COMPETITIVENESS COMPARISON OF THE ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION ALTERNATIVES (PRICE LEVEL MARCH 2003)

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LAPPEENRANTA UNIVERSITY OF TEHCNOLOGY

RESEARCH REPORT EN B-156

COMPETITIVENESS COMPARISON OF THE

ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION ALTERNATIVES

(PRICE LEVEL MARCH 2003)

Risto Tarjanne, Kari Luostarinen

2003 ISBN 951-764-895-2

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ABSTRACT

Authors: Risto Tarjanne, Kari Luostarinen

Subject: Competitiveness Comparison of the Electricity Production Alternatives

Year: 2004

Location: Lappeenranta

Research Report, Lappeenranta University of technology 18 pages, 7 figures and 5 tables

Keywords: nuclear power, competitiveness, electricity generation costs

The competitiveness comparison is carried out for merely electricity producing alternatives. In Finland, further construction of CHP (combined heat and power) power plants will continue and cover part of the future power supply deficit, but also new condensing power plant capacity will be needed.

The following types of power plants are studied: - nuclear power plant,

- coal-fired condensing power plant - combined cycle gas turbine plant, - peat-fired condensing power plant. - wood-fired condensing power plant - wind power plant

The calculations have been made using the annuity method with a real interest rate of 5 % per annum and with a fixed price level as of March 2003. With the annual full load utilization time of 8000 hours the nuclear electricity would cost 23,7 €/MWh, the gas based electricity 32,3 €/MWh and coal based electricity 28,1 €/MWh. If the influence of emission trading is taken into account, the advantage of the nuclear power will still be improved.

In order to study the impact of changes in the input data, a sensitivity analysis has been carried out. It reveals that the advantage of the nuclear power is quite clear. E.g. the nuclear electricity is rather insensitive to the changes of the uranium price, whereas for natural gas alternative the rising trend of gas price causes the greatest risk.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT...1

TABLE OF CONTENTS...2

1. INTRODUCTION ...3

2. PERFORMANCE AND COST DATA OF THE POWER PLANTS ...4

3. CALCULATION METHOD ...6

4. THE IMPACT OF EMISSION TRADING...7

5. RESULTS ...8

5.1 Electricity generation costs without emission trading ...8

5.2 Electricity generation costs with emission trading ...9

6. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS ...12

6.1 The impact of investment cost ...12

6.2 The impact of fuel cost ...12

6.3 The impact of real interest rate ...13

6.4 The impact of economic lifetime ...14

6.5 The impact of annual full-capacity operating hours ...15

6.6 Summary of the sensitivity analysis ...15

7. CONCLUSIONS...16

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1. INTRODUCTION

The competitiveness comparison is carried out for merely electricity producing alternatives. In Finland, further construction of CHP (combined heat and power) power plants will continue and cover part of the future power supply deficit, but also new condensing power plant capacity will be needed. /1/ - /5/.

The following types of power plants are studied: - nuclear power plant,

- coal-fired condensing power plant - combined cycle gas turbine plant, - peat-fired condensing power plant. - wood-fired condensing power plant - wind power plant

All the power plant alternatives represent today’s best available technology (BAT) and their output capacities have been selected sufficiently large to gain the benefits of bigger scale. The sizes of peat-fired and wood-fired power plants are restricted to 150 MW and 50 MW, respectively, because otherwise the transport distances of fuel will grow too long leading to considerably higher fuel costs.

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2. PERFORMANCE AND COST DATA OF THE POWER PLANTS

The price level of March 2003 is used in the calculation. The investment costs are without the value-added-tax (VAT) and they include the interests during the construction period. For the nuclear power plant a construction time of five years has been used, whereas for the other plants shorter times have been applied.

The electricity generation efficiency of each power plant is expressed as the annual efficiency corresponding to the average efficiency of the whole year.

