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A methodology for calculating the levelized cost of electricity in nuclear power systems with fuel recycling


  • De Roo, Guillaume
  • Parsons, John E.


In this paper we show how the traditional definition of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) can be extended to alternative nuclear fuel cycles in which elements of the fuel are recycled. In particular, we define the LCOE for a cycle with full actinide recycling in fast reactors in which elements of the fuel are reused an indefinite number of times. To our knowledge, ours is the first LCOE formula for this cycle. Others have approached the task of evaluating this cycle using an 'equilibrium cost' concept that is different from a levelized cost. We also show how the LCOE implies a unique price for the recycled elements. This price reflects the ultimate cost of waste disposal postponed through the recycling, as well as other costs in the cycle. We demonstrate the methodology by estimating the LCOE for three classic nuclear fuel cycles: (i) the traditional Once-Through Cycle, (ii) a Twice-Through Cycle, and (iii) a Fast Reactor Recycle. Given our chosen input parameters, we show that the 'equilibrium cost' is typically larger than the levelized cost, and we explain why.

Suggested Citation

  • De Roo, Guillaume & Parsons, John E., 2011. "A methodology for calculating the levelized cost of electricity in nuclear power systems with fuel recycling," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 826-839, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:33:y:2011:i:5:p:826-839

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Verbruggen, Aviel, 1983. "Cogeneration -- allocation of joint costs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 171-176, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rothwell, Geoffrey & Wood, Thomas W. & Daly, Don & Weimar, Mark R., 2014. "Sustainability of light water reactor fuel cycles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(S1), pages 16-23.
    2. B. Yolanda Moratilla Soria & Rosario Ruiz-Sánchez & Mathilde Estadieu & Borja Belda-Sánchez & Cristina Cordón-Peralta & Paula Martín-Cañas & Laura Rodriguez-Penalonga & M. del Mar Cledera-Castro & M. , 2015. "Impact of the Taxes on Used Nuclear Fuel on the Fuel Cycle Economics in Spain," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-14, February.
    3. Hong, Sanghyun & Bradshaw, Corey J.A. & Brook, Barry W., 2014. "Nuclear power can reduce emissions and maintain a strong economy: Rating Australia’s optimal future electricity-generation mix by technologies and policies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 712-725.
    4. repec:gam:jeners:v:9:y:2016:i:3:p:178:d:65438 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:energy:v:134:y:2017:i:c:p:256-268 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Laura Rodriguez-Penalonga & Beatriz Yolanda Moratilla Soria & Paula Ocaña-Pastor & Paula Martín-Cañas & Borja Belda-Sánchez & Natalia Cortes-Sanz & Mathilde Estadieu & José Ignacio Linares-Hurtado & J, 2016. "Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Levelized Cost of Electricity Generation and Analysis of Various Production Scenarios," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-13, March.
    7. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:8:p:1235-:d:109067 is not listed on IDEAS


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