RISK. That's "Choice" of the four-letter variety. And it's a concept we're
beginning to overhear at industry confabs, whispered by utility execs and regulatory affairs reps.
Nowhere is this sort of compelling choice more apparent than in three topics we tackle in the pages of this issue. How much risk, for instance, is inherent in the answers to these questions: Will nuclear plants survive competition? How far should U.S. utilities go in investing in Latin America? How should transmission service be integrated with reliability rules? Authors Jay Maidment and Geoffrey Rothwell examine the first question and point out that all nuclear plants are not created equal. Most plants have the potential for improving operating costs.
Maidment and Rothwell crunched more than 2,000 reactor years of data. They discovered one of the best ways to improve performance is to cut operationing and maintenance costs; about 80 percent of these charges, other than fuel, are labor related. Does that mean more change is ahead? Will nuclear plant operators (em at least those running inefficient plants (em confront labor cuts while trying to balance safety and efficiency? Even further out, will those who see predicted capacity shortfalls invest in nuclear because of low fuel costs? Competition demands it; investors may have no choice.
Chile Over Chicago