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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Dear All,

the most important question for an utility to decide on a new power plant are the cost.

It is very difficult to calculate huge molybdenum alloy, or nicke alloy components but there are a lot of components where costs are published.

According to my colleagues 1 m3 of poured concrete costs about 700 - 1000$
According to a WNN news report the turbine-condensor-generator system of a EPR is 350 Mio. €.

Does anyone have a reference what...

The I&C (Instrumentation & Control) system of a LWR costs?
A cooling tower for a LWR costs?
The emergency diesel costs?
The engineering costs?
The licences process for a LWR costs?
The transformers of a LWR costs?
The feedwater pumps of a PWR costs?

Best regards

Holger


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2014 12:00 pm 
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I think it is generally difficult to get hold of information on capital costs of nuclear plants. I found some information on the INL website, dealing with the capital and operating costs of the proposed HTGR reactor. Although it is not about LWRs, it may be helpful (see attachment).


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Assessment of High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor - HTGR - Capital and Operating Costs.pdf [1.32 MiB]
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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2014 6:00 pm 
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Thank you very much....the data given seems as far as I can evaluate a bit optimistic....It is further very specific for the gas cooled reactor.

Many of the components of a MSR, power generation, cooling tower, transformers, I&C, emergency diesel, control room, noble gas handling are the same as for a LWR.

For the LWR you find sometimes articles in WNN and other blogs about...Alstom won a contract for turbine-condensor-generator of the EPR for 350 Mio. €. ...

Best regards

Holger


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Costs of reactors vary but they are all built under different conditions. The costliest are power stations built but not used as in Philippines. India is building indigenous reactors @$1500-2000 PER Kw and negotiating with Russians for $3000-3500/kW and the French who have signed for $8000/kW in the UK. The MSR will fit in within these limits. Lead times are a bigger problem. No one can tell about the time of availability of power till a technology proving reactor is built. Even a new design of PWR, the most used technology, is running over time and estimated cost in Finland.
Even in the US, the nuclear plants are being, unfortunately, closed to make way for cheaper (temporarily) gas. They could have been put under slow maintenance for re-use later. Perhaps the Russians are ahead of the time in building mobile power plants on barges.
Still, the fact remains that future energy needs cannot be met without nuclear. The MSR should perhaps be built initially to burn the LWR used fuel as basic logic. It will fit in economically, some time, some place. MOX in LWR is a wrong track.


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN
ORNL staff performed an economics study of the Advanced High Temperature Reactor (AHTR), which is a large salt cooled reactor, that is documented in ORNL/TM-2011/364 http://info.ornl.gov/sites/publications/files/Pub32466.pdf. The approach taken in this economic study was to use available data for LWRs and other reactors types, escalate it to current year dollars, and make adjustments based on known technology differences. There is a lot of good information in this report as well as the references that you might find useful.

Also note that the MSBR conceptual design reports also had documented cost analysis. These are quite old (1960s/1970s), but one key thing that they did was also provide analysis of a PWR cost at the time. The economic analysis at the time showed that MSRs and PWRs had similar costs ($/kWe). The advantage of the having the PWR costs in their study is that it allows one to use it as a "yard stick." When those costs are escalated using standard practices, you find that the PWR costs today are about 2x the estimated costs of PWRs in the late 1960s. This is not unreasonable as for the most part as PWRs were deployed the costs have gone up. This difference has commonly been taken by some to indicate that MSRs would be 2x less expensive than PWRs, but the comparison is not so simple since for many of the reasons that the PWR costs have increased, you might expect the MSR costs to increase as well. The bottom line, is that there really is not very good information available to provide a solid cost comparison and the best data we have says MSRs and PWRs may cost about the same.

In the study cited above for the AHTR, the costs for the AHTR were estimated to be lower in terms of $/kWe. A key factor is that the AHTR is a higher power than the baseline PWR chosen.


