The Cost and Performance Requirements for "Flexible" Advanced Nuclear Power Plants in Future U.S. Power Markets

Report for the ORNL Resource Team Supporting ARPA-E's MEITNER Program

This report summarizes a modeling effort to estimate the highest allowable CapEx for advanced nuclear plants in future power market environments to still achieve a market rate of return for their owners. This is not a policy report making recommendations to policymakers about how to regulate power markets. Rather, the study’s assumptions and scenarios reflect likely market conditions across a large percentage of US electricity markets. Its goal is to define target cost and performance parameters determined by future market conditions in order to guide design choices and tradeoffs in the early stage of the reactor and power plant development process. Although this was not a deployment modeling exercise to determine the market size for a given technology at selected price points, it does suggest that advanced reactors delivered under the allowable CapEx thresholds identified in this report could cost competitively serve a significant fraction of load in the modeled power markets.

Read the full report, or check out an overview presentation of the results.