Improving economics and safety of water cooled Nuclear power plants (NPPs) with water cooled reactors…

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  • IAEA-TECDOC-1290

    Improving economics and safety of water cooled reactors

    Proven means and new approaches

    May 2002

  • The originating Section of this publication in the IAEA was:

    Nuclear Power Technology Development Section International Atomic Energy Agency

    Wagramer Strasse 5 P.O. Box 100

    A-1400 Vienna, Austria

    IMPROVING ECONOMICS AND SAFETY OF WATER COOLED REACTORS:

    PROVEN MEANS AND NEW APPROACHES IAEA, VIENNA, 2002 IAEA-TECDOC-1290

    ISSN 10114289 IAEA, 2002

    Printed by the IAEA in Austria May 2002

  • FOREWORD

    Nuclear power plants (NPPs) with water cooled reactors [either light water reactors (LWRs) or heavy water reactors (HWRs)] constitute the large majority of the currently operating plants. Water cooled reactors can make a significant contribution to meeting future energy needs, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to energy security if they can compete economically with fossil alternatives, while continuing to achieve a very high level of safety. It is generally agreed that the largest commercial barrier to the addition of new nuclear power capacity is the high capital cost of nuclear plants relative to other electricity generating alternatives. If nuclear plants are to form part of the future generating mix in competitive electricity markets, capital cost reduction through simplified designs must be an important focus. Reductions in operating, maintenance and fuel costs should also be pursued. The Department of Nuclear Energy of the IAEA is examining the competitiveness of nuclear power and the means for improving its economics. The objective of this TECDOC is to emphasize the need, and to identify approaches, for new nuclear plants with water cooled reactors to achieve competitiveness while maintaining high levels of safety. The cost reduction methods discussed herein can be implemented into plant designs that are currently under development as well as into designs that may be developed in the longer term. Many of the approaches discussed also generally apply to other reactor types (e.g. gas cooled and liquid metal cooled reactors). To achieve the largest possible cost reductions, proven means for reducing costs must be fully implemented, and new approaches described in this document should be developed and implemented. These new approaches include development of advanced technologies, increased use of risk-informed methods for evaluating the safety benefit of design features, and international consensus regarding commonly acceptable safety requirements that would facilitate development of standardized designs which can be built in several countries without major re-design efforts. This publication has been prepared to address a recommendation of the IAEA Symposium on Evolutionary Water Cooled Reactors: Strategic Issues, Technologies and Economic Viability (Seoul, Republic of Korea, December 1998): namely that increased emphasis should be placed on achieving simplified water cooled reactor designs with improved economics. The task was carried out during 19992001 jointly by the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, Division of Nuclear Power, and the Planning and Economic Studies Section of the Department of Nuclear Energy, in co-operation with the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety of the Department of Nuclear Safety. This report has been developed with participation of representatives from eleven industrial organizations and four government agencies as well as the OECD-NEA and the European Commission. The IAEA appreciates the support of the following group of consultants who provided guidance and input for planning and preparing this TECDOC: E. Price (Canada); M. Vidard, Chairman, and J. Plant (France); T. Pedersen (Sweden); J. Board (United Kingdom); and G. Davis and R. Hagen (United States of America). The technical officers responsible for this publication were L. Langlois and J. Cleveland of the Division of Nuclear Power, working in co-operation with A. Gomez-Cobo, M. Gasparini, and F. Niehaus of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety.

  • EDITORIAL NOTE

    This publication has been prepared from the original material as submitted by the authors. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the IAEA, the governments of the nominating Member States or the nominating organizations.

    The use of particular designations of countries or territories does not imply any judgement by the publisher, the IAEA, as to the legal status of such countries or territories, of their authorities and institutions or of the delimitation of their boundaries.

    The mention of names of specific companies or products (whether or not indicated as registered) does not imply any intention to infringe proprietary rights, nor should it be construed as an endorsement or recommendation on the part of the IAEA.

