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Title: An Evaluation of Energy Storage Options for Nuclear Power

Abstract

Energy supply, distribution, and demand are continuing to evolve as new generation sources come online and new appliances are installed. A larger percentage of the United States (U.S.) energy mix is provided by variable energy sources such as wind and solar each year, and distributed generation is becoming more common. In parallel, an evolution in consumer products such as electrical vehicles, information technology devices for residential and industrial applications, and appliances is changing how energy is consumed. As a result of these trends, nuclear power plants (NPPs) are being called upon to operate more flexibly than ever before. Furthermore, advanced nuclear power plants (A-NPPs) might operate as part of an electricity system that looks very different than when the current NPP fleet was constructed. A-NPPs face the possibility that they will need to operate in an environment where flexibility (e.g., fast ramping) is more highly valued than stability (e.g., baseload generation for conventional demand curves). The current fleet of NPPs is struggling to remain economical in competitive markets in an era of historically low natural gas prices and renewable sources with very low marginal costs. These factors, overlaid with an ambiguous national policy related to nuclear energy and a decision-makingmore » context that struggles with multi-decade capital investments, raise key questions and present significant challenges to the economics of nuclear power in the evolving grid. Multiple factors could improve the economics of A-NPPs, including: (1) minimizing the need for active safety systems, (2) minimizing adoption of one-off reactor designs, (3) establishing policies that credit low carbon emitting technologies, and (4) integrating energy storage technologies that increase revenue and reduce costs through a combination of ancillary services, market hedging, and reduced costs via stable operation. This report focuses on Item (4), containing an overview, synthesis, and examination of energy storage options that could be integrated with nuclear generation. Figure 1 provides an overview of the 2015 energy mix by sector, which shows that NPPs are currently used exclusively for electricity generation that is ultimately consumed in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Some areas for NPP energy growth in the future include power generation for electrified transportation and thermal generation for storage and industrial applications. Currently, most industrial thermal energy users combust fossil resources (i.e., coal or natural gas) to meet the energy needs of the processes, but heat from nuclear operations could also be used in certain specific applications.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1372488
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-17-42420
TRN: US1701973
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; ENERGY STORAGE; ENERGY POLICY; NUCLEAR POWER; ECONOMICS; NUCLEAR ENERGY; POWER GENERATION; SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS; energy grid; advanced nuclear power plants

Citation Formats

Coleman, Justin L., Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M., and Dufek, Eric J. An Evaluation of Energy Storage Options for Nuclear Power. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1372488.
Coleman, Justin L., Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M., & Dufek, Eric J. An Evaluation of Energy Storage Options for Nuclear Power. United States. doi:10.2172/1372488.
Coleman, Justin L., Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M., and Dufek, Eric J. Thu . "An Evaluation of Energy Storage Options for Nuclear Power". United States. doi:10.2172/1372488. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1372488.
@article{osti_1372488,
title = {An Evaluation of Energy Storage Options for Nuclear Power},
author = {Coleman, Justin L. and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. and Dufek, Eric J.},
abstractNote = {Energy supply, distribution, and demand are continuing to evolve as new generation sources come online and new appliances are installed. A larger percentage of the United States (U.S.) energy mix is provided by variable energy sources such as wind and solar each year, and distributed generation is becoming more common. In parallel, an evolution in consumer products such as electrical vehicles, information technology devices for residential and industrial applications, and appliances is changing how energy is consumed. As a result of these trends, nuclear power plants (NPPs) are being called upon to operate more flexibly than ever before. Furthermore, advanced nuclear power plants (A-NPPs) might operate as part of an electricity system that looks very different than when the current NPP fleet was constructed. A-NPPs face the possibility that they will need to operate in an environment where flexibility (e.g., fast ramping) is more highly valued than stability (e.g., baseload generation for conventional demand curves). The current fleet of NPPs is struggling to remain economical in competitive markets in an era of historically low natural gas prices and renewable sources with very low marginal costs. These factors, overlaid with an ambiguous national policy related to nuclear energy and a decision-making context that struggles with multi-decade capital investments, raise key questions and present significant challenges to the economics of nuclear power in the evolving grid. Multiple factors could improve the economics of A-NPPs, including: (1) minimizing the need for active safety systems, (2) minimizing adoption of one-off reactor designs, (3) establishing policies that credit low carbon emitting technologies, and (4) integrating energy storage technologies that increase revenue and reduce costs through a combination of ancillary services, market hedging, and reduced costs via stable operation. This report focuses on Item (4), containing an overview, synthesis, and examination of energy storage options that could be integrated with nuclear generation. Figure 1 provides an overview of the 2015 energy mix by sector, which shows that NPPs are currently used exclusively for electricity generation that is ultimately consumed in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Some areas for NPP energy growth in the future include power generation for electrified transportation and thermal generation for storage and industrial applications. Currently, most industrial thermal energy users combust fossil resources (i.e., coal or natural gas) to meet the energy needs of the processes, but heat from nuclear operations could also be used in certain specific applications.},
doi = {10.2172/1372488},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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