Financial aspects, environmental concerns and non-favorable public opinion are strongly conditioning the deployment of new Nuclear Energy Systems across Europe. Nevertheless, new possibilities are emerging to render competitive electricity from Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) owing to two factors: the first one, which is the fast growth of High Voltage lines interconnecting the European countries’ national electrical grids, this process being triggered by huge increase of the installed intermittent renewable electricity sources (Wind and PV); and the second one, determined by the carbon-free constraints imposed on the base load electricity generation. The countries that due to public opinion pressure can’t build new NPPs on their territory may find it profitable to produce base load nuclear electricity abroad, even at long distances, in order to comply with the European dispositions on the limitation of the CO2 emissions. In this study the benefits from operating at multinational level with the deployment of a fleet of PWRs and subsequently, at a proper time, the one of Lead Fast Reactors (LFRs) are analyzed. The analysis performed involves Italy (a country with a current moratorium on nuclear power on spite that its biggest utility operates NPPs abroad), and the countries from South East and Central East Europe potentially looking for introduction or expansion of their nuclear power programmes. According to the predicted evolution of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) a forecast of the electricity consumption evolution for the present century is derived with the assumption that a certain fraction of it will be covered by nuclear electricity. In this context, evaluated are material balances for the front and the back end of nuclear fuel cycle associated with the installed nuclear capacity. A key element of the analysis is the particular type of LFR assumed in the scenario, characterized by having a fuel cycle where only fission products and the reprocessing losses are sent for disposition and natural or depleted uranium is added to fuel in each reprocessing cycle. Such LFR could be referred to as “adiabatic reactor”. Owing to introduction of such reactors a substantive reduction in uranium consumption and final disposal requirements can be achieved. Finally, the impacts of the LFR and the economy of scale in nuclear fuel cycle on the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) are being evaluated, for scaling up from a national to a multinational dimension, illustrating the benefits potentially achievable through cooperation among countries.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Scenario Analysis on the Benefits of Multi-National Cooperation for the Development of a Common Nuclear Energy System Based on PWR and LFR Fleets
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Ciotti, M, Manzano, JL, Kuznetsov, V, Fesenko, G, Ferroni, L, & Giannetti, F. "Scenario Analysis on the Benefits of Multi-National Cooperation for the Development of a Common Nuclear Energy System Based on PWR and LFR Fleets." Proceedings of the 2014 22nd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 4: Radiation Protection and Nuclear Technology Applications; Fuel Cycle, Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Coupled Codes; Reactor Physics and Transport Theory. Prague, Czech Republic. July 7–11, 2014. V004T08A019. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE22-31012
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