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Project Report Cover Sheet

For submission to: Dr Iain MacGill

Course code : ELEC9714

Course name : Electricity Industry Planning & Economics

Name of school : School of Electrical Engineering

Assignment Title : Options and Challenges for Future Nuclear Generation Investment in the NEM

Student name: Yijun Huang z5024017 Sicong Ma z5025785

Date: 14/05/2015

Literature Survey

Options and Challenges for Future Nuclear Generation Investment in the NEM

Yijun Huang, Sicong Ma
Contents
Acronyms...................................................................................................I
List of Figures............................................................................................II
List of Figures...........................................................................................III
Executive Summary
Introduction1
3. Conclusion............................................................................................14
References................................................................................................15

Acronyms
ABWR Advanced boiling water reactor
APWR Advanced pressurized water reactor
EC6 Enhanced CANDU 6
EPR European pressurized reactor
ESBWR Economic simplified boiling water reactor
ACR-1000 Advanced CANDU reactor
CCGT Combine Cycle Gas Turbine
VHTR Very-high-temperature reactor
SFR Sodium-cooled fast reactor
SCWR Supercritical-water-cooled reactor
GFR Gas-cooled fast reactor
LFR Lead-cooled fast reactor
MSR Molten salt reactor
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
SMR Small modular reactor

List of Figures

List of Tables

Executive Summary This project is to analyze possible options and challenges for nuclear energy in future National Electricity Market, and give suggestion to the investment. It will start with a brief introduction to the development of nuclear power technology all around the world. Then it will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both recent and future reactor types. It will also study how nuclear energy could contribute to the mix of emerging energy technologies in Australia. Finally, by using economic tools, it will make a prediction to the future nuclear power investment based on optimal options.

Introduction
1.1 History of nuclear power Since the world first commercial nuclear power plant-shippingport Atomic Power Station was built in 1957, human beings enter into the historically brand-new stage of using nuclear energy peacefully. The pace of the nuclear expansion speeds up and it has achieved rapid development. The development of world nuclear energy can be split into four major stages: experimental demonstration stage, rapid development stage, deceleration stage and recovery stage. From 1954 to 1965, there are 38 units of nuclear power reactor putting into operation around the world. During this time, the first grid-connected nuclear power plant-Obninsk Nuclear Power Station has been built in Soviet Union in 1954. It has a design capacity of 5MWe which represents that the nuclear technology is not a concept on the paper. From 1966 to 1980, the number of the nuclear power reactor rises to 242 which represent the development of this technology entered the second stage. Due to the crisis in the Middle East, the nuclear power gained a rapid development while the oil price surged. From 1981 to 2000, the Three Mile Island accident occurred in United States in 1979 and the Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred in the Soviet Union in 1986 led to the stagnation of the development of nuclear power. As a result, the public began to evaluate the safety and economy of it. In order to ensure the safety operation of nuclear plant, most countries implemented more safety facilities and issued more strict approval system. Since the 21st century, with the recovery of the economy all over world, as well as the more and more serious energy and environment crisis, the superiority of nuclear which regarded as a green energy source became outstanding. At the same time, After years of technological development, it had improved the safety and reliability of nuclear power a lot. In addition, most countries in the world has made a positive nuclear power development plan, the future of nuclear power was beginning again.

1.2 Developing status and trends of nuclear power Nowadays, nuclear power, hydro power and coal power constitute the three pillars of the world's energy supply. More than 30 countries or regions in the world have built nuclear power plant. These plants are mainly distributed in America and Canada in North America, Britain, France, Germany and Russia in Europe, Japan, South Korea in East Asia. Above countries are mainly industrial developed countries, however around 70% constructing nuclear projects are concentrated in China and India these developing countries. The trends of nuclear power could be summarized into three parts. Firstly, the market scale of nuclear power will expansion. For the concern of eco-environment protection and energy supply issue, nuclear is being accepted and adopted by more and more countries due to its features of clean, low-carbon, reliable. Thus a wave of construction of the nuclear power plant is set off around the world. Before 2030, it is expected that around 10 to 25 countries will join the club of nuclear.Secondly, it will develop a new generation of technology in the field of nuclear. Basically, mainly countries use second-generation nuclear power plants at present. Base on the second-generation technology, improvement and innovation have been adopted and the third-generation technology has been developed. New type of nuclear reactor has promoted the safety, reliability and economy compared with the previous technology. Finally, nuclear power plant should further improve the safety draw on the previous experiences and reduce the cost and investment risks. If dramatic breakthroughs have been made in the future by simplify the system and the development of capacity effect, the construction cost and operating cost would reduced which could make it competitive compared with traditional power such as hydro power and coal power.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Power Unlike chemical energy, nuclear power which is also called atomic energy is generated from the redistribution of nucleon. Nowadays, nearly 85% demand of energy all around the world are generated from fossil fuel. This limited resources could not meet the increasing demand. Therefore, the advantages of nuclear are significant.Firstly, nuclear is more efficient. The power produced during fission by 1 ton of uranium-235 equals to burn 270 ton of coal. For example, a 10 million megawatt nuclear power plant only takes 30 tonnes of uranium fuel for a whole year which could be transport by a plane at one time. In another word, the smaller size of fuel reduce the cost of transport and promote the efficiency. Secondly, nuclear is an alternative source which has the feature of clean and zero greenhouse emissions. Due to the difference of the fuel type, nuclear plant will not discharge any greenhouse gases. In addition, fossil fuels discharge massive emissions of polluting substances into the atmosphere which causes air pollution, however nuclear plant does not. Finally, uranium fuel is only used for generated electricity and the cost of fuel only possess little portion of the capital cost. As a result, operating cost will not easy to be effected by the international economic situation. It is more stable than the other kinds of plant. Therefore, in order to solve the energy shortage and environmental issue, nuclear could be an alleviation. However, nuclear power itself has potential risks which could not be neglected. Firstly, nuclear plant has the risk of leakage accident even though the operators follow the rules and regulations. For example, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was happened due to the plant was hit by a tsunami on 11 March 2011. History shows us that natural disasters are inevitable and the potential safety problem of nuclear energy always exists there. Secondly, hazardous nuclear waste come from nuclear plant needs to be transported to the place where is safety and stored for a long period of time. Thirdly, the heating efficiency of nuclear plant is high but the part which could be used by human is little. On one hand,it is a waste of resources to some extend. On the other hand, it brings thermal pollution. Fourthly, the investment in the nuclear plant would cost large amount money, once it has been built, huge amounts of labour power as well as material and financial resources shall be consumed in running it. Finally, nuclear as a popular topic around the world, it always connected to the war. In recent years, Iran and North Korea have raised some political dissent which bring a negative impact to the regional peace and stability.

