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Some economic aspects of natural uranium graphite gas reactor types. Present status and trends of costs in France; Quelques aspects economiques de la filiere uranium naturel - Graphite - gaz. Etat actuel et tendance des couts en France

Abstract

The first part of this report defines the economic advantages of natural uranium fuels, which are as follows: the restricted number and relatively simple fabrication processes of the fuel elements, the low cost per kWh of the finished product and the reasonable capital investments involved in this type of fuel cycle as compared to that of enriched uranium. All these factors combine to reduce the arbitrary nature of cost estimates, which is particularly marked in the case of enriched uranium due to the complexity of its cycle and the uncertainties of plutonium prices). Finally, the wide availability of yellowcake, as opposed to the present day virtual monopoly of isotope separation, and the low cost of natural uranium stockpiling, offer appreciable guarantees in the way of security of supply and economic and political independence as compared with the use of enriched uranium. As far as overall capital investments are concerned, it is shown that, although graphite-gas reactor costs are higher than those of light water reactors in certain capacity ranges, the situation becomes far less clear when we start taking into account, in the interest of national independence, the cost of nuclear fuel production equipment in the case of each of  More>>
Authors:
Gaussens, J; Tanguy, P; [1]  Leo, B [2] 
  1. Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires
  2. Electricite de France (EDF), 75 - Paris (France)
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 1964
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
CEA-R-2692
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CHINON-1 REACTOR; CHINON-2 REACTOR; CHINON-3 REACTOR; COST ESTIMATION; ECONOMIC ANALYSIS; FINANCING; FUEL CYCLE; INVESTMENT; NATIONAL ENERGY PLANS; NATURAL URANIUM REACTORS; SAINT LAURENT-1 REACTOR; SPECIFICATIONS
OSTI ID:
20668386
Research Organizations:
CEA Saclay, 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
Country of Origin:
France
Language:
English; French
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: FR05R2692107087
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
FRN
Size:
35 pages
Announcement Date:
Dec 14, 2005

Citation Formats

Gaussens, J, Tanguy, P, and Leo, B. Some economic aspects of natural uranium graphite gas reactor types. Present status and trends of costs in France; Quelques aspects economiques de la filiere uranium naturel - Graphite - gaz. Etat actuel et tendance des couts en France. France: N. p., 1964. Web.
Gaussens, J, Tanguy, P, & Leo, B. Some economic aspects of natural uranium graphite gas reactor types. Present status and trends of costs in France; Quelques aspects economiques de la filiere uranium naturel - Graphite - gaz. Etat actuel et tendance des couts en France. France.
Gaussens, J, Tanguy, P, and Leo, B. 1964. "Some economic aspects of natural uranium graphite gas reactor types. Present status and trends of costs in France; Quelques aspects economiques de la filiere uranium naturel - Graphite - gaz. Etat actuel et tendance des couts en France." France.
@misc{etde_20668386,
title = {Some economic aspects of natural uranium graphite gas reactor types. Present status and trends of costs in France; Quelques aspects economiques de la filiere uranium naturel - Graphite - gaz. Etat actuel et tendance des couts en France}
author = {Gaussens, J, Tanguy, P, and Leo, B}
abstractNote = {The first part of this report defines the economic advantages of natural uranium fuels, which are as follows: the restricted number and relatively simple fabrication processes of the fuel elements, the low cost per kWh of the finished product and the reasonable capital investments involved in this type of fuel cycle as compared to that of enriched uranium. All these factors combine to reduce the arbitrary nature of cost estimates, which is particularly marked in the case of enriched uranium due to the complexity of its cycle and the uncertainties of plutonium prices). Finally, the wide availability of yellowcake, as opposed to the present day virtual monopoly of isotope separation, and the low cost of natural uranium stockpiling, offer appreciable guarantees in the way of security of supply and economic and political independence as compared with the use of enriched uranium. As far as overall capital investments are concerned, it is shown that, although graphite-gas reactor costs are higher than those of light water reactors in certain capacity ranges, the situation becomes far less clear when we start taking into account, in the interest of national independence, the cost of nuclear fuel production equipment in the case of each of these types of reactor. Finally, the marginal cost of the power capacity of a graphite-gas reactor is low and its technological limitations have receded (owing particularly to the use of prestressed concrete). It is a well known fact that the trend is now towards larger power station units, which means that the rentability of natural uranium graphite reactors as compared to other types of reactors will become more and more pronounced. The second section aims at presenting a realistic short and medium term view of the fuel, running, and investment costs of French natural uranium graphite gas, reactors. Finally, the economic goals which this type of reactor can reach in the very near future are given. It is thus shown that considerable reduction in investment costs can be obtained without relying on fuel enrichment, and that this development is accompanied moreover by improvements in the operational safety of the reactor. The economic aspects of the main technical problems entailed by these developments are discussed: loading and unloading machines, blowers etc... (authors) [French] Dans une premiere partie, on situe l'interet economique de l'utilisation de l'uranium naturel comme combustible. Cet interet reside a la fois dans le nombre limite et la simplicite relative des operations de mise en forme des elements combustibles, dans le faible cout du produit fini par kwh et dans les immobilisations modestes en capital qu'implique ce cycle par rapport ou cycle de l'uranium enrichi. Tous ces elements permettent de reduire le caractere aleatoire des evaluations des couts, particulierement marque dans le cas de l'uranium enrichi, en raison de la complexite de son cycle et des incertitudes concernant le prix du plutonium. Enfin, la diversite des sources d'approvisionnement en concentre d'uranium naturel opposee au quasi monopole actuel de la separation isotopique, et le faible cout du stockage de ce concentre, offrent des garanties en matiere de securite d'approvisionnement et d'independance economique et politique appreciables par rapport a l'uranium enrichi. En ce qui concerne l'ensemble des capitaux immobilises, on montre que si le cout des centrales au graphite-gaz est plus eleve que celui des centrales eau legere pour certaines gammes de puissance, ce resultat est fortement nuance des que l'on fait intervenir dans un souci d'independance nationale le cout de l'equipement de production des combustibles de l'une et l'autre filiere. Enfin, le cout marginal de la puissance du reacteur au graphite est faible, ses limitations technologiques ont considerablement recule (grace en particulier a l'utilisation du beton precontraint). On sait que la tendance actuelle est a l'accroissement de la puissance unitaire des centrales, aussi la rentabilite des reacteurs au graphite U naturel par rapport aux autres types de reacteurs sera-t-elle de plus en plus marquee. Dans une deuxieme partie on veut presenter une image realiste a court et moyen terme des couts du combustible, des charges d'exploitation et des couts d'investissement des centrales a uranium naturel - gaz et graphite francaises. On donne enfin les objectifs economiques que la filiere peut atteindre dans un avenir tres rapproche. On montre ainsi que la reduction notable du cout d'investissement peut etre acquise sans faire appel a l'enrichissement du combustible et que cette evolution de la filiere s'accompagne par ailleurs d'un accroissement des conditions de securite dans l'exploitation du reacteur. Au cours de l'expose, sont evoques les aspects economiques des principaux problemes techniques attaches a cette evolution; machines de chargement et dechargement, soufflantes, etc. (auteurs)}
place = {France}
year = {1964}
month = {Jul}
}