The Costs and Benefits of Nuclear Regulation

As with many independent agencies, there is much the public doesn’t know about the costs and benefits of new rules. Regulatory costs imposed on nuclear power plants by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) since 2006 have totaled $444 million.

Currently, NRC displays a paperwork cost of $2.2 million from its 10.5 million paperwork hours. However, this only amounts to about 20 cents an hour for those performing the paperwork. As AAF has previously found, a thorough examination of NRC’s paperwork slate uncovers more than $257 million in unpublished costs, or 116 times the reported figure.

Regulation for the nuclear industry is inherently unique and it should never be deregulated in the same manner as other industries. However, there are incremental and meaningful steps policymakers and regulators can take to alleviate a regulatory burden of at least $8.6 million per plant, exclusive of fees and other major capital costs.

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