A framework for the selection of the right nuclear power plant

Locatelli, Giorgio and Mancini, Mauro (2012) A framework for the selection of the right nuclear power plant. International Journal of Production Research, 50 (17). pp. 4753-4766. ISSN 0020-7543

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A framework for the selection of the right nuclear power plant
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Abstract

Civil nuclear reactors are used for the production of electrical energy. In the nuclear industry vendors propose several nuclear reactor designs with a size from 35–45 MWe up to 1600–1700 MWe. The choice of the right design is a multidimensional problem since a utility has to include not only financial factors as levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) and internal rate of return (IRR), but also the so called “external factors” like the required spinning reserve, the impact on local industry and the social acceptability. Therefore it is necessary to balance advantages and disadvantages of each design during the entire life cycle of the plant, usually 40–60 years. In the scientific literature there are several techniques for solving this multidimensional problem. Unfortunately it does not seem possible to apply these methodologies as they are, since the problem is too complex and it is difficult to provide consistent and trustworthy expert judgments. This paper fills the gap, proposing a two-step framework to choosing the best nuclear reactor at the pre-feasibility study phase. The paper shows in detail how to use the methodology, comparing the choice of a small-medium reactor (SMR) with a large reactor (LR), characterised, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (2006), by an electrical output respectively lower and higher than 700 MWe.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Civil nuclear reactors are used for the production of electrical energy. In the nuclear industry vendors propose several nuclear reactor designs with a size from 35–45 MWe up to 1600–1700 MWe. The choice of the right design is a multidimensional problem since a utility has to include not only financial factors as levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) and internal rate of return (IRR), but also the so called “external factors” like the required spinning reserve, the impact on local industry and the social acceptability. Therefore it is necessary to balance advantages and disadvantages of each design during the entire life cycle of the plant, usually 40–60 years. In the scientific literature there are several techniques for solving this multidimensional problem. Unfortunately it does not seem possible to apply these methodologies as they are, since the problem is too complex and it is difficult to provide consistent and trustworthy expert judgments. This paper fills the gap, proposing a two-step framework to choosing the best nuclear reactor at the pre-feasibility study phase. The paper shows in detail how to use the methodology, comparing the choice of a small-medium reactor (SMR) with a large reactor (LR), characterised, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (2006), by an electrical output respectively lower and higher than 700 MWe.
Keywords:non-monetary factors, life cycle evaluation, AHP, multi-attribute evaluation, nuclear power, SMR
Subjects:H Engineering > H100 General Engineering
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:7016
Deposited By: Giorgio Locatelli
Deposited On:07 Dec 2012 10:13
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:20

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