Options and Challenges
3.1 Options Nuclear power plant has never been a cheap way of generating electricity. Several factors should be taken into consideration when invest in it.

·Location. Nuclear plant needs sufficient funds to run at a place where has enough electricity demand. Firstly, it is usually choose an area that are fairly developed economically and the exactly place should relatively far away from there. Secondly, no earthquake and tsunami reported in the area. Thirdly, from the view of nuclear safety, plant should be built at low population density region which could isolate easily. Fourthly, due to the plant could generate intense heat, it is better to choose a place near the sea. It is also convenient to transport large scale equipment.

·Nuclear reactors. Nuclear plant is the most complex and high-demanding energy system. According to Kessides (2012, p.189), there are several components in a nuclear reactor: fuel component, moderator, control rods, coolant, reactor vessel, steam generator and containment. Advanced technology has designed Generation III and III+ reactors. The next nuclear frontier could be Generation IV and small modular since Generation IV are still in development and it has not been adopted around the world. The first Generation III reactor was built in Kashiwazaki in 1996. Different types of Gen III/III+ reactors are:Advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR), Advanced pressurized water reactor (APWR), AP-600, Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC6), AP-1000, European pressurized reactor (EPR), Economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR), VVER-1200, APR-1400, Advanced CANDU reactor (ACR-1000). The new Generation III reactor is designed based on the previous generation. Compared to the Gen II, Gen III has the advantages as below: Firstly, Gen III is more standardized. Secondly, Gen III has taken more safety measures. Finally, Gen III increase the capacity which range from 1000 to 1500 MWe. Gen III has better economy which make it competitive than the Combine Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT). Generation IV reactor is designed to prevent the nuclear proliferation and improve the existing energy system to become more safety and reliable. The aim of developing Gen IV is ensuring nuclear sustainable, improve efficiency, reduce the operating cost and achieve a practical level. Several types of Gen IV including Very-high-temperature reactor (VHTR), Sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), Supercritical-water-cooled reactor (SCWR), Gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR), Lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) and Molten salt reactor (MSR). Small modular reactor (SMR) is an advanced technology which developed in several countries. According to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is defined as the reactor which has an electricity output of less than 300 MWe. It has the feature of safety, fewer staffing, waste reduction and non-proliferation.

·Uranium. Uranium as the fuel of nuclear plant is important to discuss. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest uranium producer, behind is Canada and Australia. Due to the high production of uranium in Kazakhstan and Africa, it could supply the increasing demand around the world. According to Rebecca (2010, pp.555), the production growth in the world’s top three uranium producers as below:
Figure 3.1 Production growth in the world’s top three uranium producers
[pic]
Figure 3.2 Uranium outlook

3.2 Challenges
·Uranium resources and mining. In the present, more and more countries expect to build nuclear power plant, as a result enough uranium become a key factor. Even though the world’s known and unknown uranium is abundant, the production time would be too long to support it.
·Shortage of relative engineers and technicians. On one hand, since past 20 years the population of the students which choosing nuclear power related major are decreasing, qualified engineer and technician does not meet the requirements. On the other hand, older employees face the issue of retirement, however the young engineers could not acquire enough experience which taught by the older employees. For those countries which eager to develop nuclear power, the key point is training qualified engineers to satisfy the needs of nuclear industry.
·Nuclear proliferation.

Reference

Dittmar, M 2012, ‘Nuclear energy: Status and future limitations’, Energy, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 35-40.

Rebecca,P 2010, ‘Uranium’, Australian Commodities: Forecasts and Issues, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 553-556.

Radiation & Transport Safety Section, "Status of Small Reactor Designs Without On-Site Fueling", International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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