Planning Study and Economic Feasibility for Extended Life Operation of Light Water Reactor Plants
The decision to retire an electrical generating unit from service is usually an economic one based on comparing the refurbishment and operating costs of a unit to the comparable values for new capacity alternatives. Refurbishment (to extend the service life beyond normal anticipated levels) is currently receiving added attention because many of the historic circumstances that favored new capacity additions (e.g., substantial improvement in heat rate, relatively rapid growth of demand, capital availability) are no longer as prominent in future planning as they have been. Given the current emphasis on decommissioning of nuclear power reactors, it is important to point out that the potential exists for operation well beyond the 30 to 40 year period that forms a basis for design and operating licenses. The recognition of this potential is based on experience with fossil fuel plants, some of which have operated 50 to 60 years and which, in general, are not required to be maintained to the same level of physical integrity as their nuclear counterparts.
KeywordsExtended Life Baseline Case Reactor Pressure Vessel Total System Cost Operating License
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