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Title: Nuclear Technology R&D Strategies in an Era of Energy Price Uncertainty

Abstract

This project assessed technology strategies for nuclear power plants that could improve economic competitiveness in uncertain future electricity markets. Heat storage is a promising class of technologies that would allow reactors to produce steam at maximum power while giving the plant operator the flexibility to sell more electricity at higher prices. We used the Texas (ERCOT) and New England (ISO-NE) electricity markets to evaluate future market scenarios for heat storage. Hourly unit commitment and capacity change models were used to model short- and long-term market dynamics. Three heat storage technologies were identified as the most promising for nearterm deployment with existing light-water reactors: steam accumulators, twotank molten salt storage, and high-temperature-compatible concrete. We developed technoeconomic models for each of these technologies to estimate direct, overnight capital costs based on the output power [MW], energy storage capacity [MWh or GJth], and heat loss rate [%/hr]. Our modeling results found that adding heat storage to a nuclear power plant could increase net revenue in some cases. The greatest improvements were seen when increasing the heat storage power output with a separate steam turbine. Increasing energy storage capacity was beneficial through 12 hours of full-output storage time, but there was little to nomore » benefit for higher energy/ power ratios. High natural gas prices as well as increasing amounts of solar PV and wind were both beneficial to storage economics, while high demand and load growth and a carbon tax were helpful in some scenarios. We recommend that heat storage systems for nuclear power plants be developed with multiple future markets in mind, namely electricity generation, operating reserves, long-term capacity, and industrial heat. Heat storage system Integration risk should be mitigated early in the development process to accelerate deployments.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of Texas, Austin
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1497838
Report Number(s):
14-6950
14-6950
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008276
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Landsberger, Sheldon, and Forsberg, Charles. Nuclear Technology R&D Strategies in an Era of Energy Price Uncertainty. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1497838.
Landsberger, Sheldon, & Forsberg, Charles. Nuclear Technology R&D Strategies in an Era of Energy Price Uncertainty. United States. doi:10.2172/1497838.
Landsberger, Sheldon, and Forsberg, Charles. Wed . "Nuclear Technology R&D Strategies in an Era of Energy Price Uncertainty". United States. doi:10.2172/1497838. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1497838.
@article{osti_1497838,
title = {Nuclear Technology R&D Strategies in an Era of Energy Price Uncertainty},
author = {Landsberger, Sheldon and Forsberg, Charles},
abstractNote = {This project assessed technology strategies for nuclear power plants that could improve economic competitiveness in uncertain future electricity markets. Heat storage is a promising class of technologies that would allow reactors to produce steam at maximum power while giving the plant operator the flexibility to sell more electricity at higher prices. We used the Texas (ERCOT) and New England (ISO-NE) electricity markets to evaluate future market scenarios for heat storage. Hourly unit commitment and capacity change models were used to model short- and long-term market dynamics. Three heat storage technologies were identified as the most promising for nearterm deployment with existing light-water reactors: steam accumulators, twotank molten salt storage, and high-temperature-compatible concrete. We developed technoeconomic models for each of these technologies to estimate direct, overnight capital costs based on the output power [MW], energy storage capacity [MWh or GJth], and heat loss rate [%/hr]. Our modeling results found that adding heat storage to a nuclear power plant could increase net revenue in some cases. The greatest improvements were seen when increasing the heat storage power output with a separate steam turbine. Increasing energy storage capacity was beneficial through 12 hours of full-output storage time, but there was little to no benefit for higher energy/ power ratios. High natural gas prices as well as increasing amounts of solar PV and wind were both beneficial to storage economics, while high demand and load growth and a carbon tax were helpful in some scenarios. We recommend that heat storage systems for nuclear power plants be developed with multiple future markets in mind, namely electricity generation, operating reserves, long-term capacity, and industrial heat. Heat storage system Integration risk should be mitigated early in the development process to accelerate deployments.},
doi = {10.2172/1497838},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}