(FACULTY IN DEPART OF GEOLOGY; PATUAKHAALI SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY, BANGLADESH)
Although large-scale atomic energy deployment can reduce greenhouse emission emissions, the potential for nuclear energy to scale back climate mitigation costs isn’t well understood. We use an energy system model to estimate the relative savings in mitigation costs enabled by atomic energy moreover as their robustness via scenario and Monte Carlo analysis. nuclear energy reduces mitigation costs altogether explored scenarios, but the extent varies considerably. Atomic power reduces costs significantly if carbon storage capacity is low but is replaceable if the capacity is abundant and technology available. the identical holds for the price of renewable. However, providing a full analytic thinking of atomic power is beyond the scope of this paper.
KEYWORD: Atomic energy reduces,Critical parameters and sensitivity.
If warming is to be kept under 2 °C with reasonable certainty, greenhouse emission (GHG) emissions must call in roughly half by mid-century compared to current levels and still decline afterward . The energy system, including heat and electricity production and transport, is that the largest source of emitted anthropogenic CO2, the foremost important GHG, and thus the most target for emission reductions. These emissions are often reduced in several ways: by either reducing energy use e.g. via efficiency improvements, by switching to technologies with lower CO2 emissions, or by capturing the emitted CO2.
Many possibilities exist for supplying energy with low life cycle emissions like the utilization of biomass, wind, solar, hydro, or nuclear energy. However, no single technology are going to be sufficient to completely solve the matter . atomic power has been historically expanded mostly because of growing demand and security concerns , , but accumulating disquiet about global climate change has within some circles renewed interest in its prospects to substitute higher emission sources. There are, however, many challenges associated with atomic energy. the foremost notable are radioactive material production, accidental radiation release risk, nuclear weapons proliferation risk, and public resistance , , . These caveats make atomic power distinctive from other energy technologies and have led many to the conclusion that nuclear energy doesn’t have an area within the future energy system as exemplified by recent decisions in Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland to end atomic energy . Although climate mitigation is feasible without nuclear energy [e.g. , ], by excluding nuclear energy from the energy system, temperature change mitigation may become tougher and dear to realize as shown by a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA)  also as several others [e.g. , , ].
Nuclear power’s potential to cut back the mitigation costs depends on other developments within the energy system like the price of solar, wind, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies; availability of biomass and hydro resources, and skill to integrate variable renewable into the system. Assuming that the provision of suitable carbon storage sites is large, the employment of fossil fuels could continue for many years, but the question of what quantity CO2 will be stored continues to be open and therefore the degree of uncertainty is high . Similarly, although both wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) have seen major reductions in investment costs, the supply of suitable sites for production (wind) and their variable nature may limit their expansion (wind and solar PV). Biomass production for energy may be limited by concerns for the environment and competition with food production. Environmental concerns also arise in connection to hydropower, and also the number of suitable sites is restricted. Since many of those developments are highly uncertain, the robustness of a possible contribution by nuclear energy, i.e. its ability to scale back mitigation costs under uncertainty, should be tested across a good range of possible future scenarios.
Some studies have attempted to raised estimate the possible role of atomic energy in climate mitigation. Vaillan court et al.  studied the role of atomic power under two different climate scenarios and under various constraints on nuclear energy development. They found a big expansion of nuclear energy throughout the century all told cases. Mori  and Bauer et al.  reported significant losses in GDP resulting from early retirement or terminate. Additionally, Mori found CCS and nuclear energy to be substitute mitigation technologies. Tavoni and van der Zwaan  explicitly focused on the connection between CCS and atomic energy under climate mitigation conditions. They concluded that for big scale replacement of nuclear energy by CCS, further cost reductions in CCS technologies are necessary. last the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum Study 27 (EMF27) investigated the importance of individual mitigation options by comparing the responses of 18 energy-economy and integrated assessment models to 2 different climate targets and various technology limitations . The role of nuclear energy was investigated via comparison of a phase-out scenario to a scenario within which nuclear is an element of the portfolio. during this study, all models but one found that employment of nuclear energy ends up in mitigation cost reductions starting from −2 to 30% of the abatement cost . Yet no systematic exploration of an outsized number of things that may possibly affect the role of nuclear energy within a model, like other technologies’ costs and carbon storage availability, has been administered to our knowledge within the literature of worldwide energy systems models. This paper aims to fill this gap.
