[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 244 (Friday, December 18, 2020)]
[Pages 82528-82529]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27928]




Replacement Energy Cost Estimates for Nuclear Power Plants: 2020-

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft NUREG; request for comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for 
public comment draft NUREG-2242, ``Replacement Energy Cost Estimates 
for Nuclear Power Plants: 2020-2030.'' This guidance updates previous 
estimates of replacement energy costs for potential shutdowns of U.S. 
nuclear electricity-generating units.

DATES: Submit comments by February 16, 2021. Comments received after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC 
is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0266. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Dawn Forder; telephone: 301-415-3407; 
email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact the 
individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 
TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Pamela Noto, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6795, email: 
[email protected].


I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0266 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain 
publicly available information related to this action by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0266.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS 
Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or 
by email to [email protected]. The draft NUREG, ``Replacement Energy 
Cost Estimates for Nuclear Power Plants: 2020-2030,'' is available in 
ADAMS under Accession No. ML20342A132.
     Attention: The Public Document Room (PDR), where you may 
examine and order copies of public documents is currently closed. You 
may submit your request to the PDR via email at [email protected] or 
call 1-800-397-4209 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2020-0266 in your comment submission.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at 
https://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions 
into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

[[Page 82529]]

II. Discussion

    The NRC is developing new guidance to update replacement energy 
cost estimates for both short- and long-term nuclear power plant 
outages. The new guidance document, NUREG-2242, ``Replacement Energy 
Cost Estimates for Nuclear Power Plants: 2020-2030,'' when finalized, 
updates and replaces the information contained within NUREG/CR-4012, 
Volume 4, ``Replacement Energy Costs for Nuclear Electricity-Generating 
Units in the United States: 1997-2001,'' and NUREG/CR-6080, 
``Replacement Energy, Capacity, and Reliability Costs for Permanent 
Nuclear Reactor Shutdowns'' (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML20073J435 and 
ML20076F500, respectively).
    Replacement energy costs are estimated for the U.S. electricity 
wholesale market regions with nuclear electricity-generating units over 
the 2020-2030 study period. These estimates were developed to assist 
the NRC in evaluating proposed regulatory actions that (1) require 
safety modifications that might necessitate temporary reactor outages 
and (2) reduce the potential for extended outages resulting from a 
severe reactor accident. Estimates were calculated using ASEA Brown 
Boveri's PROMOD model and ICF's Integrated Planning Model for North 
America. The model simulates dispatching a collection of generating 
units in merit order (i.e., lowest to highest incremental cost of 
dispatch) until the regional power demand is met. Each generating unit 
is characterized by the technology and fuel it uses to generate 
electricity, the unit's heat rate, and the variable and fixed costs 
incurred in owning and operating the unit. To estimate the replacement 
energy cost, the study models a Reference Case, in which all 
operational nuclear power plants are generating, and an Alternative 
Case, in which a nuclear generating unit is taken offline so that the 
next unit in merit order is dispatched to replace the lost generation. 
The difference in market clearing prices between the two cases is the 
replacement energy cost.
    The resulting wholesale power price projections capture the 
dynamics and economics of the U.S. electricity markets, which provide 
short- and long-term replacement energy cost estimates on a market area 
basis. Factors that affect replacement energy costs, such as load 
growth, replacement sources of generation, fuel prices, air emission 
requirement outlooks, and seasonal variations were treated in the 
    On November 18, 2020, the NRC held a Category 3 public meeting 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML20336A181) to discuss the updated replacement 
energy cost estimates. The NRC appreciates feedback received from the 
November 18, 2020 public meeting and will consider comments received 
during the public comment period when developing the final NUREG-2242. 
After Commission approval and publication of the final NUREG-2242, the 
NRC plans to develop an appendix to NUREG/BR-0058, Revision 5, 
``Regulatory Analysis Guidelines of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission,'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML19261A278) to provide guidance for 
applying the replacement energy cost estimates.

    Dated: December 15, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John R. Tappert,
Director, Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, 
Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2020-27928 Filed 12-17-20; 8:45 am]