Small countries can represent a suitable market for Small Medium Reactors (SMR). Among them Switzerland is one the more interesting since already hosts five commercial nuclear reactors; three of them are SMR (about 370 MWe) and two are large units (985 and 1165 MWe). Since the oldest units are about 40 year-old the Swiss utilities wereplanning to replace them while adding new nuclear power capacity to the portfolio mix.. Most recently, a radical re-thinking of the country energy policy is taking place as a Fukushima accident’s aftermath. Debate is about abandoning nuclear power and replacing it with renewable new capacity and import. “Economiesuisse, the umbrella organisation for Swiss business, considers a premature abandonment of atomic energy <irresponsible>. Without valid alternatives, Economiesuisse warns, abandoning the nuclear option will have serious consequences for Swiss industry”. Also “the environmental organisationsrecognise that the discussion on energy policy — which will really heat up with the parliamentary debate in June — is not solely an ideological one. Financial and economic considerations are likely to make all the difference” (L.Jorio, “What price a future without nuclear energy?”, www.swissinfo.ch, May 17, 2011).An objective and unbiased estimation of the cost of new nuclear power is essential to Policy Makers and a focus on SMR economic potential is a further contribution to the debate. SMR advanced passive safety features may cope with public concerns about safety, which has become a priority. Polimi’s INCAS model has been developed to compare the investment in SMR respect to LR and is able to assess the financial/economic indicators arising from these two alternative investment options. In particular the INCAS model provides the value of IRR (Internal Rate of Return), NPV (Net Present Value), Upfront investment, etc. A stochastic approach to the data elaboration and the implementation of a Montecarlo analysis provide the evaluation of the investment risk profile. Results show that investment returns are comparable for LR and SMR; however SMR require a lower upfront investment, thus representing lower sunk costs and more affordable and scalable investment option than monolithic LR.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.