The Economics of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (1994)

In early 1991, an expert group, with a membership drawn from fourteen countries and four international organisations, was formed to examine the economics of the fuel cycle with particular reference to a power station comprising a pressurised water reactor (PWR) commissioning in the year 2000. The expert group finalised its report at the end of 1993. The task of the expert group was to update the OECD/NEA 1983/84 study which was published in 1985. That study defined the levelised lifetime fuel cycle cost using internationally accepted investment appraisal methodology. Costs were derived for fuel cycles based on reprocessing and on long-term spent fuel storage followed by direct disposal. The current study repeats that approach. Use of a 5 per cent reference case discount rate is still considered appropriate in reflecting the consensus of national practices. It also enables direct comparison to be made with previous results. Variations due to the use of different discount rates are also given.

Table of Contents

Economics of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle cover

Summary and Introduction

Executive Summary
1. Introduction

Chapters 2 and 3

2. Methodology and common assumptions

3. The nuclear fuel cycle

4.The costs of the PWR fuel cycle stages

4.1 The front-end of the fuel cycle

5.The calculation of total fuel costs for PWR

6.Sensitivity analyses for PWR fuel costs

7.Comparison between the results of the present study and
the 1985 study

8.Other fuel cycles

9. Conclusions

10. References

ANNEXES

  1. Method of calculating a levelised price and a fuel cycle cost
  2. Comparison between investment appraisal and financial appraisal
  3. Reprocessing option cost estimates and future trends
  4. Direct disposal option cost estimates and future trends: Sweden (reference)
  5. Direct disposal option cost estimates: United States
  6. Direct disposal option cost estimates: Germany
  7. Comparison of waste disposal costs
  8. Plutonium and recovered uranium credits
  9. Nuclear fuel cycle costs versus burn-up
  10. Sensitivity analysis on estimated fuel cycle cost
  11. List of abbreviations, units and glossary of terms
  12. List of members of the expert group and the editorial review group

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