Optimization models of two-component nuclear energy system with thermal and fast reactors in a closed nuclear fuel cycle
The article gives a brief description and some illustrative application results for two optimization models of a two-component nuclear energy system consisting of thermal and fast reactors in a closed nuclear fuel cycle. These models correspond to two possible ways of developing Russian nuclear energy system in the future which are discussed in the expert community: (1) thermal and fast reactors using oxide fuel (UOX, MOX), (2) thermal reactors using uranium oxide fuel and fast reactors using mixed nitride uranium-plutonium (MNUP) fuel. Both optimization models have been elaborated in the IAEA energy planning tool MESSAGE, which is recommended for use as a software package, part of the International Project INPRO. The created models were prepared in full compliance with the recommendations for the IAEA’s PESS and INPRO sections, regarding the specification of nuclear energy systems in MESSAGE. The models were verified by comparison with the results obtained using original nuclear material flow codes. The models make it possible to optimize the nuclear energy structures in accordance with the economic criteria (minimum total discounted costs), taking into account multiple resources and infrastructural constraints and restrictions. In addition, they can be used as a basis for developing multi-objective, stochastic and robust optimization models of a two-component nuclear energy system. The work is based on publications of experts from NRC «Kurchatov Institute», JSC «SSC RF-IPPE», ITCP «Proryv», JSC «NIKIET». The presented results demonstrate some characteristic structural features of two-component nuclear energy system models, manifested when applying the optimization approach to the problem of searching for and justifying the most effective and robust structures of nuclear energy systems. It has been demonstrated that, taking into account the existing uncertainties in the nuclear fuel cycle services and reactor technology costs, it is impossible to make a justified conclusion about the greatest attractiveness by the economic criterion (levelized generation cost) between the two options considered.
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