UK report identifies how to reduce nuclear costs
UK-based Energy Technologies Institute has released a report which highlights how to reduce the associated costs with developing new nuclear projects within the UK.
The report identifies the most efficient practices used in other nuclear energy programmes from across the world and explains how these systems can be implemented into new nuclear developments in the UK. Kirsty Gogan, the director of the consultancy CleanTech Catalyst which managed the research project emphasised that the results clearly show that there are a series of transformative systems that can be applied to the UK nuclear industry.
The report is part of a larger report from the ETI Nuclear Cost Drivers project which include eight vital cost factors and a further 35 clear opportunities to effectively decrease the costs associated with generating energy via nuclear power. The complete report is due to be released later this year.
The research suggests that there a small number of relatively clear factors that influence the costs of nuclear energy. Research indicates there are also a series of consistent factors that appear in low cost sites and a separate number of similar characteristics that exist within high cost nuclear sites. Analysts believe that if these factors can be understood and managed then it is quite possible to reduce the cost of new nuclear sites. Analysts explain that where projects have achieved cost reductions overseas has been from a result of focusing on improving the overall performance and delivery of these specific characteristics.
The ETI believes there is strong potential to reduce costs for the nuclear industry, but this will be influenced on the industry working together to create a cost reduction program. Mike Middleton, the strategy manager for the ETI nuclear program explains that if nuclear energy is cost competitive with other energy sources then it will play a vital part in the UK making a transition to a low carbon economy. The challenge that is facing the nuclear industry is identifying the opportunities of cost reductions in new nuclear developments.
An industry wide program looking at high quality and low cost development could help the UK work towards delivering more affordable nuclear power. An industry expert has suggested that the new report had created a significant amount of information on what factors influence nuclear projects to be on time and within budget.
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