37th Annual CNS Conference - 2017 June 04-07

Presented at:
37th Annual CNS Conference
2017 June 04-07
Niagara Falls
Session Title:
2A4 - Advanced Reactors (I)

M. Moore (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)


Very small modular reactors (vSMRs) designed for off-grid communities and other niche applications employ novel design features such as an integral pressure vessel, a sealed reactor core and increased fuel residence times. This paper examines the economics of vSMRs at off-grid locations with an emphasis on remote northern communities. A life cycle cost analysis was performed for three vSMR concepts: a lead-cooled vSMR, a molten salt-fueled vSMR and high temperature gas-cooled vSMR. The economic impacts of the vSMRs novel design attributes have been examined and are compared to diesel generators.

The analysis presented suggests, a vSMR would decrease carbon emissions while protecting the community from the potentially volatile price of diesel fuel. One vSMR was found to be within 7% of the cost of diesel electricity when a carbon tax of $50/MT CO2 is introduced. Therefore, some vSMRs could be a viable alternative to diesel generators for several remote communities.

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