A techno-economic assessment of NuScale and DHR-400 reactors in a district heating and cooling grid

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    Many companies are developing small modular reactors (SMR), but only few are in a licensing or demonstration phase. Several papers have studied the economy of the SMRs, but district heating studies were carried out without a reference energy system that has a high impact on the results. We modeled NuScale CHP and DHR-400 (heat only) units as a part of a city-level district heating and cooling grid. In the studied reference system, NuScale CHP and DHR-400 look cost-efficient investments with internal rates of return from 7% to 20%. Modeled heat only reactor had better profitability than CHP reactor in almost all cases except when assuming higher than 50 €/MWh electricity prices. Large heat pumps with COP of 3.5 had similar economic performance than studied SMRs. Large heat pumps are less capital intensive than SMRs and easier to accept by public, but their potential is limited by the available heat sources.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-24
    Number of pages12
    JournalEnergy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



    • DHR-400
    • District heating
    • Nuclear cogeneration
    • NuScale
    • SMR

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