2.1. GET model
We perform this analysis using the worldwide Energy Transition (GET) model first developed by Christian Azar and Kristian Lindgren  and further developed in Hedenus et al. . GET may be a cost-minimizing “bottom-up” systems engineering model of the world energy system founded as a applied math problem. The model was constructed to check carbon mitigation strategies over a 100 year period to satisfy both specified energy demand and a carbon constraint at the minimum discounted energy system cost for the amount under study (in general 2000–2100). To do this, the model evaluates an outsized number of technologies for converting and supplying energy supported data associated with costs, efficiencies, load factors, and carbon emissions among other parameters. Also, resource estimates are included in addition as various restrictions on technologies like a limit for a variable electricity supply. The model focuses on the availability side although some efficiency measures like electric vehicles are indigenized. In our analysis, we use version 8.0 of getting, featuring an improved representation of the nuclear cycles. additionally to the sunshine Water Reactor (LWR) fuel cycle also Mixed OXide (MOX) and Fast reactor (FBR) options are added. For more detail please see Ref. .
The model has five end-use sectors: electricity, transport, feedstock, residential–commercial heat, and process heat. Demand projections are supported the MESSAGE B2 scenarios supported increasing global population, intermediate levels of economic development, and a stabilization level of 480 ppm CO2-eq by 2100 , whereas the transportation demand scenarios are supported Azar et al.  and assume faster efficiency improvements in transport sector than in B2 scenario. the stress are exogenously given. The model also has perfect foresight and thus finds the optimum that’s the smallest amount cost solution for the entire study period with a reduction rate of fifty. Scarce resources like oil and biomass are allocated to the sectors within which they’re used most cost-effectively. More information about the model framework is found in Ref. .
In the model, the planet is split into High Income (HIC), Middle Income (MIC), and Low-Income Countries (LIC). HIC includes North America, Europe, and Pacific OECD countries; MIC cover centrally planned Asia,1 the previous land and Latin America; and LIC comprises Africa, the center East, South Asia, and non-OECD Pacific. We construct the mitigation pathways supported the concept of contraction and convergence . Within the case of three °C climate sensitivity, HIC and MIC roughly halve their emissions compared to the baseline by 2050, whereas LIC reduces emission by 35% compared to the baseline. By 2060 we assume a worldwide cap, and also the emissions are allocated among regions within the most cost-effective way.
The diffusion of technologies is restricted in order that no technology can increase or decrease its market share by quite 20% in 10 years in a very specific sector like electricity or centralized heat production; nor can the installed capacity for every technology increase by quite 30% during a year. Also, the contribution from variable resources – wind and solar PV – is restricted to twenty of the electricity supply for one source and 30% of the electricity supply regarding the combined output of wind and solar PV thanks to grid integration and balancing issues. For technologies that are considered immature, the investment costs decline linearly over a 50 year period and reach the mature levels indicated in Annex A.
2.2. Performance and value of technologies
One of the most determinants of whether atomic energy could reduce climate mitigation costs is undoubtedly the investment cost of atomic power. In contrast to other energy technologies, the value of atomic energy has increased over time , . for instance, the investment cost within the US has risen from but 2000 US$(2010)/kW within the 70s to shut to 6000 US$(2010)/kW today . the value increase has mainly two reasons — increased safety standards that have led to higher complexity similarly as fewer investments, which successively have led to the loss of data within the nuclear industry . the little number of recent investments makes estimating the long run cost of atomic power difficult. This increasing trend in cost can probably be reversed by better standardization of atomic energy plants, which might enable production and ease the licensing process . On the opposite hand, the requirement for enhanced safety measures thanks to risks perceived by the general public in light of the recent Fukushima accident and construction delays may cause nuclear energy plants to become yet dearer. The latter has been the case for the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland, where final cost estimates have almost tripled from ca 2800 to ca 7200 US$(2010)/kW . whether or not cost reduction potential will be realized fully it’s unlikely that the investment cost of atomic energy will decline to the amount of the 70s because of increased complexity and safety measures. Mature investment cost estimates in recent model studies range from 2050 to 8850 US$(2010) , , , , . during this study, we chose 5000 US$(2010) for LWRs and 6000 US$(2010) for FBRs because the mature investment cost level by 2050 within the standard run. it’s important to notice, however, that it’s not the investment cost in itself that determines the role of nuclear within the system but rather the reference to costs of other technologies. Enrichment, reprocessing, waste management, and other related costs were modeled separately. For more detailed info see Ref. . Besides, we assume, in scenarios where nuclear energy can expand, that there’ll be social acceptance of nuclear expansion likewise as political support for atomic power employment in both developed and developing countries.
Since different nuclear technologies are in various development phases, they’re allowed to enter the portfolio as available options at different times. LWR technology, which is currently employed at an oversized scale, is offered throughout the entire modeling period. MOX fuel may be introduced in 2020 for giant scale deployment. Although this technology already exists on a billboard scale, it’s only utilized in countries with highly advanced nuclear sectors. Many existing LWRs can burn MOX fuel though if licensed. Its use is therefore passionate about economics and political decisions. Given the event state of FBRs, this reactor design is allowed within the model ranging from 2030. Although some FBRs are currently operational, the technology must be improved significantly before it are often applied on an oversized scale. Uranium resources are modeled in 5 grades supported the world Energy Assessment . The fifth grade corresponds to uranium from non-conventional sources like seawater (Annex B).
Renewable are often seen as an alternate to nuclear energy during a temperature change mitigation context, and rapid cost reductions have taken place in recent years. Yet the mature cost level of those technologies is uncertain thanks to various limitations and challenges. Wind and solar PV face challenges caused by their variable nature also as from often being located off from demand and thus requiring grid improvements. Large uncertainties exist about the provision of biomass that may be grown and used sustainably. In our study, we explore a spread from 100 to 300 EJ of biomass available p.a. with a customary level of 200 EJ/yr.
Similar to FBRs, Concentrated solar energy (CSP) could be a technology that also requires further improvements to become competitive. It also needs favorable atmospheric conditions to function and may therefore be implemented in an exceedingly way more restricted area than solar PV. On the opposite hand, CSP is equipped with energy storage, thereby enabling power production during the night, which ends up during a significantly higher capacity factor than solar PV are able to do. In our model, we’ve coupled CSP with a 12–15 h thermal storage capacity supported a two-tank molten salt system . to require into consideration the more demanding nature of CSP in terms of radiation, which limits the possible locations, and its variable nature, furthermore because the limitations of storage, the share of CSP in electricity production, was limited to 30% in HIC and MIC and 50% in LIC. a world grid could perhaps remove those limitations  but is unlikely to materialize because of political disincentives and security risks. whether or not realized, this sort of grid would require large amounts of investments that are obsessed on the precise setup and so not easily captured with our model.
CCS is an abatement technology which will be utilized in cycles utilizing either fossil fuels or biomass, but relatively large point sources of CO2 are required. The infrastructure and regulations for capturing carbon don’t seem to be yet in situ, and thus the ultimate cost is unclear . within the model, we assume that 95% of the generated CO2 may be captured. Furthermore, the efficiency of an influence plant is reduced by 10 percentage points , and a value for the transport and storage of the captured CO2 within the amount of 10 US$(2010) per ton of CO2 is added. Bioenergy may be used with CCS when co-fired with coal; thus biomass with CCS is restricted to twenty of the coal that’s used with CCS. This assumption is created thanks to many technical difficulties connected to the transport and capture of CO2 from purely biomass burning plants. within the industrial sector, CCS can only be used at large industrial plants, meaning that no over 50% of commercial heat production may be not to mention CCS. For similar reasons, CCS use in residential-commercial heat production is proscribed to 70%. the amount of the storage capacity of CO2 is assumed in our baseline to be 2000 GtCO2, which is that the likely minimal technical potential of storage capacity level in geological formations estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on CCS . this can be our baseline assumption thanks to various restrictions. Some sites won’t be economically attractive or don’t seem to be usable under current conditions like being a part of a nature reserve. Additionally, like nuclear energy, CCS faces problems within the sitting of depositories because of negative popular opinion. Therefore it’s unlikely that the technical potential are going to be fully realized.
Although gas and coal resources are better explored than many other resources, the uncertainty in extraction cost increases as we move to less accessible and unconventional deposits. We model 2 grades of coal and gas and three grades of oil resources supported extraction costs to higher describe the change in resource costs. More info may be found in Annex B.
To better compare the various electricity sources, we calculate the Levelized cost of electricity for the year 2070 from standard model runs, at which point all technologies have reached maturity. The Levelized cost includes investment, fuel, operation and maintenance, and waste disposal costs (Fig. 1). it’s interesting to notice that nuclear technologies don’t seem to be the cheapest; instead, wind and coal with CCS are chosen first on cost bases.
Fig. 1. Mature Levelized cost of electricity for various sources in 2070 (excluding CO2 tax and scarcity rents of non-renewable sources and carbon storage) supported standard model runs.
To analyze the contribution of nuclear to temperature change mitigation we glance at three nuclear scenarios. The first, called advanced nuclear, allows the employment of FBRs further as LWRs and sets no restrictions to nuclear expansion or technology use apart from the boundaries mentioned within the previous section. The second scenario called conventional nuclear assumes that only technologies that are commercially available today are employed in the longer term. Thus FBRs aren’t permitted to enter the energy mix, and uranium extraction from alternative sources like seawater isn’t allowed, diminishing the resource base for producing nuclear energy. The third scenario called no nuclear assumes that because of various challenges associated with nuclear energy, a world phase-out occurs. No new reactors are going to be built after 2020, and every one existing reactors are going to be retired by 2040. Also, the baseline, i.e. the scenario without carbon constraint but otherwise unchanged, was solved for every scenario to assess the mitigation cost.
To further investigate the role of nuclear we varied different parameters within the model as shown in Table 1. the five hundred variation was chosen to capture the high uncertainty of the longer term outcomes of chosen parameters (also described in section 2.2.). Choosing a coffee variability wouldn’t capture the uncertainty and thus lead to solutions the same as our standard runs. Also, widely different estimates of future costs of these parameters are given within the literature from source to source but also from year to year (IEA, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), US Energy Information Administration, etc.). Therefore there seems to be no commonly accepted range of possible values for these parameters. just one parameter was varied at a time, and also the others were kept at the constant level that we visit as standard. Each parameter variation was tested all told three nuclear scenarios. Also, the baseline was solved for every variation with the identical parameter values. We define abatement cost because the difference within the net present value of the full energy systems cost between a carbon-constrained scenario and also the baseline. Not included during this analysis are many externalities like pollution caused by coal power plants or policies to support renewable electricity generation that within the universe are likely to affect the event of the energy system additionally to the value. Therefore the baseline case mustn’t be seen as a prediction of the longer term energy system without a carbon price but rather because the cost-optimal solution to the given constraints.
The allowable amount of emissions to take care of the world average surface warming under 2 °C depends on climate sensitivity. With higher climate sensitivity faster cuts in GHG emissions are needed. We test two different carbon emissions pathways resembling climate sensitivities of two °C and three °C warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2 from the pre-industrial level. The emission trajectories are supported a GET version with an easy integrated climate model . Although the IPCC gives a probable range for climate sensitivity of 1.5–4.5 °C per doubling of atmospheric CO2, a climate sensitivity above 3 °C per doubling of atmospheric CO2 isn’t explored because to achieve the two °C targets, during this case, would require an enormous and unlikely emission reduction compared to the baseline before 2050. Also to satisfy a 2° target with very high climate sensitivities, Bio Energy with CCS (BECCS) must probably be applied at an oversized scale , which is outside the scope of this study. Global emission trajectories cherish different sensitivities are shown in Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Global CO2 emission trajectories for meeting the two °C targets with different climate sensitivities.
In addition to uncertainties involved in future developments of energy technologies discussed within the previous section, the longer term demand is basically unpredictable. it’s possible that improvements in energy efficiency will occur much faster than expected or that consumption will increase faster than anticipated. to research how this might affect the potential role of nuclear we vary the demand as shown in Table 1.
The limits on the expansion rate of technologies and market share changes were also varied but didn’t produce significant changes in our results and were therefore omitted from further analysis.
2.4. Expected analysis
To give an estimate of the value reduction enabled by atomic power we perform an expected analysis examining five different levels of carbon storage capacity comparable to 0, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 GtCO2 in addition because the cost of CCS, CSP, and nuclear technologies comparable to 50%, 75%, 100%, 125% and 150% of the quality cost level. Calculated altogether three nuclear scenarios, the expected cost is defined because the average abatement cost of all possible combinations of those variables.
2.5. Monte Carlo analysis
To investigate the robustness of our results we perform a Monte Carlo analysis, during which we solve the model for an outsized set of randomized key parameters presented in Table 1 for emissions trajectories appreciate two different climate sensitivities — 2 °C and three °C warming per atmospheric CO2 doubling from the pre-industrial level. We created 1000 sets of those parameters and used them in solving all scenarios. This allowed us to keep up comparability among scenario results. Since uncertainties for all parameters are substantial, we used a homogenous distribution ranging between 0.5 and 1.5 times the initial parameter value for all varied parameters with exceptions as follows. CCS storage capacity was varied between 0 and 4000 G tonnes of CO2 to incorporate the case during which CCS won’t enter the energy system thanks to political or technical reasons. the most potential share of CSP in electricity production was also varied, between 15 and 45% for HIC and MIC and between 25 and 75% for LIC with uniform distribution. The demand was varied among three trajectories per scenario analysis of parameter variations. For all cases, the corresponding baseline scenario was also solved to permit a good comparison of mitigation costs.
3. Results and discussion
We present here and within the following sections the results for climate sensitivity of three °C per doubling of atmospheric CO2 if not stated otherwise. In our standard model runs electricity is usually produced from coal when no carbon constraint is specified (Fig. 3). Additionally, hydropower is expanded to its maximum potential. nuclear energy is used on a awfully small scale — 1% of the electricity supply in 2070. We here and afterward present the typical of the amount 2060–2080 as 2070 for easier reference. In carbon-constrained scenarios, wind generation is expanded additionally to hydropower, but this development is proscribed because of our exogenous constraint on variable resources.
Fig. 3. Electricity supply in standard scenarios with 3 °C climate sensitivity per doubling of atmospheric CO2.
When the nuclear expansion is allowed, the share of nuclear electricity within the supply is considerable, reaching slightly quite one third by 2070. while FBRs are often built ranging from 2030, they are doing not become economically competitive before 2050. This is often partially thanks to the provision of other lower-cost mitigation options in earlier periods like wind and hydro and emissions trajectories that yield more emissions in earlier periods, but also because the time-dependent investment costs decline. Within the case of a phase-out of atomic energy, the role of alternative energy is greatly enhanced. It reaches 32% of the whole electricity supply by 2070 within the no nuclear scenario compared to only 5% within the advanced nuclear scenario.
Although the share of atomic energy in electricity production is comparable in both nuclear scenarios in 2070, they develop very differently within the latter a part of the century. within the case of limited technology options and resources, within the conventional nuclear scenario, atomic energy is gradually phased out and replaced by solar energy as uranium resources are depleted by the tip of the century. Within the advanced nuclear scenario, the expansion will continue for both LWR and FBR technologies. this implies that the quantity of reactors will roughly grow tenfold compared to today’s level if future reactors are assumed to own one GWe capacity on the average. an analogous expansion is additionally observed by Vaillancourt et al. , who assessed the penetration level of atomic power with the World-TIMES model. Their model, however, finds a big expansion of atomic power within the baseline as hostile the near phase-out in our model thanks to exogenous assumptions that set a lower limit to nuclear penetration. an inclination for expansion under CO2 emission constraints is additionally observed by Mori , Tavoni and van der Zwaan , and therefore the EMF 27 study .
In the no nuclear scenario the discounted mitigation cost over the full study period is 9 trillion US$(2010). This abatement cost is reduced by 20% of all nuclear technologies are allowed to expand and by 10% if only current technologies are available. These results are in line with the EMF27 study that found atomic power can reduce climate mitigation costs up to 30% . In light of our Levelized analysis (Fig. 1), it should seem surprising that atomic energy can reduce climate mitigation costs, but it’s important to recollect that the Lovelies costs given don’t include all systemic effects. Although wind generation is cheaper than atomic power, it’s constrained because of its variable nature and may only provide 20% of the electricity supply. Coal power with CCS has also a lower Lovelies cost but is subject to several limitations. First of all the carbon storage capacity is restricted, which sets also a limit to CCS use. Besides, CCS isn’t a zero-emissions technology, as only 95% of the produced CO2 is captured. because the emissions budget decreases over time, the CO2 price increases, raising, in turn, the Lovelies cost of coal power with CCS. Finally, resource scarcity plays a task. because the cheapest resources are used first, the model turns to dearer resources within the partner of the century. this is often true for both nuclear and coal power, but since fuel cost represents a far greater fraction of the Lovelies cost of electricity from coal, it’s more greatly affected. to check the importance of the capture ratio we ran our model with 100% capture efficiency. The result was a postponement by a decade of the phase-out of CCS within the electricity sector. We, therefore, conclude that the opposite two factors play a far more important role within the Lovelies cost development of coal with CCS.
Our analysis is subject to many limitations. First, we glance at the energy system in isolation from other parts of the world economy; therefore the consequences of changes in other sectors leading to price, resource availability, or demand changes don’t seem to be considered. De Cian, Carrara, and Tavoni show that phasing out atomic energy may result in higher R&D investments for renewable and their higher deployment than in cases of continued use of atomic energy. As a result, the prices of renewable could also be reduced, offsetting a number of the advantages of keeping nuclear within the portfolio . Furthermore, the energy system is represented in a very highly stylized manner that omits the increased requirements upon electricity grids resulting from an increased share of renewable that’s likely to be located farther from demand and more dispersed than current production units or caused by the big unit size of nuclear energy plants. Nor can we account for increased balancing costs. Including these costs can make nuclear more competitive in keeping with a study by the energy Agency (NEA)  or not have a big effect for variable electricity penetration up to 25% . Finally, weighing the risks of atomic energy against its benefits and providing a full analytic thinking is beyond the scope of this paper.
4.1. Sensitivity analysis
We analyze the sensitivity of our main result — i.e. that nuclear has the potential to scale back mitigation costs — concerning changes during a big selection of parameter values (see Table 1). we discover that carbon mitigation costs savings are possible if nuclear technologies are made available, but the dimensions of those savings varies considerably. The possible savings are highest when renewable technologies encourage be dearer and biomass availability not up to expected or when the value of nuclear is reduced. Also, the EMF27 study shows a major effect of biomass limitations upon temperature change mitigation costs . At the identical time, low-cost renewable or significantly dearer nuclear technologies will reduce the savings considerably, right down to a value reduction of only 4% enabled by nuclear technologies within the low-cost renewable case. The remaining small savings in cost are enabled by the utilization of existing atomic power plants until the tip of their lifetime of 40 years within the half of the century rather than a phase-out by 2040. Gas and coal cost and demand variation have a little effect on cost savings enabled by nuclear.
