Atomic Energy in East Europe
Meeting Energy Needs in Selected European Countries Faced with a Shortage of Raw Material Resources
Tech Area / Field
- FIR-OTH/Other/Fission Reactors
- FIR-ENG/Reactor Engineering and NPP/Fission Reactors
- INF-DAT/Data Storage and Peripherals/Information and Communications
- INF-SOF/Software/Information and Communications
3 Approved without Funding
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow
- Nuclear Research Institute, Czechia, Rez\nInternational Atomic Energy Agency, Austria, Vienna\nVUJE, Slovakia, Trnava
Project summaryThe main purpose of the project is to develop and analyze long-term scenarios of Europe energy evolution taking into account a large scale development of nuclear energy to decrease supply intensity with available energy recourses during the whole operating time of commissioned capacity. The modern power plants are assumed to operate for 60 years. Additional time for decision making and building takes about 10 years over. Europe is supposed to be in great dependence on raw materials, as the growth of world consumption of acceptable quality traditional energy resources such as oil, gas, coal will lead to their deficit already in the middle of the century. In such conditions, resources cost may sharply increase as the situation in which the cost of these recourses will be determined as chemical raw materials and motor fuel will arise, but not as fuel to produce electricity.
One of the ways to stabilize the situation is to turn to large scale nuclear energy, to increase of natural uranium utilisation efficiency, to use depleted uranium-238, and thorium-232 in innovative reactors, and to use nuclear energy for hydrogen production. Integration of innovative reactors into existing system will take capital investment about several billion dollars during about 30 years.
Based upon the assumption that to increase national income for 2%, it is necessary to increase electric energy production for 1%, and that the share of traditional resources must be decreased, the share of nuclear energy must be increased approximately in 5 times during the following 50 years.
In the middle of this century, natural uranium price is supposed to become a limiting factor for using LWR. So, the necessity of the commissioning of fast reactors into the system or developing of thorium fuel cycle will arise. In particular, it will be important if high-temperature gas-cooled reactors for hydrogen production are introduced in nuclear energy system.
The problems arising in such a serious situation on energy market include integration of new technologies into the existing energy complex, long-term forecast of power development taking into account modern requirements to safety, ecology, and non-proliferation.
In coarse of the study several energy development strategies will be examined. Several different scenarios for different countries providing economical and safety requirements and capable to be implemented in certain time frame will be examined.
The DESAE code is supposed to be used in the study. This code will be supplemented by different necessary modules and data bases, which will allow taking into account predicted prices of raw materials, as well as costs for their processing, and their reuse. Using these modelling tools assessments of different development scenarios will be performed. Commissioning rates of different reactor types will be variables in these scenarios. INPRO methodology including criteria for nuclear fuel cycle and necessary infrastructure for Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems (INS) is considered to be the guideline for the study.
At the first stage a regional assessment will be done using open databases provided by the selected EU countries, collaborators of the project.
At the second stage country specific studies will be carried out.
The tools developed and used in the study and its outcomes can be further used by the participating countries as supporting tools and background information in their energy planning activities.
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