A Comparison of the Capital Costs of Light Water Reactor and Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor Power Plants

by W. E. Mooz, Sidney Siegel


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One input into an overall study designed to estimate the relative costs of generating electricity by light water reactors (LWR) and liquid metal fast breeder reactors (LMFBR). The present study began with an analysis of cost estimates from three firms experienced in the field. With these data, the authors estimated a "current" cost for a mature LMFBR. Next, two scenarios were postulated for the deployment of nuclear power during the next 40 years. In one, the social and political environment vigorously encourages nuclear power; in the other, nuclear deployment is held to a modest level by continued social and political concerns about current and future perceived hazards. The scenarios illustrate the major uncertainties and costs. Results are given as sets of capital costs and LMFBR/LWR cost ratios representative of each scenario.

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