The size of the nuclear power plant is 1250 MW. It is located in one of the existing Finnish nuclear sites. The investment cost of the nuclear power plant is 2375 million euro (1900 €/kW). For the nuclear power plant, the initial fuel loading is included in the investment, as well. All the expenses of nuclear waste treatment (including spent fuel) and decommissioning of the plant are included in the variable operation and maintenance costs through the annual payments to the nuclear waste fund. The efficiency of the nuclear power plant equals to 37 %.

The combined cycle gas turbine plant is assumed to locate near the existing natural gas network so that the connection fee to the existing gas network does contribute much to the investment cost. The size of the combined cycle gas turbine plant is 400 MW and the efficiency of the plant is 58 %. The investment cost of the combined cycle gas turbine plant is 240 million euro (600 €/kW).

Coal-fired power plant is based on pulverised coal combustion and the size of the plant is 500 MW. The coal plant would be located on the sea coast. The plant is equipped with SOx and NOx removal reduction units. . The efficiency of the coal

power plant equals to 42 %. The investment cost is 430 million euro (860 €/kW). The peat- and wood-fired units are based on fluidised bed combustion. The sizes of the plants are 150 MW (peat) and 50 MW (wood). The efficiency of both the plants is 38 %. Peat-fired power plant costs 153 million euro (1020 €/kW) and the wood-fired plant 65 million euro (1300 €/kW).

The wind power plant would be located on the coast (on-shore type). The size of the plant is 1 MW and the investment cost is 1,1 million euro (1100 €/kW).

The government investment subsidy and the return of electricity tax for the wood and wind power plants are not taken into account.

The performance and cost data of the power plant alternatives of the base case are summarized in Table 1.

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Table 1. The performance and cost data of the power plants. The price level of March 2003.

QUANTITY Nuclear Gas Coal Peat Wood Wind

Electric power [MW] 1250 400 500 150 50 1

Net efficiency rate [%] 37 % 58 % 42 % 39 % 39 % - Investment cost [million

euro] 2375 240 430 153 65 1,1

Investment cost per power output capacity

[euro/kW] 1900 600 860 1020 1300 1100

Fuel price [euro/MWh] 1,00 13,60 5,50 7,00 9,00 -

Fuel costs of electricity

production [euro/MWh] 2,70 23,45 13,10 17,95 23,08 - Annual fixed operation

and maintenance costs [per cent of investment]

1,50 % 2,00 % 2,00 % 2,50 % 3,00 % 2,00 % Variable operation and

maintenance costs [euro/MWhe]

3,63 2,00 5,24 3,29 3,29 -

Economic lifetime [a] 40 25 25 20 20 20

Real interest rate [%] 5,00 % 5,00 % 5,00 % 5,00 % 5,00 % 5,00 % Annuity factor [%] 5,83 % 7,10 % 7,10 % 8,02 % 8,02 % 8,02 % Annual peak load

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3. CALCULATION METHOD

The annual peak load utilization times of the existing Finnish nuclear power plants have on the average exceeded 8000 hours reaching even 8400 hours. Consequently, for the nuclear alternative, an annual peak load utilization time of 8000 hours is selected in the base case corresponding to a load factor of 91,3 per cent. The same value is used also for the other power plants excluding the wind power. In reality, the peak load utilization times of the gas, coal, peat and wood power plants would remain shorter, but for the sake of equality the annual peak load utilization time of the nuclear power is applied for them, as well.

The annual peak load utilization time of the wind power is in the range of 2000 hours to 2500 hours per annum. An annual peak load utilization time of 2200 hours is used for the wind power.

The economic lifetime of the power plant correspond to the time period during which the power plant investment has to pay itself back. The technical lifetime is, in general, longer than the economic lifetime. The economic lifetime of the nuclear power plant is 40 years but the technical lifetime is 60 years.

An own-cost power production cost without any business profit and taxes is calculated for each power plant alternative. The annuity method is applied together with real interest rate and fixed price level. In the base case a real interest rate of 5 per cent per annum is used. If the inflation rate equals to 2 per cent per annum, this corresponds approximately to a nominal interest rate of 7 per cent per annum. Market interest rate is nowadays lower than the real interest rate used in calculations.