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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2014 12:57 am 
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Cost of a PWR in China is half that in US or UK. It was probably equal at the time of first few reactors.
Russian PWR and fast reactors cost is of the same order when others have given up on fast reactors, cost being given as one of the reasons. In India, the difference might be 20%higher for fast reactors. The French thermal reactor imports may cost several times the local ones.
Early estimates give only the right order of magnitude for taking decisions as one of the considerations. Thermal, fast or MS Reactors may be considered to cost in same order of magnitude. Burning of LWR used fuel may be a deciding factor for the first few MSR's. Fast or thermal, uranium or thorium fueled MSR's need to have a prototype first before other considerations, preferably in the same location.


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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2014 5:27 am 
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The U.S. Energy Information Administration published a document on power plant capital costs in April 2013:

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/capitalcos ... apcost.pdf

Page 85 onwards is about nuclear power plants, it is based upon the AP1000 design (PWR) and has also information about the costs of I & C.


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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2014 12:19 pm 
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Hi Camiel,

Thank you very much for the study. It is a pleasure. I will read it asap

Let us analyse the cost calculation. Major cost components are:

Licence: These costs should be pretty much the same for all nuclear power plants independent from the reactor type
Site Preparation/Site Clearance: These costs should be pretty much the same for any thermal power plant
Power Generation: These costs should be very much the same for any thermal power plant of the specific size
Cooling Tower: These costs should be very much the same for any thermal power plant of the specific size
Building & Civil Engineering: These costs are higher for nuclear than for fossile fueled plants due to regulatory requirements but does not make a difference of the reactor type

The costs above can be calculated quite well from existing plants.

Intermediate Circuit: The 3rd. circuit adds to the costs and as it is an LBE or salt circuit it is much more expensive than a water circuit. A calculation is difficult
Primary Circuit: A molten salt circuit is difficult to calculate. As it is made of corrosion resistant high temperature materials it is more expensive than a LWR circuit.
Fuel Treatment & Reprocesing: Might blow-up the cost calculation
Fuel/Used Fuel/Separated FP Storage Tank System: Might blow-up the cost calculation.

Holger


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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2014 5:01 pm 
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HolgerNarrog wrote:
Hi Camiel,

Thank you very much for the study. It is a pleasure. I will read it asap

Let us analyse the cost calculation. Major cost components are:

Licence: These costs should be pretty much the same for all nuclear power plants independent from the reactor type
I would guess the first molten salt fueled reactor will see significantly higher license costs simply because the NRC will need to teach its people about these new kinds of reactors and will bill the customer for their learning time.
Quote:
Site Preparation/Site Clearance: These costs should be pretty much the same for any thermal power plant
Power Generation: These costs should be very much the same for any thermal power plant of the specific size
Cooling Tower: These costs should be very much the same for any thermal power plant of the specific size

Cooling system should be roughly the same for the same heat removed. Given the same electrical output a typical LWR with 33% efficiency will have double the cooling load of a MSR at 50% efficiency so one would expect a high temperature reactor (high efficiency) will have a significantly lower cost cooling system. The effect is amplified because the efficiency hit of budgeting a higher temperature cold sink is much smaller for a high temperature reactor so the optimization will lead to pushing the costs even lower than 1/2 the cooling costs for LWRs. Likely, the difference here will be huge as - at least in California - we can place the reactors in more isolated areas away from prime real estate like oceans, rivers, and lakes. This I expect will result in lower land acquisition costs, less public opposition, and a real possibility to create a nature reserve around the power plant such that evacuation plans etc. are simplified.
Quote:
Building & Civil Engineering: These costs are higher for nuclear than for fossil fueled plants due to regulatory requirements but does not make a difference of the reactor type

Depends on the volume of the building. One of the advantages of liquid salt cooled/fueled reactors is that they can be much smaller so there should be significant savings in building costs. Check out UCBerkeley as their liquid salt cooled designs are reasonably close to what we would have for LFTR.
[/quote]

The costs above can be calculated quite well from existing plants.

