The key characteristics of small modular reactors (SMRs), as their name emphasized, are their size and modularity. Since SMRs are a family of novel reactor designs, there is a gap of empirical knowledge about the cost/benefit analysis of modularization. Conversely, in other sectors (e.g. Oil & Gas) the empirical experience on modularization is much greater. This paper provides a structured knowledge transfer from the general literature (i.e. other major infrastructure) and the Oil & Gas sector to the nuclear power plant construction world. Indeed, in the project management literature, a number of references discuss the costs and benefits determined by the transition from the stick-built construction to modularization, and the main benefits presented in the literature are the reduction of the construction cost and the schedule compression. Additional costs might arise from an increased management hurdle and higher transportation expenses. The paper firstly provides a structured literature review of the benefits and costs of modularization divided into qualitative and quantitative references. In the second part, the paper presents the results of series of interviews with Oil & Gas project managers about the value of modularization in this sector.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
We Never Built Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), but What Do We Know About Modularization in Construction?
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Mignacca, B, Locatelli, G, Alaassar, M, & Invernizzi, DC. "We Never Built Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), but What Do We Know About Modularization in Construction?." Proceedings of the 2018 26th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. London, England. July 22–26, 2018. V001T13A012. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE26-81604
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