Small and Modular Reactors..A Paradigm Shift in Nuclear Power Risks

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In the past, the trend in nuclear power reactor technology development showed an emphasis towards large reactors due to the economies of scale, which produced reactor designs on to 1600 MWe. A development of SMRs points into the opposite
direction, i.e. towards smaller outputs with an equivalent electrical power of less than 700MWe.
Presented at the 2nd Annual Nuclear Power 21-24 June 2011* Marina Mandarin * Singapore.

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Small and Modular Reactors..A Paradigm Shift in Nuclear Power Risks

  1. 1. • Risk assessment scenario and approaches for nuclearpower ..Project Structuring• Challenges and issues in control and monitoringexisting proposed reactor designs for project structuring• Consideration of high level uncertainties in the riskstudy of a nuclear power plant: Project Cost Risks• Small reactors and risk dispersion, Small ReactorAdvantagesHimadri Banerji, Former CEO, Reliance Energy –Chairman & Managing Director, EcoUrja, India Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 1
  2. 2. Stakeholders in Nuclear Power ProjectGovernment - which is responsible for overall energy policy and, in somecases, financingMarket - formed by electricity customers wanting electricity at a competitivepriceUtility (generator) - which is ultimately responsible for developing the completeprojectEPC contractors - engineering, procurement and construction companieswhich are responsible to the owner for delivery according to schedule and budgetVendors - which are responsible for supplying equipment and technology toeither the owner, the EPC contractor or as part of a joint venture or consortium,according to schedule and budgetSafety Authority - which is responsible for addressing all matters related toprotecting public safety and the environment, from the design stage to plantoperation and fuel management. Nuclear Power June 21st2nd Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji Annual to 24th 2011 Singapore 2
  3. 3. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 3
  4. 4. Table 2: Risk control and monitoring in nuclear power projects Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndTable 2 shows ways in which the risks of Annual Nuclear Powerbe monitored and controlled, to match Table 1. nuclear projects can June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 4
  5. 5. In today’s global energy environment, nuclear power plant project (NPPP)managers need to consider many dimensions of risk in addition to nuclearsafety-related risk.In order to stay competitive in modern energy markets, NPPP managersmust integrate management of project, safety-related, and economic risksin an effective way.Project structuring is to achieve the most efficient application of capital andresources.Project risks must be assigned to the party most capable of handing theircontrol.. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 5
  6. 6. This integrated risk management (RM) approach generates benefits thatinclude the following:•Clearer criteria for decision making.• Making effective use of investments already made in probabilistic safetyanalysis (PSA) programs by applying these analyses to other areas andcontexts.• Cost consciousness and innovation in achieving nuclear safety andproduction goals.• Communication improvement — more effective internal communicationamong all levels of the NPP operating organization, and clearer communicationbetween the organization and its stakeholders.• Focus on safety — ensuring an integrated focus on safety, production, andeconomics during times of change in the energy environment Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 6
  7. 7. COST INDEX SAFETY INDEX Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 7
  8. 8. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 8
  9. 9. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 9
  10. 10. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 10
  11. 11. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PSA)Comprehensive, structured, and logical analysis methodaimed atIdentifying and assessing risks in complextechnological systemsfor the purpose ofCost-effectively improving their safety andperformance. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 11
  12. 12. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 12
  13. 13. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 13
  14. 14. Contd from previous slide Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 14
  15. 15. There are eight primary sources of nuclear costs whichpose major project risks: The cost of the land upon which the nuclear power plant (NPP) is built. Costs related to designing the NPP Cost related to the materials from which the NPP is built. Labour costs related to manufacture and construction. The cost of obtaining regulatory approval AND PERMITS LIKE WATER ETC Investment related costs (interest, etc.) Transportation and Access related costs The cost of the electrical transmission system that connects the NPP to thegrid Lost Opportunities for CombiningDr. Himadri Banerji Improving Efficiencies Presented by Cycles and 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 15
  16. 16. The cost of the land upon which the nuclear power plant (NPP) is builtLand related costs can be lowered if the investor already owns the land. In thecase of NPPs, land costs can be lowered if the NPP is built on a pre-existing NPPsite.Other, for example transportation related investments may not be required, andaccess to water is very likely to be available.NPPs can also be located on the site of obsolete coal fired power plants slatedto be shut down for technological or environmental reasons.The same advantages of the NPP location would apply to the coal powered site,and additional facilities – for example the turbine hall, parking lots,administrative buildings, workshops, transformer farms, etc. - can potentially berecycled.The layout and size of an existing coal fired power plant may not beappropriate for adaptation for a large nuclear plant, but a cluster of smallreactor approach would allow for far greater flexibility in facility layout,and would be far more easy to accommodate. 2nd Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 16
  17. 17. Costs related to designing the NPPSmall reactors, especially advanced technology small reactors, offeradvancements in siting flexibility.For example, clusters of small reactors can be located in former salt mines.Serial production lowers design costs. Design costs are largely fixed. Design costs can be divided among all of the units produced.If one reactor of a particular design is produced, then the recovery of thecost of that design would be through sale of that unit.If hundreds of units are produced, the recovery of the design cost can bedivided between all of the units. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 17
  18. 18. Costs related to designing the NPP Clusters of Small Reactors Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 18
  19. 19. Costs related to designing the NPPFinally, design simplification can lower nuclear costs.The Generation IV Molten Salt Reactor design offers revolutionary designsimplification. In the Molten Salt Reactor the fuel is dissolved in thecoolant.Thus much of the core structure is eliminated. Because the Molten SaltReactor features a negative coefficient of reactivity, the reactor is highlystable without operator control input.Control rods can be partially or completely eliminated.These simple features lower manufacturing costs. And lessenmanufacturing time. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 19
  20. 20. Cost related to the materials from which the NPP is builtThe material input into a NPP per watt of output typically decreases astotal reactor output rises.Traditionally this has lead to the economies of scales argument, whichmaintains that the larger the reactor output, the lower the per watt cost.There are, however, problems with this assessment.While it is true that larger size usually means lower material costs per unitof electrical output, there are exceptions to this rule, especially withrespect to advanced nuclear technology. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 20
  21. 21. Cost related to the materials from which the NPP is builtFor example:The greater thermal efficiency of a reactor of similar core size might lower outputcost per unit of heat, compared to that of a similar sized, but less efficient design.Reactor safety issues may effect materials input.Light Water Reactor cores and heat exchanges operate under very high pressure.They require significant amounts of material to prevent steam explosions.LWR outer containment structures are typically massive, and thus require large Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 21
  22. 22. Cost related to the materials from which the NPP is builtA more compact reactor core may lower material requirements.Thus if two reactors have the same output, the one with the smaller coreis likely to require fewer materials.Underground reactor siting could potentially lower reactor structuralcosts, by offering protection against terrorist attacks from aircraft and atsurface levels with lower materials inputs.. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 22
  23. 23. Cost related to the materials from which the NPP is builtSmall generation components can lower material requirements.Thus supercritical carbon dioxide turbines are much smaller than steamturbines used in conventional reactors.Small turbines require fewer materials, and can be housed in smallerturbine halls, which in turn require less material and labour input tobuild.Thus a small advanced technology reactor with a compact core andhigh thermal efficiency, that operates at a one atmosphere pressurelevel, and can be sited underground might require fewer materialsinputs per unit of electrical output than a much larger conventionalreactor Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 23
  24. 24. Reactor Design Lowers Manufacturing CostsIn addition manufacturing costs can be lowered by simplifying reactordesign. Passive safety features can in some instances lower nuclearcosts.For example thermo-siphoning of reactor coolant, may save the cost ofmanufacturing and installing coolant pumps.Gravity feed emergency coolant systems save on manufacturing costsin several ways,They do not require backup generators or pumps, thus many of theexpenses of older emergency coolant systems can be saved. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 24
  25. 25. mPower Reactors from B&WThe B&W mPower reactor, with its scalable, modular design, has thecapacity to provide 125 MWe to 750 MWe or more for a 4.5-year operatingcycle without refuelling, and is designed to produce clean, zero-emissionoperations.Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc. will lead the development, licensingand delivery of B&W mPower reactor projects.Features of the B&W mPower reactor include: Integral nuclear system design Passive safety systems Underground containment 4.5-year operating cycle between refueling Scalable, modular design is flexible for local needs Multi-unit (1 to 10+) plant Used fuel stored in spent fuel pool for life of the reactor (60 years) Country shop-manufactured Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 25
  26. 26. Labour costs related to manufacture and construction.Labour costs can be lowered by shifting work from the field to afactory. The more labor which can be performed in a factory, the lowerthe over all costs.Modular production is consistent with factory manufacture. Factorymanufacture lowers labor costs in several ways.First serial production leads to the division of labor, which in turntypically increases labor productivity.The division of labor decreases the skill set required from individualworkers.Decreased labor skill sets decrease labor wage expectations.Factory work settings, as opposed to field work settings also decreasewage expectations. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 26
