Fusion Costing Study and Capability

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Program:
BETHE
Award:
$450,000
Location:
Plainsboro Township,
New Jersey
Status:
ACTIVE
Project Term:
12/01/2020 - 10/29/2023
Website:

Critical Need:

Controlled fusion has long been thought of as an ideal energy source—safe, clean, and abundant. Based on the cost challenges facing advanced nuclear fission—which shares unit size, capital cost, and power-generation attributes with fusion—ARPA-E believes that a commercial fusion power plant should target an overnight capital cost of

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Woodruff Scientific, Inc., will develop a costing capability to help ARPA-E fusion performers estimate both the projected overnight capital cost and levelized cost-of-electricity (LCOE) of a fusion power plant based on their fusion concepts. These estimates will underlie essential technology-to-market analysis and help guide R&D priorities by illuminating the costliest aspects of different concepts and need for further development. This costing activity builds on and leverages the costing study performed for the ALPHA project concepts, and this updated costing study will use improved balance-of-plant cost modeling. The improved model will be benchmarked against other fusion costing codes. A new model will be developed for a reduced scale fusion tritium processing system. The costing tools/methods will be applied to the fusion concepts from BETHE and other programs, as well as non-ARPA-E fusion projects.

Potential Impact:

Fusion must accelerate progress and lower the costs of development and deployment in order to have a significant impact this century. Benefits include:

Security:

Development of timely, commercially viable fusion energy would ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.

Environment:

Development of timely, commercially viable fusion energy would ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.

Economy:

Fusion has the potential to offer abundant, reliable, highly dispatchable power and could help enable a cost-effective, global low-carbon energy economy.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Robert Ledoux
Project Contact:
Mike Zarnstorff
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
zarnstor@pppl.gov

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Release Date:
04/07/2020