    The authors are responsible for having obtained the necessary permission for the IAEA to reproduce, translate or use material from sources already protected by copyrights.

  • CONTENTS

    1. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................. 1

    2. THE NEW CONTEXT ECONOMY, NEED AND MARKET........................................ 2

    2.1. The status of nuclear power plant competitiveness ................................................... 2 2.1.1. Existing plants ............................................................................................... 2 2.1.2. Projecting costs of generating electricity for new plants............................... 4

    2.2. Resulting implications ............................................................................................... 7

    3. APPROACHES TO REDUCE NEW PLANT COSTS ......................................................... 8

    3.1. Proven means to reduce capital costs......................................................................... 8 3.2. New approaches to reduce capital cost .................................................................... 12

    3.2.1. Increased application of PSA in design and licensing................................. 14 3.2.2. Development of advanced technologies ...................................................... 26 3.2.3. Application of passive systems ................................................................... 31 3.2.4. Re-evaluation of user design requirements with a focus on

    economic competitiveness ........................................................................... 34 3.2.5. Improving the technology base for eliminating over-design ....................... 37 3.2.6. International consensus regarding commonly acceptable safety

    requirements that would facilitate development of standardized designs.... 37

    4. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE NUCLEAR COMMUNITY LEARNING NEW WAYS AND FINDING A NEW BALANCE...................................................... 38

    APPENDIX .............................................................................................................................. 41

    REFERENCES......................................................................................................................... 45

    ANNEXES

    ANNEX 1 Turkeys recent decision regarding the Akkuyu NPP .................................. 49 A. Blme, A. Tanrikut ANNEX 2 Building a new nuclear power plant in Finland? Studies performed........... 53

    E. Patrakka ANNEX 3 Nuclear power: A competitive option? ........................................................ 75 E. Bertel, P. Wilmer ANNEX 4 Development of new nuclear power plants in the Republic of Korea ......... 85

    Jung-Cha Kim, Kee-Cheol Park ANNEX 5 Cost reduction and safety design features of ABWR-II............................... 93 F. Koh, K. Moriya, T. Anegawa ANNEX 6 Economical opportunities on advanced conventional island design for

    the European pressurized water reactor (EPR) based on KONVOI design ........................................................................................ 107

    A. Kremayr, K. Wagner, U. Schuberth ANNEX 7 AP1000: Meeting economic goals in a competitive world ........................ 127

    G. Davis, E. Cummins, J. Winters

  • ANNEX 8 Optimization of design solutions on safety and economy for power unit of NPP with VVER reactor of new generation........................ 139 V.N. Krushelnitsky, V.M. Berkovich, Yu. Shvyrayev, A.K. Podshebaykin, N.S. Fil

    ANNEX 9 Development of new nuclear power plant in Argentina ............................ 149 V. Mutsumi, Ishida Fukami

    ANNEX 10 Key thrusts in next generation CANDU .................................................... 157 B.A. Shalaby, D.F. Torgerson, R.B. Duffey

    ANNEX 11 What it would take to order new nuclear plants Japanese perspective .................................................................................. 165 A. Omoto

    ANNEX 12 Cost reduction and safety design features of CNP1000............................. 177 Zhang Senru

    ANNEX 13 Cost reduction and safety design features of new nuclear power plants in India ................................................................... 193 V.K. Sharma

    ANNEX 14 The use of probabilistic safety analysis in design and operation Lessons learned from Sizewell B............................................................... 203 N.E. Buttery

    ANNEX 15 Cost and risk reduction using upfront licensing in Canada ....................... 217 V.G. Snell

    ANNEX 16 Trends and needs in regulatory approaches for future reactors.................. 233 T.S. Kress ANNEX 17 A completely new design and regulatory process A risk-based approach

    for new nuclear power plants ..................................................................... 241 S.E. Ritterbusch