  27. 27. The cost of obtaining regulatory approval and permits like for waterThe current nuclear regulatory environment favour serialmanufacture.Once an example of a particular nuclear design is approved by theNRC is approved, the approval of all subsequent reactors using thedesign is automatic.Environmental aspects of subsequent application, however, receivethe same attention, since they vary from facility to facility. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 27
  28. 28. The cost of obtaining regulatory approval and permits like for waterIn addition to NRC license requirements, other licenses or permits may berequired.For example, the use of cooling water from rivers and lakes is not automatic,and usually requires regulatory approval.One of the advantages of recycling coal fired power plant sites, is that wateraccess permits may already exist, and potentially can be transferred.But what if obtaining a water use permit is not possible?With small reactor designs air rather water cooling is practical, withrelatively modest efficiency penalties.With efficient advanced reactors, the efficiency benefits may far outweighthe efficiency losses related to air cooling. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 28
  29. 29. Investment related costs (interest, etc.)Interest accrues as nuclear power plant construction, and accrued interest mayamount to a significant percentage of NPP capital costs, especially if theconstruction project stretches to half a decade or more.Small factory built reactors are expected to have shortened construction times,compared to large conventional reactors.Simplified advanced reactor designs are also expected to shorten NPPconstruction time.These shortening construction time can decrease the interest component ofcapital costs significantly. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 29
  30. 30. Investment related costs (interest, etc.)Interest charges may reflect the markets assessment of project risks.The greater a projects assumed risk, the higher the interest premium themarket will assess.By decreasing a projects size, and lowering projectedmanufacturing/construction time, nuclear project builders can offer themarket lower perceived risks.Lower perceived risks, will lead to interest discounts compared to higher risklarge nuclear projects. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 30
  31. 31. Transportation and Access Related Costs Small, factory manufactured reactors offer advantages in transportation costs. Conventional reactors include a number of very large and heavy components, that present transportation challenges. Components such as pressure vessels and steam generators may require special and highly unusual transportation arrangements if they are transported overland. Special huge road transportation vehicles, some capable of moving no more than three miles an hour may disrupt highway uses in large areas over several weeks as they transported conventional reactor steam generators and pressure vessels to reactor sites. In contrast, small reactor cores may be moved by trucks or by rail as ordinary freight.In areas where water shortages represent acute problems, small reactor access toreliable water supplies is unnecessary. Air cooling will enable small reactors tooperate with out a reliable water supply. Himadri Banerji 2nd Presented by Dr. Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 31
  32. 32. The cost of the electrical transmission system that connects the NPP to the gridSmall reactor clusters located at recycled coal fire power plant locationspotentially have greatly simplified grid connections.Not only can they be located near to the cities they are intended to serve, butgrid hook-up is facilitated by existing transformer farms, and gridconnections.Because they can be located close to served cities new transmission lines willnot cover long distances, thus lowering grid expansion costs.Large reactors may require new transmission lines that are hundreds of mileslong, in order to move surplus electricity to market. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 32
  33. 33. Small reactor clusters located at recycled coal fire power plant Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 33
  34. 34. Lost Opportunities for Combining Cycles and Improving EfficienciesIn addition to the above savings, and potential savings mentioned above thereare other potential savings that may be available with small reactors.For example, with advanced nuclear technology, for example molten saltreactors, combined Rankine (steam) and Brayton (gas) cycles are possible.A bottoming desalinization cycle could be offered to the system, thus offeringformidable efficiency from small reactor packages.A high temperature reactor can provide top cycle heat for industrial processes,as well as producing middle cycle electricity generation, and bottom cycle heatfor electrical generation.By adding a second generating cycle, small reactors can lower their electricalgeneration costs.Desalination would add a further revenue stream from the reactors operationthrough the sale of portable water.Nuclear Power June 21st2nd Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji Annual to 24th 2011 Singapore 34
  35. 35. Benefits in Risk Management By shifting to Small ReactorsShifts from conventional nuclear technology, to some advanced nucleartechnologies, also offer significant potential savings.‘Some advanced technology savings are available to both large and smallnuclear power plants, but the flexibility of small NPPs may mean that atleast in certain situationsSmall advanced nuclear power plants may offer very significant potentialsavings in comparison to large conventional NPPs. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 35
  36. 36. Status of Development of Small Reactors Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2nd Annual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 36
  37. 37. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 37
  38. 38. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 38
  39. 39. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 39
  40. 40. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 40
  41. 41. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 41
  42. 42. Presented by Dr. Himadri Banerji 2ndAnnual Nuclear Power June 21st to 24th 2011 Singapore 42

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