Full Title: Analyzing the Role of Advanced Nuclear Energy in Deep Decarbonization: A Review of Market Opportunities and Modeling Challenges
Author(s): Nuclear Innovation Alliance
Publisher(s): Nuclear Innovation Alliance
Publication Date: September 15, 2021
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To account for the new design characteristics of advanced reactors, there are relatively simple changes in assumptions that can be made in model structures, especially in electric power generation. These include capital and operating costs, construction lead times, financial risk factors, and siting restrictions.
In addition, parameters and model structures that determine the flexibility of nuclear operations also should be modified to reflect these capabilities in both advanced and current nuclear technologies. Representing non–power applications of advanced nuclear reactors is also important for analyzing economy–wide deep decarbonization goals, for example the production of hydrogen fuel and the use of SMRs to reduce emissions from the industrial sector by heat and power. To address the full scope of advanced nuclear characteristics and benefits, energy modelers will need to explore new ways of modeling uncertainty, accounting for dynamics and feedback within markets, and interdependencies with other infrastructures and risks. Overcoming these challenges will require systematic model advancement and careful calibration while balancing computational tractability and the number of independent variables.