Extending the Life Time of a Nuclear Power Plant: Impact on Nuclear Liabilities in the Czech Republic

L. Havlíček

Abstract


Nuclear power plant (NPP) operators have several basic long-term liabilities. Such liabilities include storage, treatment and disposal of radioactive waste generated at the operators’ NPP, storage and management of nuclear fuel irradiated in the reactor of the operator’s NPP (“spent fuel”), disposal of the spent fuel (SF) or residues resulting from spent fuel reprocessing. Last but not least, the operator is liable for decommissioning its nuclear facilities. If the operator considers extending the life time of its NPP or if the construction of a new NPP is being evaluated by an investor, an integral part of the economic evaluation must be a comprehensive assessment of future incremental costs related to the above-mentioned long-term liabilities. An economic evaluation performed by standard methods (usually NPV, alternatively real options) leads to a decision either to proceed with the project or to shelve it. If the investor decides to go ahead with the project there can be an immediate impact on nuclear liabilities. The impact is not the same for all operator liabilities. Depending on the valid legislation and the nature of the liability, in some cases the extent of the liability must be immediately recalculated when a decision is made to proceed with the project, and the annual accrual of accumulated reserves / funds must be adjusted. In other cases, the change in liability is linked to the generation of additional radioactive waste or spent fuel. In the Czech Republic, responsibility for each of the nuclear liabilities is defined, as is the form in which the financial means are to be accumulated. This paper deals with the impact of NPP life time extension (alternatively NPP power up-rate or construction of a new NPP) on individual nuclear liabilities in the conditions of the Czech Republic. 

Keywords


Nuclear liabilities; spent fuel; radioactive waste; storage; disposal; decommissioning; financing

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague