The 99 nuclear power plants on US soil supply nearly 20 percent of the country's energy needs and are working with ever-increasing capacity, from 50 percent in the early 1970s to 70 percent in the early 1990s and over 90 percent of new energy However, with MIT and the Argonne National Laboratory, reducing the capacity of nuclear power plants and dynamically adapting their capacity to compensate for the unpredictability of renewable energy sources could save both consumers and operators of nuclear power plants
Nuclear power plants do not have to work to the maximum for the study
Capacity to maximize their efficiency. Rather, by adjusting theirs
Output dynamically to compensate for the unpredictability of clean energy
Sources could create a symbiotic relationship that can be minimized
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing electricity costs
Consumers and the operating costs for power plant owners.
Researcher, led by Principal Investigator Francesco
Ganda developed a mathematical representation of the operative
Limitations of nuclear reactors and then used simulation
Models for estimating the cost of electricity generation, market prices,
and the revenue from power plants.
"Nuclear power plants are subject to different principles compared to other generators, and our approach allows them to be represented in the analysis of energy systems and electricity markets," Ganda said.
In particular, the study found that one of the most limiting constraints to flexible operation in nuclear power plants is the increased concentration of xenon (an effective neutron poison that lowers nuclear fuel reactivity) after each reactor power drop. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 1
They work at full power, but can also react dynamically to hourly electricity market prices and to the second
Frequency regulation needs
A paper describing the study appeared in a recent issue of the journal
Nuclear Engineering .
Argonne National Laboratory