UK institute seeks partners to examine NPP costs

24 June 2017

The UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a request for proposals seeking partners to work on a new project to provide greater understanding of the cost drivers in the construction of new NPPs. The request for proposals will close at noon on 28 July; the deadline for notification of intention to submit a proposal is 30 June 2017.

The Nuclear Cost Drivers Project will identify and analyse historic, contemporary and future nuclear power projects to identify areas of nuclear power plant design, construction and operation to deliver potential cost reductions. ETI analysis has demonstrated that nuclear has a potentially significant role to play in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy as long as it is cost competitive within the overall energy mix and there is a market need.

In the UK the initial challenge for the industry is to complete commissioning and construction of new nuclear projects in the next 10 years within acceptable norms of budget and schedule variation, ETI said. After delivering these first of a kind plants the subsequent challenge will be to deliver cost reductions for follow on plants which can meet the expectations of government, investors and consumers.

“New nuclear capacity deployed by 2030, 2050 and potentially later depends on a wide range of factors including ongoing cost competiveness,” said Mike Middleton, Strategy Manager for the ETI’s nuclear programme. “The cost of renewables has fallen over time through research, development and deployment but this has not been the case to date for the nuclear industry.”

The project “will gather evidence to identify potential cost savings in the deployment of contemporary designs of large Generation III+ reactors and the potential for Generation IV advanced reactor designs to deliver a step change in reducing costs”, he added.

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