The French Nuclear Bet
Quentin Perrier ()
No 256058, ESP: Energy Scenarios and Policy from Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)
Following the first oil crisis, France launched the world’s largest ever nuclear energy program, commissioning 58 new reactors. These reactors are now reaching 40 years of age, the end of their technological lifetime. This places France at an energy policy crossroads: should the reactors be retrofitted or should they be decommissioned? The cost-optimal decision depends on several factors going forward, in particular the expected costs of nuclear energy production, electricity demand levels and carbon prices, all of which are subject to significant uncertainty. To deal with these uncertainties, we apply the Robust Decision Making framework to determine which reactors should be retrofitted. We build an investment and dispatch optimization model, calibrated for France. Then we use it to study 27 retrofit strategies for all combinations of uncertain parameters, which amounts to nearly 3,000 runs. Our analysis produces two robust strategies, which involve shutting down between 7 and 14 of the 14 oldest reactors, while extending the lifetime of all remaining reactors. These strategies provide a hedge against the risks of unexpected increases in retrofit costs, low demand and low carbon price. Our robust strategies differ from the official French government scenarios on the timing and number of reactors suggested to be decommissioned. They provide a timely contribution to the current debate on the extension of lifetime of nuclear plants in France.
Keywords: Resource; /Energy; Economics; and; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: The French nuclear bet (2017)
Working Paper: The French Nuclear Bet (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:feemes:256058
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in ESP: Energy Scenarios and Policy from Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by AgEcon Search ().