These patterns are observed in both nuclear scenarios (see Fig. 4, Fig. 5), although overall savings made possible by the supply of nuclear energy are more limited within the conventional nuclear scenario. Not employing FBRs and alternative uranium extraction technologies reduce the relative savings in climate mitigation costs between 6 and 18 percentage units. within the optimistic renewable case, FBRs and advanced uranium extraction methods provide little additional relative savings compared to the standard nuclear scenario (∼1 percentage unit).
Fig. 4. Relative savings in abatement cost for advanced nuclear scenario compared to the no nuclear scenario.
Fig. 5. Relative savings in abatement cost for the standard nuclear scenario compared to the no nuclear scenario.
In the case of low nuclear costs a big share of atomic power is achieved within the baseline: 14% of electricity supply by 2070, slightly beyond today’s share . In other cases, the share of nuclear within the baseline is minimal (∼1%). Most mitigation scenarios show a minimum of 20% of nuclear electricity in 2070. MOX fuel doesn’t become economically attractive in any scenario. the same result regarding MOX has been shown in other more detailed studies, e.g. Ref. .
4.2. Expected analysis
Our expected abatement cost calculation results are presented in Fig. 6. They show that the expected cost of mitigating temperature change is significantly higher in a very world without atomic power compared to a future with atomic power. Most of the price savings are provided by conventional nuclear technology, and developing advanced technologies like FBRs and alternative uranium extraction methods will lead to about 1 trillion US$(2010) expected savings at net present value.
Fig. 6. Standard and expected abatement cost for various scenarios in billions of US$(2010).
More interestingly the price savings enabled by atomic energy are about 15 percentage units greater within the expected analysis than in our base result. the rationale behind this is often the asymmetrical effect of the pessimistic and optimistic costs of renewable and nuclear technologies on mitigation costs which will be also seen in Fig. 4, Fig. 5. If the portfolio of low emitting technologies is incredibly limited, meaning that CSP or CCS becomes expensive, or there’s limited carbon storage potential along with a nuclear phase-out, the mitigation cost are very high. If we allow another large-scale power source to enter the electricity supply, this risk of high cost is significantly reduced, because the probability that every one three options have a high cost is under the probability that only two options (renewable and CCS) have a high cost. this can be not specific to nuclear power; adding technology to the mitigation portfolio given uncertain prospects will reduce the expected cost of climate mitigation.
4.3. Monte Carlo analysis
Our results from the town analysis confirm the insights from the scenario analysis. atomic power enables mitigation cost reduction all told cases, but these relative reductions are more restricted within the conventional nuclear case (Fig. 7). As will be seen, the distribution of cost savings enabled by atomic energy is more dispersed within the case of the advanced nuclear scenario, peaking around 20% and with almost one-tenth of runs providing relative savings over 50%. within the case of the traditional nuclear scenario, the distribution is far more skewed towards lower values. The relative savings are but 10% in one-third of the cases within the conventional nuclear scenario compared to only one-seventh within the advanced nuclear scenario. In cases during which many low emitting technologies sway be expensive or limited by other constraints, atomic energy plays a crucial role. Without FBRs and alternative uranium extraction methods, however, nuclear expansion is curtailed by uranium resource scarcity, and so conventional nuclear technologies can give more limited benefits. This result shows that although investing in advanced nuclear technologies like FBRs and advanced uranium extraction methods might not be very attractive from an expected cost point of view during which the expected cost was reduced only an extra 10 percentage units, it may be a crucial risk hedging strategy to avoid the chance of very high mitigation costs.
Fig. 7. Relative savings compared to the no nuclear scenario within the case of three °C climate sensitivity per doubling of atmospheric CO2.
