International light water nuclear fuel fabrication supply: Are fabrication services assured?
This paper examines the cost structure of fabricating light water reactor (LWR) fuel with low-enriched uranium (LEU, with less than 5% enrichment). The LWR-LEU fuel industry is decades old, and (except for the high entry cost of designing and licensing a fuel fabrication facility and its fuel), labor and additional fabrication lines can be added at Nth-of-a-Kind cost to the maximum capacity allowed by a site license. The industry appears to be competitive: nuclear fuel fabrication capacity is assured with many competitors and reasonable prices. However, nuclear fuel assurance has become an important issue for nations now to considering new nuclear power plants. To provide this assurance many proposals equate "nuclear fuel banks" (which would require fuel for specific reactors) with "LEU banks" (where LEU could be blended into nuclear fuel with the proper enrichment) with local fuel fabrication. The policy issues (which are presented, but not answered in this paper) become (1) whether the construction of new nuclear fuel fabrication facilities in new nuclear power nations could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and (2) whether nuclear fuel quality can be guaranteed under current industry arrangements, given that fuel failure at one reactor can lead to forced shutdowns at many others.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jensen, J. Bradford & Rothwell, Geoffrey S., 1998. "Transaction costs, regulation, and subcontracting at nuclear power plants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 369-381, August.
- Geoffrey Rothwell, 2009. "Market Power in Uranium Enrichment," Discussion Papers 08-032, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:32:y:2010:i:3:p:538-544. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.