Title: Economic Viability of Small to Medium-sized Reactors Deployed in Future European Energy markets
Citation: PROGRESS IN NUCLEAR ENERGY vol. 53 no. 4 p. 299-307
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC60864
ISSN: 0149-1970
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149197010001794
DOI: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2010.12.004
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Future plans for energy production in the European Union as well as other locations call for a high penetration of renewable technologies (20% by 2020, and higher after 2020). The remaining energy requirements will be met by fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Smaller, less-capital intensive nuclear reactors are emerging as an alternative to fossil fuel and large nuclear systems. Approximately 50 small to medium-sized reactors (SMRs) concepts are being pursued for use in electricity and cogeneration (combined heat and power) markets. However, many of the SMRs are at the early design stage and full data needed for economic analysis or market assessment is not yet available. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop "should cost" estimates for reactors deployed in a range of competitive market situations (electricity prices ranging from 45-150 Euros/MWh). Parametric analysis was used to develop a cost breakdown for reactors that can compete against future natural gas and coal (with/without carbon capture) and large nuclear systems. Sensitivity analysis was performed to understand the impacts on competitiveness from key cost variables. This study suggests that SMRs may effectively compete in future electricity markets if their capital costs are controlled, favorable financing is obtained, and reactor capacity factors match those of current light water reactors. This methodology can be extended to cogeneration markets supporting a range of process heat applications.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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