Title: Economic Viability of Small Nuclear Reactors in Future European Cogeneration Markets
Citation: ENERGY POLICY vol. 43 p. 11
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC67204
ISSN: 0301-4215
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512000249
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.01.020
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Small nuclear reactors align well with the small heat-capacity needs for many European process industries. Cogenerating reactors can support the European Union low-carbon society goals while providing stability in production and cost. High Temperature Reactor (HTR) technologies are well suited for the production of “high value” heat by producing temperatures of 200º-550ºC, typically in the form of process steam. Future HTR designs and liquid metal cooled fast reactors could produce heat within and potentially beyond this temperature range. However, little public information is available on these reactor costs. The purpose of this study is to develop “target cost” estimates for a range of competitive European cogeneration market situations, competing against coal and natural gas combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Parametric analysis was used to develop a cost breakdown of the capital, operating, and fuel cycle costs. Sensitivity analysis was used to understand the impact on competitiveness from key cost variables. Results suggest that reactor overnight capital costs of 5000-7500 Euro/kWe are needed to compete with fossil-based CHP systems with moderate fuel and carbon costs. Market opportunities were found in the range of 50-250 MWth in chemical/petroleum, paper, metal industries and future bioenergy markets.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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