I'm still a bit puzzled. I've heard it said that the major cost of nuclear is the capitol costs of getting it licensed, financed, built, and started operating. Once that's done, the operations, maintenance, and fuel are very low compared to most competitors.
So, in discussing this Wisconsin nuclear plant, either the original capitol costs have been paid for (most likely, since it's over 40 years old now), or they are still paying for it. If they were still paying for it, wouldn't they want to run it till it was at least paid off?
If it's paid off, shouldn't the plant have a very low cost to fuel and operate, and be competitive even with (temporarily) low-cost natural gas turbines? My understanding is that even at today's low prices for Natural Gas, the price-per BTU/kWh if you just look at fuel costs, is still favorable to nuclear. . . just not *as* favorable?
Isn't it reasonable to presume that in the next 20 years (and that plant just got a 20 year license renewal), the price of gas and/or demand will increase again? It just seems so. . . unbelievable that a *paid for* nuclear power plant would *lose* money.
All I can figure is they just want to reduce supply, so that prices go up. I mean, if they cut supply by 10%, and if that causes the price to go up enough (say 20 to 50% increase), then I suppose simply by reducing supply, all their other plants make more money.