    ANNEX 18 Expected benefit from new approach for equipment purchasing policy.... 251 J.-P. Launay

    ANNEX 19 The application of an integrated approach to design, procurement and construction in reducing overall nuclear power plant costs ....................... 261 R. Didsbury, B.A. Shalaby, D.F. Torgerson

    ANNEX 20 New technologies for lower-cost design and construction of new nuclear power plants........................................................................... 271

    S.E. Ritterbusch, R.E. Bryan, D.L. Harmon

    CONTRIBUTORS TO DRAFTING AND REVIEW............................................................ 289

  • 1

    1. INTRODUCTION

    Most of the world's electricity markets are moving towards greater competition. Both private sector and state-owned electricity generating organizations must be increasingly concerned with the cost of their operations, and must focus on supply technologies that are low cost and low risk. Capital costs for nuclear plants generally account for 4575% of the total nuclear electricity generation costs, compared to 2560% for coal plants and 1540% for gas plants. Until recently, nuclear powers advantage in having a small share of its generating costs in fuel costs could offset the disadvantage of its high capital costs. Moreover, in protected markets, investment costs could be recovered over several decades through regulated rates. Now, electricity markets are undergoing major changes. Alternative generating technologies are becoming increasingly efficient, and the capital costs of some alternative technologies per installed kW(e) have fallen significantly. With increased competition in the electric power industry, short term profitability has become a criterion for successful generation along with long term economic viability. With deregulation, owners are not guaranteed cost recovery through regulated rates, and, with privatization, investors seek appropriately rewarded risk, which often translates into seeking small capital investments and high returns, and the minimization of their economic risks, including those arising from political intervention or public opposition. Electricity is being sold into competitive power grids at less than 3 US cents/kWh in a number of countries. Even in traditionally protected electricity markets, target power generation costs are falling, and are expected to continue to fall as reforms continue. To approach economic competitiveness under these market conditions, the base "overnight" capital costs of nuclear plants (not including interest, inflation and escalation during construction; contingencies, major refurbishments or decommissioning costs) would have to be reduced by approximately 1/3 from previous cost estimates, to the range of US $900 to $1400/kW(e), depending on the country being considered. Therefore major capital cost reduction through simplified designs and shorter construction times must be achieved, together with continued reductions in fuel and operating costs. Regulatory procedures and requirements must be stable and predictable, and must not require expensive features that provide only insignificant reduction of risk already below stringent regulatory criteria. Cost-effective design measures for meeting these requirements must be found. Development of technological improvements and streamlining of regulatory requirements must go hand in hand to reduce both the capital and the operating costs of nuclear plants. Approaches that are being implemented or explored for reducing costs, include: application of technological advances in design, and construction (e.g. computer aided

    design processes to establish efficient modular construction techniques); modern digital instrumentation and control systems; components with built-in diagnostics to achieve high reliability with less redundancy; design for higher temperature (higher thermal efficiency); design for multiple applications (e.g. co-generation of electricity and heat; sea water

    desalination);

  • 2

    reduction of number of components and materials requiring nuclear grade standards; application of passive safety systems; and a move to more risk-informed safety regulation.

    This TECDOC examines economic factors influencing the competitiveness of nuclear energy, and outlines viable approaches for achieving more cost effective designs of future plants while maintaining high levels of safety.

    2. THE NEW CONTEXT ECONOMY, NEED AND MARKET

    2.1. THE STATUS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANT COMPETITIVENESS

    2.1.1. Existing plants

    While support for nuclear energy has waxed and waned over the past several decades, many operating nuclear power plants are proving to be valuable assets in competitive markets. These plants reliably generate electricity at competitive costs, with minimal environmental impact, and without creating undue risks to the general public. Nuclear plants are also recognized as making important contributions to security of energy supply, especially for countries that import significant quantities of coal and oil. Growing competition in electricity markets is leading to major changes in the structure of the electric power industry....

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