Economics of SFRs with a Closed Fuel Cycle
Advanced fast reactors have attained a high level of reliability and environmental cleanness. With fuel breeding, the fast reactors are in a position to supply fuel themselves for the foreseeable future at almost any rates of development of power generation. Experts consider that at the present stage of development, one of the main limitations to the introduction of fast reactors into power generation could be their insufficient economic competitiveness in electricity generation in comparison with existing power sources (thermal reactors, organic-fuelled power stations, etc.). In particular, sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs) are costlier than the current pressurized water reactors (PWRs). In order to make SFRs economically competitive, there is a need to analyze the reasons for the high capital cost and means to reduce the cost in stages to make them competitive to well-established PWRs and, subsequently, fossil power plants. The main objective of this chapter is to make the readers familiarize the associated economic aspects of SFR with reference to technological issues. Only specific parameters that are important to be considered are addressed. There are many references on this topic, for example, “Appendix D: Economics Calculational Approach in the Fast Spectrum Reactors” by Alan E. Walter et al. [35.1] have brought out this topic more comprehensively with mathematical approach. The readers are encouraged to refer the same for more details.