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Modeling the effects of nuclear fuel reservoir operation in a competitive electricity market

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  • Maria Lykidi

    ()
    (ADIS-GRJM - Université Paris-Sud)

  • Jean-Michel Glachant

    ()
    (Université Paris-Sud et EUI - Florence School of regulation)

  • Pascal Gourdel

    ()
    (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

In many countries, the electricity systems are quitting the vertically integrated monopoly organization for an operation framed by competitive markets. In such a competitive regime one can ask what the optimal operation/management of the nuclear generation set is. We place ourselves in a medium-term horizon of the management in order to take into account the seasonal variation of the demand level between winter (high demand) and summer (low demand). A flexible nuclear set is operated to follow a part of the demand variations. In this context, nuclear fuel stock can be analyzed like a reservoir since nuclear plants stop periodically (every 12 or 18 months) to reload their fuel. The operation of the reservoir allows different profiles of nuclear fuel uses during the different seasons of the year. We analyze it within a general deterministic dynamic framework with two types of generation : nuclear and non-nuclear thermal. We study the optimal management of the production in a perfectly competitive market. Then, we build a very simple numerical model (based on data from the French market) with nuclear plants being not operated strictly as base load power plants but within a flexible dispatch frame (like the French nuclear set). Our simulations explain why we must anticipate future demand to manage the current production of the nuclear set (myopia can not be total). Moreover, it is necessary in order to ensure the equilibrium supply-demand, to take into account the non-nuclear thermal capacities in the management of the nuclear set. They also suggest that non-nuclear thermal may remain marginal during most of the year including the months of low demand.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 10083.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:10083

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Keywords: Nuclear technology; non-nuclear thermal technology; electricity; nuclear fuel "reservoir"; perfect competition; merit order; follow-up of load; seasonal demand.;

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