One of the most persistent arguments against the rapid deployment of nuclear energy is that projects are too expensive and take too long to complete.
Based on the performance of the few nuclear plants that have begun construction in the West during this century, it’s hard to disagree.
But there is solid evidence from projects completed in other countries that shows that poor cost and schedule performance is not an inherent feature of nuclear power plant construction projects.
For this episode of the Atomic Show, I gathered three of the world’s leading experts on the topic of nuclear power plant cost and schedule performance and paths to improvement.
Jessica Lovering is the lead author of a frequently cited Energy Policy paper titled Historical construction costs of global nuclear power reactors. She is completing a PhD thesis at Carnegie Mellon focusing on economics of micro reactors, which she defines as less than 10 MWe.
Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll are Managing Directors at a UK consulting firm called Lucid Catalyst. In late 2018, they authored a report for the Energy Technologies Institute titled Nuclear Cost Drivers. As part of the research conducted for that report, their team interviewed the project managers for 33 recently completed nuclear projects.
They’ve since participated in international industry working groups focused on identifying and implementing improvements using lessons learned from several industries that produce products with size, complexity and oversight that is similar to those associated with nuclear projects.
These experts share valuable accumulated information and have numerous suggestions for improvement that have a sound basis for leading to better results in the future.
Please have a listen. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.