Why does nuclear power cost so much when the technology has had decades to get it right? MIT’s David Chandler explains how researchers there have identified the main causes of the cost overruns in the U.S. It turns out that building new plants by copying existing designs actually costs more. That’s because site-specific constraints mean problems are being fixed during construction, adding to costs and delays. New types of concrete are being overlooked. Rather than the hardware, it is the “soft costs” that are not being prioritised. Better modelling of these factors is needed during the design stage. The study also recommends that components – or even entire small modular plants – should be factory-built where standardised processes are more easily controlled. They can then be trucked to the site. The findings have been published in the journal Joule.
Energy Post 27th Nov 2020 read more »