledged in 2003 to gradually phase out nuclear power, but has failed to carry out the required overhaul its energy policy