A framework – NuTERA (Nuclear Techno-Economic and Risk Assessment) has been developed to set out the requirements for evaluating Generation IV (Gen IV) Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) at the design conceptual stage. The purpose of the framework is to provide guidelines for future tools that are required to support the decision-making process on the choice of Gen IV concepts and cycle configurations. In this paper, the underpinning of the framework has been demonstrated to enable the creation of an analyses tool, which evaluates the design of an NPP that utilises helium closed Brayton gas turbine cycles. The tool at the broad spectrum focuses on the component and cycle design, Design Point (DP) and Off-Design Point (ODP) performance, part power and load following operations. Specifically, the design model has been created to provide functionalities that look at the in-depth sensitivities of the design factors and operation that affect the efficiency of an NPP such as temperature and pressure ratios, inlet cycle temperatures, component efficiencies, pressure losses. The ODP performance capabilities include newly derived component maps for the reactor, intercooler and recuperator for long term Off-Design (OD) operation. With regard to short term OD, which is typically driven by changes in ambient conditions, the ability to analyse the cycle load following capabilities are possible. An economic model has also been created, which calculates the component costs and the baseline economic evaluation. An incorporated risk model quantifies the performance, operational, financial and design impact risks. However, the tool is able to optimise the NPP cycle configuration based on the best economics using the Levelised Unit Electricity Cost (LUEC) as a measure. The tool has been used to demonstrate a typical decision-making process on 2 Gen IV helium closed gas turbine cycles, which apply to the Gas-cooled Fast Reactors (GFRs) and Very-High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs). The cycles are the Simple Cycle Recuperator (SCR) and Intercooled Cycle Recuperator (ICR). The tool was able to derive the most efficient cycle configurations for the ICR (53% cycle efficiency) and SCR (50% cycle efficiency). Based on these efficiency figures, the baseline LUEC ($/MWh) for the year 2020 is $62.13 for the ICR and $61.84 for the SCR. However, the inclusion of the cost of contingencies due to risks and the subsequent economic optimisation resulted in a cost of $69.70 and $69.80 for the ICR and SCR respectively.

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