Expert Assessment of the Cost of Light Water Small Modular Reactors

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Columbus EF (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Ahmed Abdulla , Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Small modular reactors (SMRs) hold the potential to make carbon-free nuclear energy available at smaller scales that would be more affordable than large conventional reactors.  If they could be manufactured in a factory, and shipped to the site as a completed unit, it might also be possible to reduce the cost per kWh.  If the core could be fueled in the factory and returned intact to an internationally supervised refueling facility, they could be made very proliferation resistant.  This talk will report on an expert elicitation conduced to assess the costs of first generation SMRs (PNAS, 110, pp 9686–9691, 2013).  It will also report results from an international workshop run in November, 2013 at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland in conjunction with the International Risk Governance Council and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  Work supported by NSF (SES-0949710) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (12-101167-000-INP)