Full Title: Advancing Nuclear Energy
Author(s): Dr. Adam Stein, Jonah Messinger, Dr. Seaver Wang, Juzel Lloyd, Jameson McBride, Rani Franovich
Publisher(s): Breakthrough Institute
Publication Date: July 6, 2022
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This report uses a high-resolution nationwide model of the United States electricity sector to demonstrate how advanced nuclear reactors might play a major role in a least-cost plan to transition the power grid entirely to clean energy sources by 2050, assuming that the first advanced reactors are available for deployment by 2030. A range of input assumptions were developed to encompass uncertainty in cost and learning rates to estimate the outer bounds of potential future deployment. Across these scenarios, the model chooses to deploy a large quantity of advanced nuclear power plants (Figure ES-1). Even in the case that first-of-a-kind advanced reactors are deployed at the high end of current cost estimates and benefit from very little technological learning as additional units are deployed, advanced nuclear captures a significant share of future electricity generation. This finding indicates that advanced nuclear energy technology provides important and extremely valuable benefits to the electricity system.