The annuity method calculation results in such an own-cost price that during the economic lifetime the annual cash income will cover all the annual cash expenses as well as the interest expenses and amortisations of the loan equalling to the total investment cost.

The own-cost power production costs can be used for the competitiveness comparison between the various alternatives, but as such they do not express the profitability in the sense of business economy. The price difference between the electricity market price and the own-cost price during the whole economic lifetime will determine the business economy profitability.

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4. THE IMPACT OF EMISSION TRADING

According to the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union has to decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with eight per cent during the years 2008-2012 compared to the situation of the year 1990. Within the Union the emission restrictions have further been allocated among the member countries. The GHG emissions of Finland during 2008-2012 can be at maximum the same as what they were in the year 1990.

The emission trading on the emission rights will start in 2005. In the initial break-down of the countrywise emission rights, the energy production companies will get their emission allowances free of charge. Through the emission trading process the companies can sell and buy emission allowances in accordance with their own emission situation.

The price of carbon dioxide emission allowances will be based on the market mechanism of the emission trading. The price level is not yet known, but the price fork is supposed to be in the range of 10 – 100 €/tCO2. This cost component will

increase the price of electricity produced with fossil fuels. In the calculation of the cost addition due to the emission trading, an emission allowance price of 20 €/tCO2 is

used as an example.

As water, nuclear and wind power have no carbon dioxide emissions, the emission trading does not increase their electricity generation costs at all. For the combined cycle gas turbine plant the CO2 emission is 348 kg/MWhe, for the coal-fired power

plant 811 kg/MWhe, and for the peat-fired power plant 978 kg/MWhe. If the

allowance market price equals to 20 €/tCO2, the increment of electricity generation

costs is 7,0 €/MWhe for gas, 16,2 €/MWhe for coal and 19,6 €/MWhe for peat.

According to the Kyoto Protocol burning of wood fuel is defined to cause zero emissions, because wood has tied during its growth the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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5. RESULTS

5.1 Electricity generation costs without emission trading

The electricity generation costs of the six alternatives with the annual full-load utilization time of 8000 hours have been illustrated in Figure 1 and Table 2. The average market prices in the Nordic electricity exchange, Nordpool, in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and January – May 2003, have been indicated in Figure 1, as well.

In the base case the nuclear electricity would cost 23,7 €/MWh, which is the lowest generation costs of all the alternatives. Gas-based electricity would cost 32,3 €/MWh and coal-based electricity 28,1 €/MWh, respectively. Gas electricity is 8,6 €/MWh and coal electricity 4,4 €/MWh more expensive than nuclear electricity. The cost of wind electricity amounts to 50 euro/MWh, which is twice as much as nuclear power.

Fig. 1. The electricity generation costs of the power plants in the base case without emission trading.

The nuclear, gas and coal power plants have the lowest electricity generation costs. The last one cannot, however, be considered as a realistic alternative for a new power plant, because according to the national climate strategy the use of coal has to be strongly restricted.

The capital cost component is dominating in the nuclear and wind generation cost, whereas the nuclear fuel cost remains quite low. For the other alternatives (excluding wind) under consideration, the fuel cost component is highly dominating.

ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS, WITHOUT EMISSION TRADING

13,8 5,3 7,6 10,2 13,0 40,1 7,2 3,5 7,4 6,5 8,2 10,0 2,7 13,1 23,1 44,3 50,1 17,9 23,4 14,9 22,8 27,3 42,4 23,7 32,3 28,1 34,7 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Elspot 2000 Elspot 2001 Elspot 2002 Elspot 1-5 2003

Nuclear Gas Coal Peat Wood Wind euro/MWh Fuel costs

O&M costs

Capital costs

Real interest rate 5,0%

March 2003 prices Operating hours 8000 hours/year

Operating hours 2200 hours/year

R.Tarjanne&K.Luostarinen 03.07.2003

Generation costs without investment subsidy and the return of electricity tax (wood and wind)

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Table 2. The electricity generation costs (€/MWh) of the power plants without the emission trading (5 % real interest rate).

