Full Title: Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Advanced Nuclear
Author(s): Julie Kozeracki, Chris Vlahoplus, Katheryn Scott, Melissa Bates, Billy Valderrama, Erica Bickford, Tim Stuhldreher, Andrew Foss, and Tom Fanning
Publisher(s): US Department of Energy
Publication Date: March 20, 2023
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These Pathways to Commercial Liftoff reports aim to establish a common fact base and ongoing dialogue with the private sector around the path to commercial liftoff for critical clean energy technologies. Their goal is to catalyze more rapid and coordinated action across the full technology value chain.
U.S. domestic nuclear capacity has the potential to scale from ~100 GW in 2023 to ~300 GW by 2050—driven by deployment of advanced nuclear technologies. Advanced nuclear includes a range of proven and innovative technologies and provides a differentiated value proposition for a decarbonized grid. To unlock deployment at scale, Nth-of-a-kind (NOAK) advanced nuclear overnight capital costs may need to approach ~$3,600 per kW. However, the nuclear industry today is at a commercial stalemate between potential customers and investments in the nuclear industrial base needed for deployment—putting decarbonization goals at risk.
Advanced nuclear can play a critical role in strengthening energy security, reliability, and affordability while generating high- quality, high-paying jobs and facilitating an equitable energy transition. Industry, investors, government, and the broader stakeholder ecosystem each has a role to play in ensuring advanced nuclear achieves commercial liftoff and rises to meet the challenge in time.