Impact of Nuclear Shutdowns

The recent earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan has led to an international reevaluation of policies related to nuclear power. Germany has decided to shutdown all nine of its nuclear power plants by 2022, and Switzerland will shutdown all five of its plants by 2032. Nuclear power currently supplies 25% of Germany’s power, 39% of Switzerland’s power, and 20% of the electricity consumed in the U.S.

A new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and DAI Management Consultants, Inc. shows that these decisions are not without significant economic and environmental consequences. Shifting to other types of power plants could affect the reliability of the electricity supply, electricity costs, air pollution, carbon emissions, and the reliance on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

Details on the model, and the model itself can be downloaded: