Upcoming Seminars & Events
Science and Global Security Seminar Series - Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Ahmed Abdulla will talk about "Expert assessments of the cost of light water small modular reactors"
The seminar will be held at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 28 at 221 Nassau Street (located at J2 on the campus map) in the 2nd Floor Conference Room. You are welcome to bring your lunch. There is no need to rsvp.
For more information or any questions, please contact M.V. Ramana at email@example.com.
Interest has grown in small modular reactors (SMRs), which have a capacity of up to 300MWe. Promised advantages include factory fabrication, flexibility in siting, and lower capital outlays per unit. However, light water SMR designs face diseconomies of scale, technical and regulatory hurdles, and, perhaps, increasing the risk of proliferation.
Because they have yet to be developed or deployed, few data exist on the likely cost. This talk will describe the results of a detailed expert elicitation to develop estimates of the overnight cost and construction duration of five reactor deployment scenarios that involve a large conventional reactor and two integral light water SMRs. Median estimates of the cost of the large plant vary by more than a factor of 2.5. Expert judgments about SMR costs display an even wider range: median estimates for a 45MWe SMR range from $4,000 to $16,300/kWe, and from $3,200 to $7,100/kWe for a 225MWe SMR. There was consensus that SMRs could be built and brought on line about two years faster than large reactors. Experts identify more affordable unit cost, factory fabrication, and shorter construction schedules as factors that may make light water SMRs economically viable.
Ahmed Abdulla is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His interests center on energy economics and the intersection between human activity and climate change, and his current work focuses on the economics of nuclear power, specifically of a new generation of small modular reactors (SMRs) that are being proposed in various countries for various applications. This work is being undertaken under the auspices of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making (CEDM) and the Carnegie Electricity Industry Center (CEIC). At CMU, Ahmed has also worked with faculty at the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS) on questions of nuclear proliferation and the dissemination of nuclear knowledge. Ahmed is a graduate of Princeton University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he conducted research on fuel cells and investigated t he conversion of biomass feedstock to liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
Biosecurity Seminar Series
No Biosecurity seminars are scheduled for this semester. Lists of past seminars may be found here.