COST ITEM Nuclear Gas Coal Peat Wood Wind

CAPITAL COSTS 13,8 5,3 7,6 10,2 13,0 40,1

OPERATION&MAINTENANCE 7,2 3,5 7,4 6,5 8,2 10,0

FUEL 2,7 23,4 13,1 17,9 23,1 0

TOTAL 23,7 32,3 28,1 34,7 44,3 50,1

5.2 Electricity generation costs with emission trading

The emission trading was described in chapter 4. As a consequence of the emission trading the total electricity generation costs will grow to 39,2 €/MWh for gas-based electricity and to 44,3 €/MWh for coal-based electricity, whereas nuclear power generation costs remain at 23,7 €/MWh. Then gas electricity is even 65 % and coal electricity is 85 % more expensive than nuclear power. Figure 2 and Table 3 show the electricity generation costs of the power plants with the emission trading.

Fig. 2. The electricity generation costs of the power plants with the emission trading.

ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS, WITH EMISSION TRADING

13,8 5,3 7,6 10,2 13,0 40,1 7,2 3,5 7,4 6,5 8,2 10,0 2,7 23,4 13,1 23,1 7,0 44,3 50,1 17,9 19,6 16,2 14,9 22,8 27,3 42,4 23,7 54,2 44,3 39,2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Elspot 2000 Elspot 2001 Elspot 2002 Elspot 1-5 2003

Nuclear Gas Coal Peat Wood Wind euro/MWh Emission trade

20 €/t CO2 Fuel costs O&M costs Capital costs

Generation costs without investment subsidy and the return of electricity tax (wood and wind)

Operating hours 2200 hours/year

R.Tarjanne&K.Luostarinen 03.07.2003

Operating hours 8000 hours/year Real interest rate 5,0%

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Table 3. The electricity generation costs (€/MWh) of the power plants with the emission trading (5 % real interest rate).

COST ITEM Nuclear Gas Coal Peat Wood Wind

CAPITAL COSTS 13,8 5,3 7,6 10,2 13,0 40,1

OPERATION&MAINTENANCE 7,2 3,5 7,4 6,5 8,2 10,0

FUEL 2,7 23,4 13,1 17,9 23,1 0

EMISSION TRADING - 7,0 16,2 19,6 - -

TOTAL 23,7 39,2 44,3 54,2 44,3 50,1

The electricity generation costs of all of the alternatives with the allowance price varying between 0 and 60 €/tCO2 have been illustrated in Figure 3. Electricity

generation costs with allowance price of 0 €/tCO2 and 20 €/tCO2 have been presented

in Figure 1 and Figure 2.

The emission trading will improve the competitiveness of the nuclear, wood and wind power, because the prices of gas, coal and peat electricity will increase. The changes in the competitiveness of the electricity production alternatives will be remarkable in high allowance price levels. This improves the competitiveness of the nuclear power. Gas-based electricity will be cheaper than coal-based electricity when the allowance price exceed 9 €/tCO2. The production cost of wood-based electricity is 44,3 €/MWh.

Gas-based electricity will more expensive than wood-based electricity when the allowance price is approximately 35 €/tCO2. The production cost of the coal-based

electricity will exceed the production cost of the wood-based electricity when the allowance price is over 20 €/tCO2. Peat-based electricity will be more expensive than

wood-based electricity when the allowance price is approximately 10 €/tCO2 and

more expensive than wind-electricity when the allowance price is approximately 16 €/tCO2. Wind electricity will be cheaper than coal-based electricity when the

allowance price is over 27 €/tCO2 and cheaper than gas based electricity when

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Figure 3. The impact of emission trading on electricity generation costs, when the allowance price is 0 €/tCO2 – 60 €/tCO2.

