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14TH SESSION OF SEMINARS ON RESEARCH IN ENERGY ECONOMICS AT PARIS-SCIENCES-LETTRES

NUCLEAR NEW BUILD: WHAT COSTS?

Thursday 18th September, 2014, from 16h30 to 18h30
School of Mines Paris Tech
Room V 107
60 Boulevard Saint-Michel
75006 Paris


The Seminar on Research in Energy Economics at Paris-Sciences-Lettres is jointly organized by the CERNA, the CGEMP, the Chaire European Electricity Markets, Mines ParisTech and University Paris-Dauphine. It is animated by François LEVEQUE (CERNA et MINES PARIS TECH) and Dominique FINON (Chaire European Electricity Markets, CNRS-CIRED).



PROGRAMME AND PRESENTATIONS

Nuclear power: towards a competitive low-carbon, secure, stable and reliable source of electricity? By William D’HAESELEER, Professor at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven)
Presentation


The presentation will draw a comprehensive picture of the cost estimations in the nuclear sector, on the basis of available contemporary information in the open literature, so as to establish a coherent background for a discussion on the cost of nuclear-generated electricity. This would provide guidance for an objective context for electricity generation investments. The cost estimates comprise investment costs for new-build Generation-III plants, major refurbishment investment costs for long-term operation of existing plants, normal operational expenses and fuel-cycle costs (including waste management and final disposal) and decommissioning. Particular attention is devoted to the historic investment-cost evolution (mostly cost escalation) and possible future improvements in moving from a “First of a Kind” to routine construction, from analyzing learning/serial/fleet effects. Regarding nuclear accidents, reflections on the liability issue and alleged hidden subsidies are offered. Finally, system-integration effects of future electricity systems (consisting of nuclear plants, dispatchable fossil plants, and renewable sources) are estimated.


The assessment of economic value of Small Modular Reactors in an electricity generating portfolios, By Geoffrey ROTHWELL, Principal Economist at OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and former Senior Lecturer, Stanford University
Presentation

We present a method for estimating the probability distributions of the levelized costs of electricity. These probability distributions can be used to find cost-risk minimizing portfolios of electricity generating assets including Combined-Cycle Gas Turbines (burning natural gas), coal-fired power plants with sulfur scrubbers, and Small Modular Reactors, SMRs. Probability densities are proposed for a dozen electricity generation cost drivers, including fuel prices and externalities costs. Given the long time horizons involved in the planning, construction, operation, refurbishment, and post-retirement management of generating assets, price data from the last half century are used to represent long-run price probabilities. This paper shows that SMRs can competitively replace coal units in a portfolio of coal and natural gas generating stations to reduce the levelized cost risk associated with the volatility of natural gas prices and unknown carbon costs.


Jan-Horst KEPPLER, Professor of Economics at Paris-Dauphine will discuss both presentations.



For additional information, please contact the organizers:
Dominique Finon: finon@centre-cired.fr
François Lévêque: francois.leveque@ensmp.fr

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