System Levelized Fuel Cost of Electricity Generation in a Two-Component NES with a Closed Uranium-Plutonium NFC
An approach has been proposed to determine computationally the levelized unit fuel cost (LUFC) of electricity generation for a fast reactor of a two-component nuclear energy system (NES) with regard for plutonium production. The approach is based on taking into account the additional economic effect, which can be achieved through the sale at the market price of the natural uranium from the substitution of thermal reactors by fast reactors with MOX fuel based on the plutonium bred in a fast reactor. This requires considering simultaneously the reactor parts of the fuel cycle for fast and thermal reactors. Relationships have been obtained which connect the key neutronic and fuel characteristics with the NPP economic performance and fuel cycle. The described methodology was used for the computational study of the LUFC for a fast sodium-cooled reactor. Calculations have shown that, in the considered case, taking into account the plutonium production leads to the LUFC reduction by nearly half and, therefore, to a major decrease in the total unit cost of electricity generation (levelized cost of electricity or LCOE).
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