Research & Development

Electricity From Micro Reactors Will Cost Less Than Diesel Generators, Says NEI Report

By David Dalton
3 May 2019

3 May (NucNet): The cost to generate electricity from the first micro reactor will be less than the same costs for diesel generators at between $0.14/kWh and $0.41/kWh, the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute says in a report.

The report says that as companies continue to produce micro reactors, future costs are estimated to fall to between $0.09/kWh and $0.33/kWh. The range of costs is due to variations in transport accessibility, site conditions, the technology, the ability to reduce future costs through lessons learned and whether ownership is private or public.

Diesel generators, which are the primary source of electricity in many remote markets, are estimated to generate electricity at between $0.15/kWh and $0.60/kWh, mostly made up of the cost of fuel and the cost to transport the fuel to remote locations.

Micro reactors are very small nuclear reactors – typically in the 1 MW to 10 MW range – capable of operating independently from the electric grid. The NEI said they are well suited to serve the power needs of remote areas, islands, mining operations and defence installations.

They can operate for 10 years or more without the need for an off-site supply of fuel and are being designed to protect against severe natural phenomena and man-made physical and cyber security threats.

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