Despite recent challenges, nuclear generation remains a key carbon-free source of baseload power worldwide. More than 60 nuclear reactors are currently under construction in 14 countries, including 6000 MW of new capacity in the United States. While prospects of substantial domestic construction are muted by current low natural gas prices, expected coal plant retirements in coming years will enhance the need for new baseload generation and will support continued license extensions and capacity uprates at existing nuclear plants.
Bates White experts apply power industry expertise and economic analysis to address a range of nuclear generation issues, including new and existing plant value assessments, cost-benefit analysis of environmental compliance alternatives, market risk analysis, and spent fuel disposal matters.
- On behalf of Westinghouse in opining on damages claims related to Westinghouse’s marketing of ultrasonic flowmeters used to support nuclear plan uprates, Bates White experts conducted a financial, technical, and regulatory analysis of commercial nuclear plant power uprates in the United States and internationally. This evaluation addressed the range of factors determining an owner-operator’s decision to purchase, to defer, or not to purchase an ultrasonic flowmeter.
- Litigation support in spent fuel cases related to the US DOE’s nonperformance under the Standard Contract for disposal of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power stations, including claims of diminished plant value, in Vermont Nuclear Power Corp. v. United States and Portland General Electric Co. v. United States (US Court of Federal Claims).
- Bates White experts conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the sources and causes of the DOE’s delay in beginning to accept spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste on the schedule specified under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and the Standard Contract. The analysis identified the distinct factors contributing to the delay in accepting spent fuel for storage in permanent geologic repository and quantified the amount of delay attributable to each factor.
- As part of a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the proposed merger between PSEG and Exelon Corp., Bates White estimated the value to the State of New Jersey of increased nuclear plant availability anticipated by the merging parties as a result of improved operations at PSEG’s nuclear facilities.
- Bates White experts conducted power market projections and cost-benefit analyses of environmental protection alternatives related to the fueling of Salem Generation Station and Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. These analyses considered foregone revenue and replacement power costs associated with installing cooling towers compared to operational alternatives to meeting requirements under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act.
- For a major US nuclear plant owner, Bates White conducted multiple economic analyses of the economic benefits of baseload generation from nuclear power plants, including estimation of the impact on wholesale energy market prices, peak hour impacts on power flows and locational marginal prices, and reliability impacts on the transmission grid.