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Shutting down nuclear power – a process already on the way

Flag-USAU.S. expects about 10 pct of nuclear capacity to shut by 2020 HOUSTON, April 28 Tue Apr 29, 2014 (Reuters) – Lower natural gas prices and stagnant growth in electric demand will lead to the loss of 10,800 megawatts of U.S. nuclear generation, or around 10 percent of total capacity, by the end of the decade, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report issued on Monday.

About 6,000 MW of nuclear capacity will shut by 2020 in addition to six reactors totaling 4,800 MW that have already shut or plan to shut in that time period, the EIA said in its 2014 annual electric output study.

“Retirements often are the result of unique circumstances, but some owners of nuclear power plants have voiced concerns about the profitability of their units,” the EIA said in its report.

Lower natural gas prices that have pared wholesale power prices will hurt profitability for nuclear units and some high-cost reactors will shut as economic challenges mount, the EIA said.

“When faced with declining profitability, plant owners may choose to retire their units rather than make additional investments to keep them operating,” the report said…….

In its 2013 report, the EIA projected only 7,700 MW, or about 7 percent, of nuclear capacity would retire by 2040. The report did not mention the number of units that are likely shut after operating for 60 years after 2029. http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/04/28/utilities-nuclear-eia-idINL2N0NK23D20140428

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April 29, 2014 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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