Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid. Model finds operating nuclear plants flexibly can reduce electricity costs, increase revenue for nuclear plants, and cut carbon emissions in electric power systems. Nuclear power plants generally operate at full capacity, but they are also technically capable of more flexible operation. This capability lets them respond dynamically to seasonal changes in demand or hourly changes in market prices. Reactors could also provide the standby backup regulation and reserve services needed to balance supply and demand. According to Jenkins, all reactor designs now being licensed or built in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are capable of flexible operation, as are many older reactors now in service.
MIT News25th April 2018 read more »