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Title: Advanced Small Modular Reactor Economics Status Report

This report describes the data collection work performed for an advanced small modular reactor (AdvSMR) economics analysis activity at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The methodology development and analytical results are described in separate, stand-alone documents as listed in the references. The economics analysis effort for the AdvSMR program combines the technical and fuel cycle aspects of advanced (non-light water reactor [LWR]) reactors with the market and production aspects of SMRs. This requires the collection, analysis, and synthesis of multiple unrelated and potentially high-uncertainty data sets from a wide range of data sources. Further, the nature of both economic and nuclear technology analysis requires at least a minor attempt at prediction and prognostication, and the far-term horizon for deployment of advanced nuclear systems introduces more uncertainty. Energy market uncertainty, especially the electricity market, is the result of the integration of commodity prices, demand fluctuation, and generation competition, as easily seen in deregulated markets. Depending on current or projected values for any of these factors, the economic attractiveness of any power plant construction project can change yearly or quarterly. For long-lead construction projects such as nuclear power plants, this uncertainty generates an implied and inherent risk for potential nuclear power plantmore » owners and operators. The uncertainty in nuclear reactor and fuel cycle costs is in some respects better understood and quantified than the energy market uncertainty. The LWR-based fuel cycle has a long commercial history to use as its basis for cost estimation, and the current activities in LWR construction provide a reliable baseline for estimates for similar efforts. However, for advanced systems, the estimates and their associated uncertainties are based on forward-looking assumptions for performance after the system has been built and has achieved commercial operation. Advanced fuel materials and fabrication costs have large uncertainties based on complexities of operation, such as contact-handled fuel fabrication versus remote handling, or commodity availability. Thus, this analytical work makes a good faith effort to quantify uncertainties and provide qualifiers, caveats, and explanations for the sources of these uncertainties. The overall result is that this work assembles the necessary information and establishes the foundation for future analyses using more precise data as nuclear technology advances.« less
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
RC0116000; NERC014
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States