Minimizing the economic cost and risk to accelerator-driven subcritical reactor technology. Part 2: The case of designing for flexibility

Cardin, Michel-Alexandre; Steer, Steven J.; Nuttall, William J.; Parks, Geoffrey T.; Gonçalves, Leonardo V.N. and de Neufville, Richard (2012). Minimizing the economic cost and risk to accelerator-driven subcritical reactor technology. Part 2: The case of designing for flexibility. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 243 pp. 120–134.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucengdes.2011.11.026

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...

Abstract

This paper presents a simple, systematic, and integrated methodology to analyse the expected Levelised Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) generation of a new nuclear technology facing significant technological uncertainty. It shows that flexibility in the design and deployment strategy of a demonstration commercial thorium-fuelled Accelerator-Driven Subcritical Reactor (ADSR) park significantly reduces the expected LCOE. The methodology recognizes early in the conceptual design a range of possible technological outcomes for the ADSR accelerator system. It suggests appropriate flexibility “on” and “in” the first-of-a-kind design to modify the demonstration park development path in light of uncertainty realizations. It then incorporates these uncertainties and flexibilities in the design evaluation mechanism. The methodology improves existing approaches for design and engineering decision-making, providing guidance for government support for a new, secure, clean, and publicly acceptable alternative technology for power generation.

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