1/ It always amazes me at the things that I can learn about the nuclear industry.

This thread will probably blow your mind.

Last night learning this fact was very eye opening.
2/ When Nuclear plants are constructed money is placed in a trust that cannot be accessed until it is time for shutting the plant down and cleaning up the site.

In the industry this is called a decommissioning fund.
3/ Part of the licensing is the initial amount set aside in the fund and the amount that has to be added every year.

These funds grow over the lifetime of then plant.

The longer the plant is online the larger the pot is.
4/ This fund cannot be accessed until the plant has shutdown and will be decommissioned.

The funds require permission even after the plant is shutdown to perform certain actions.
5/ However when the full decommissioning and decontamination is complete the remainder of the fund becomes the plant Owner’s to do with as they please.
6/ With companies like Holtec being able to reduce the decommission from a decade down to a couple years that places the decommissioning fund as quick profits for these companies.
7/ Also with these plants be really old by industry standards (40 years and more) there is a need for a junkyard plant to supply other plants.

Imagine you are a utility with a number of plants.
8/ The board can make the smart financial decision to shutdown one plant and reduce material costs for their other plants and also gain access to the funds set aside for decommissioning.
9/ Literally if the annual addition to the fund is large enough a nuclear plant risks being shutdown not because the plant isn’t profitable but because there is even more profit in shutting it down.
10/ That is what blew my mind. Nuclear is so profitable that even closing them down is a cash cow.

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