4.4. The role of carbon storage capacity
To further analyze the role of carbon storage capacity in nuclear energy we calculate the abatement cost for the nuclear scenarios combined with abundant or no storage availability. The results are presented in Fig. 8, showing that atomic power can almost halve the abatement costs if there’s no carbon storage available but has essentially no effect if storage capacity is abundant. almost like expected analysis, having nuclear reduces the chance of getting to show to very high-cost technologies like renewables with storage and backup electricity-generating technologies and thus lowers the price when carbon storage capacity is scarce. within the case of abundant storage capacity, CCS as a lower cost technology replaces much of nuclear, and thus the supply of nuclear technologies isn’t significant. atiny low cost reduction within the nuclear scenarios is achieved by operating existing reactors until the tip of their economic lifetime of 40 years rather than phasing them out by 2040 and also by expanding atomic power ranging from 2090 when the emission constraint is stringent. These results also are confirmed by Monte Carlo analysis.
Fig. 8. Abatement cost for various carbon storage capacities and scenarios.
4.5. Effects of two °C climate sensitivity per atmospheric CO2 doubling
We also investigate the role of nuclear under the belief of low climate sensitivity (2 °C per doubling of atmospheric CO2). we discover that the reduction in mitigation cost is around 20% for both 2 °C and three °C climate sensitivities in our base result when all nuclear technologies are available. However, since the mitigation cost with 2 °C sensitivity per doubling of CO2 is about one-third of that with 3 °C sensitivity, the savings in absolute numbers are much lower. town analysis shows a greater ability of atomic energy to lower the climate mitigation cost percentage-wise than within the 3 °C sensitivity case, with the distribution of cost reduction peaking at around 30% for the advanced nuclear scenario and 20% for the standard nuclear scenario. the typical savings in absolute numbers nevertheless drop from 3.4 trillion US$(2010) to 0.8 trillion US$(2010).
We have analyzed the role and economics of atomic power in meeting a world 2 °C temperature target. The analysis was performed with a cost-minimizing systems engineering model of the worldwide energy system called GET. We conclude that:
•Expanding currently commercially available nuclear technologies leads to 10% savings in climate mitigation costs in our base result. The savings reach 20% when advanced nuclear technologies like FBRs and alternative uranium extraction methods are available.
•However, taking under consideration the uncertainty of the price of the most mitigation technologies and carbon storage availability shows that allowing nuclear expansion reduces the expected carbon mitigation cost by 35% compared to a phase-out scenario if advanced technologies are available and 25% if only conventional technologies are available. Therefore developing atomic power will be seen as insurance against high climate mitigation costs.
•The cost savings of expanding advanced nuclear technologies rely upon other developments within the energy system. In an in depth Monte Carlo analysis, the savings range from 1 to 78% with median values of 25% when advanced technologies are available and 13% if conventional technology is employed compared to a phase-out of atomic energy.
•Building new nuclear energy plants isn’t a cheap option before 2040, being costlier than wind and hydro power and coal with CCS. Therefore most the price savings enabled by atomic power occur within the half of the century.
•Limiting available nuclear technologies to the currently used LWRs and standard uranium extraction methods decreases the relative savings in mitigation cost. the value savings are typically 10 percentage units lower if FBRs and alternative uranium extraction methods don’t seem to be available. However, the value benefits provided by the expansion of nuclear energy compared to a phase-out are never eliminated.
•The economic get pleasure from nuclear is extremely small when the carbon storage capacity is large and therefore the technology available but significant when CCS doesn’t become available at an outsized scale.
To decide whether to permit for a large-scale expansion of nuclear energy, the observed cost savings must be weighed against increased risks of accidental radiation releases from reactor operation, waste storage, and nuclear weapons proliferation. to create this decision economic further as non-economic factors should even be considered.
We would wish to thank Christian Azar, Kristian Lindgren, Niclas Mattson, and anonymous reviewers for his or her valuable advice and E.ON SE, Sweden for financing this research.