THE IMPACT OF EMISSION TRADING ON ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS 0,0 10,0 20,0 30,0 40,0 50,0 60,0 70,0 80,0 90,0 100,0 0 20 40 60

The allowance price, €/tCO2

euro / MWh

NUCLEAR GAS COAL

PEAT WOOD WIND

Real interest rate 5,0%

R.Tarjanne&K.Luostarinen 03.07.2003

March 2003 prices

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6. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS

The impact of changes in the input data has been studied in a sensitivity analysis. Figures 4-7 illustrate the impact of changes in the input data on generation costs of nuclear, gas, coal and peat power. The electricity generation costs without emission trading are used in these sensitivity analyses. The impact of emission trading on electricity generation costs was handled in chapter 5.2.

6.1 The impact of investment cost

The impact of investment cost on electricity generation cost is illustrated in figure 4. If the investment cost of the nuclear power would increase 20 %, the electricity generation costs would increase to 26,5 €/MWh, which is still under the coal-based electricity generation costs and is 20 % cheaper than gas-based electricity.

Fig. 4. The impact of investment costs on electricity generation costs (without emission trading).

6.2 The impact of fuel cost

The impact of fuel cost on electricity generation cost is illustrated in figure 5. If the fuel prices would increase 50 %, the cost of gas electricity would grow with 12 €/MWh and coal electricity with 6,5 €/MWh, but the increase of nuclear power would be only 1,4 €/MWh. The future price of nuclear fuel will be quite stable, but the growing demand of natural gas in western Europe could cause increasing price trend. The use of gas comprises a price risk.

THE IMPACT OF INVESTMENT COSTS ON ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 -20 % -10 % 0 10 % 20 % euro / MWh Nuclear Gas Coal Peat

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Fig. 4. The impact of fuel costs on electricity generation costs (without emission trading).

6.3 The impact of real interest rate

The changes in the real interest rate have influence on the competitiveness of the alternatives. The impact is greatest for the nuclear power. Table 4 shows the electricity generation costs of the power plants at 8 % real interest rate. It corresponds to a nominal interest rate of little over 10 % per annum, if the inflation rate equals to 2 % per annum. At this level of the real interest rate, the nuclear power is still the most economical.

Table 4. Electricity generation costs (€/MWh) without emission trading, when real interest rate is 8 %.

COST ITEM Nuclear Gas Coal Peat Wood Wind

CAPITAL COSTS 19,9 7,0 10,1 13,0 16,6 50,9

OPERATION&MAINTENANCE 7,2 3,5 7,4 6,5 8,2 10,0

FUEL 2,7 23,4 13,1 17,9 23,1 0

TOTAL 29,8 34,0 30,6 37,4 47,8 60,9

The impact of real interest rate on electricity generation cost is illustrated in figure 6 also. In figure 6 real interest rate varies from 5 % to 10 %. If real interest rate is under 8,5 % the nuclear power is cheaper than coal-based electricity. Gas-based electricity is more expensive than nuclear electricity even when the real interest rate is 10 %. If the

THE IMPACT OF FUEL COSTS ON ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 -25 % 0 25 % 50 % Nuclear Gas Coal Peat euro / MWh

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impact of the emission trading is taken into account, the differences between nuclear and the fossil fuels would be more in favour of nuclear also in the sensitivity analysis.

Fig. 6. The impact of real interest rate changes on electricity generation costs (without emission trading).

6.4 The impact of economic lifetime

For the base case the economic lifetime was 40 years for nuclear power, 25 years for coal and gas power, and 20 years for the peat alternative. The impact of economic lifetime on electricity generation costs is presented in table 5. If the economic lifetime is 20 years and annual full-load operating time is 8000 h, the nuclear power will be still the most economical option. The electricity generation costs of the nuclear power will be 22,4 €/MWh, if the economic lifetime is 60 years.

Table 5. The impact of economic lifetime on electricity generation costs (5 % real interest rate).

ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS [€/MWh] ECONOMIC

LIFETIME [a] Nuclear Gas Coal

60 22,4 NA NA

40 23,7 (31,3) (26,8)

30 25,3 31,8 27,5 25 26,7 32,3 28,1 20 (29,0) 33,0 29,1

THE IMPACT OF REAL INTEREST RATE CHANGES ON ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS

10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 5 % 6 % 7 % 8 % 9 % 10 % Nuclear Gas Coal Peat euro / MWh

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6.5 The impact of annual full-capacity operating hours

The impact of annual full-capacity operating hours on electricity generation cost is illustrated in figure 7. The nuclear power plant has the lowest generation cost when the full-capacity operating hours exceeds 5000 h. The full-capacity operating hours of the Finnish existing nuclear plants have been over 8000 hour.

Fig. 7. Electricity generation costs as function of the annual full-capacity operating hours (without emission trading).

6.6 Summary of the sensitivity analysis

The sensitivity analysis reveals that the advantage of the nuclear option is quite insensitive for the changes of the input parameters. If the impact of the emission trading is taken into account, the differences between nuclear and the fossil fuels would be more in favour of nuclear also in the sensitivity analysis.

The rising trend of gas price causes a major risk for the natural gas alternative. The production cost of gas-fired electricity rises remarkably with increasing fuel prices.

ELECTRICITY GENERATION COSTS AS FUNCTION OF THE ANNUAL FULL-CAPACITY OPERATING HOURS

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 8500 8760 Nuclear Gas Coal Peat

Operating hours [h/a] euro / MWh

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7. CONCLUSIONS

The investment cost of new 1250 MW nuclear power plant, which would be built on an existing nuclear site, is 2375 million euro. The electricity generation costs of the nuclear power plant with the annual full-load utilization time of 8000 h is 23,7 €/MWh. This is the least cost option of all the electricity generation alternatives studied. The gas-based electricity would cost 32,3 €/MWh and coal-based electricity 28,1 €/MWh. All other alternatives were more expensive.

Electricity generation costs of the nuclear power are stable. The growth of the uranium price causes only a slight increase in the nuclear electricity cost, whereas the gas alternative involves a considerable risk as costs grow rapidly with increasing gas price. The impact of investment cost is greatest for the nuclear power. Gas based electricity is less sensitivity for the changes of the investment cost. However, even quite big increase of the investment cost does not change the competitiveness between nuclear and gas electricity.

The sensitivity analysis reveals that the nuclear power maintains well its competitiveness compared to the other electricity generation forms. Some changes in the input date make the competitiveness of the nuclear power even better. The current lower interest rate improves the competitiveness of the nuclear power.

Emission trading will increase the electricity generation costs of gas-, coal- and peat-based power plants – perhaps even remarkably. The electricity market price will grow in the Nordic countries. Consequently, the advantage of nuclear power will still be improved.

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REFERENCES

/1/ Rissanen Sauli, Tarjanne Risto. The Competitiveness oh Nuclear Power and its Impact on Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions. In Finnish. Research report EN B-130. Lappeenranta University of Tehcnology. Lappeenranta 2000. LTKK/Digipaino. 43 pages. ISBN 951-764-403-5.

/2/ Tarjanne Risto, Rissanen Sauli. Nuclear power; least cost option for baseload electricity in Finland. Nuclear energy, Journal of the British Nuclear Energy Society. Vol 40. No. 2, Apr 2001. pp. 87-94.

/3/ Tarjanne Risto, Rissanen Sauli. Nuclear Power: Least Cost Option for Baseload Electricity in Finland. The Uranium Institute 25th Annual symposium. 30 August – 1 September 2000. London

/4/ Tarjanne Risto. Nuclear Power Clearly Competitive. Energia. No. 2 2002. pp. 18-20

/5/ Tarjanne Risto, Luostarinen Kari. Economics of Nuclear Power in Finland. International Congress on Advanced Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP). 2002 ANS Annual Meeting. June 9-13, 2002. Hollywood, Florida, USA

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