Intermediate Circuit: The 3rd. circuit adds to the costs and as it is an LBE or salt circuit it is much more expensive than a water circuit. A calculation is difficult
Primary Circuit: A molten salt circuit is difficult to calculate. As it is made of corrosion resistant high temperature materials it is more expensive than a LWR circuit.
[/quote]
The LWR primary circuit is under very high pressure while the molten salt circuit is between 1 and 2 atm. I doubt the materials costs are a significant portion of the total.
Quote:
Fuel Treatment & Reprocesing: Might blow-up the cost calculation
Fuel/Used Fuel/Separated FP Storage Tank System: Might blow-up the cost calculation.

Holger

Since fuel treatment/processing/separation plans are all over the map it is not feasible to assign a single cost. I will however point out that if we do not do Pa separation the volume of such processing is pretty modest. If you look at the ORNL distiller it had sufficient capacity for a 1GWe machine and it would fit into an office - so I can't imagine the costs for this getting too excessive. On the other hand, separating plutonium/thorium from fission products is a challenge and there is no clear solution - lots of promising avenues to explore - but no clear solution. So I'm thinking this task belongs in R&D and we should plan that the first reactors do not have such capability.


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PostPosted: Jan 06, 2014 8:33 am 
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ORNL estimated that a FLiBe second loop and nitrate third loop would add about 6% to the cost of the MSBR. See ORNL-TM-3428

http://moltensalt.org/references/static ... M-3428.pdf

If cheaper alloys than Hastelloy can be used, such as Inconel, as is almost certain, it would be more like 5%. Stainless steels are likely even more attractive and would put the cost extra under 4%.

A large number of advantages can be had with this approach, so a 4% cost increase is actually a good investment.


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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Hi Cyril,

the estimate that an intermediate circuit costs 4 - 6 % of the MSR power plant - today 200 Mio. $ - is 40 years old. In the meantime manufacturing changed a lot. Especially the costs of nuclear components increased over proportional due to certification, testing and documentation requirements.

Holger


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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 3:55 pm 
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HolgerNarrog wrote:
Hi Cyril,

the estimate that an intermediate circuit costs 4 - 6 % of the MSR power plant - today 200 Mio. $ - is 40 years old. In the meantime manufacturing changed a lot. Especially the costs of nuclear components increased over proportional due to certification, testing and documentation requirements.

Holger


It isn't strictly nuclear. It's a third loop, away from the reactor.

True that 200 megadollars is an old estimate - that's why I used %. Today the cost may be 10x higher, but it should be more or less the same% of total project cost. Cost of a heat transfer loop is fairly well established science.


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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 4:48 pm 
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Hi Lars,

optimization will lead to pushing the costs even lower than 1/2 the cooling costs for LWRs. Likely, the difference here will be huge as - at least in California - we can place the reactors in more isolated areas away from prime real estate like oceans, rivers, and lakes. This I expect will result in lower land acquisition costs, less public opposition, and a real possibility to create a nature reserve around the power plant such that evacuation plans etc. are simplified.

If the efficiency is increased from 34 (PWR) - 45% (MSR) the cooling requirement will decrease but you still need a large river or ocean to cool a MSR. If you calculate 300 x 400m x 50$/m2 it is 6 Mio. $ for the land. That is not significant.

The LWR primary circuit is under very high pressure while the molten salt circuit is between 1 and 2 atm. I doubt the materials costs are a significant portion of the total.

If the reactor has a height of 4m and the density of the salt is 3 Kg/L there is a static pressure of 12 bar at the bottom.

Best regards

Holger


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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 6:05 pm 
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That'd be 1.2 bar, not 12.

4 meters is too short though.

More important will be the pumped pressure we operate under. ORNL's MSBR had a high pressure drop in the primary HX, because it was so compact for a tube-and-shell exchanger.


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