Capital Cost Evaluation of Advanced Water-Cooled Reactor Designs With Consideration of Uncertainty and Risk

Report Date: 

June 2022




Decarbonization incentives present an enormous market opportunity for the nuclear industry. To stay within the 1.5°C limit by 2050, across a range of scenarios, the IPCC forecasted a 2.5x average increase in global nuclear generation. High capital costs and the risk of overruns and delays may prevent the industry from realizing this new potential. Recent nuclear projects in the U.S. and Europe have averaged cost overruns more than 2x the original estimate. However, new suites of reactor architectures are under development, and they may solve some or all elements of the cost problem. These new architectures leverage modularization, intra-plant learning rates, passive safety, advanced construction, and advanced manufacturing in their endeavor to lower capital costs. This thesis systematically analyzes the cost saving potential of each of these strategies for eight unique reactor architectures. The aim was to understand which architectures and strategies have the greatest potential to reduce cost and risk to cost overruns, and then, apply that understanding to help utilities, policymakers, and other stakeholders in investment decision making and long-term planning...


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