[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-proprietary input data, generated by the authors, that was used as the basis of the life-cycle analysis performed in "Life-cycle impacts from novel thorium uranium-fuelled nuclear energy systems". Data contained in a zip file that contains various Microsoft Excel spreadsheets of input processes. To reproduce the calculations that are contained in "Life-cycle impacts from novel thorium uranium-fuelled nuclear energy systems", the dataset would need to be imported into appropriate life-cycle analysis software (e.g. GaBi) and coupled to processes contained in the proprietary EcoInvent v2.2 database.
Energy Conversion and Management 09/2015; 101. DOI:10.1016/j.enconman.2015.04.041 · 4.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ettore F. Bompard received his Master and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, Italy. In May 1997 he joined the Politecnico di Torino, Department of Electrical Engineering (presently Department of Energy), where he is Professor of Power Systems; in 1999 and 2000, he has been Visiting Assistant Professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US), with a Fulbright scholarship for research and lecturing. He has been Research Associate at the Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth of the (Italian) National Research Council in Moncalieri, Italy. He has been the scientific coordinator of many research projects in the framework of the Italian System Research on Power Systems, EU FP7, Next Generation Infrastructure (NL) and NATO projects. He served in many scientific advisory boards in Europe, China and Russia. He is Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He is presently Power Systems and Critical Infrastructures Senior Scientist at the Smart Electricity Systems group of the Institute for Energy and Transport of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission in Petten (NL).His research interests include electricity markets analysis and simulation, smart grids design and modelling, power system vulnerability assessment and security management. He co-authored more than 100 publications and book chapters on various topics related to the power systems analysis and modelling.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change 07/2015; 96:327-333. DOI:10.1016/j.techfore.2014.07.006 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to study the global uranium market, a dynamic model for the period 1990–2050 has been developed. It incorporates globally aggregated stocks and flows of uranium moving through the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as a price formation mechanism. Analysis illustrates some of the key features of the market for this commodity, including the role that time lags play in the formation of price volatility. Specific demand reduction and substitution strategies and technologies are explored, and potential external shocks are simulated to investigate the effect on price and how the uranium mining industry responds. Sensitivity analysis of key model parameters indicates that the time constant related to the formation of traders׳ expectations of future market prices embedded in the proposed price discovery mechanism has a strong influence on both the amplitude and frequency of price peaks. Finally, our analysis leads us to believe that the existing uranium resource base will be sufficient to satisfy demand well into the second half of the 21st century.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrogen represents a valuable energy carrier. It has the potential to contribute strategically to future energy requirements in an environmentally responsible manner when produced using new low-emission production technology. It is important that hydrogen production, conversion and storage technologies can reach techno-economically and environmentally attractive performance levels. Within such a context, natural gas-hydrogen synergies and assorted technology options in a carbon-constrained future are of central importance. The research study described aims at identifying the potential synergies between hydrogen and the changing natural gas industry within the context of an operationally reliable, economically viable and environmentally compliant global energy system.
Energy 02/2015; 168(1):1-14. DOI:10.1680/ener.14.00018 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paper describes current policy issues relating to a range of nuclear research reactors. The benefits of, and the need for, such reactors are described including in areas such as medicine and energy research. Emphasis is given to the potential risks in the areas of security and non-proliferation. Assessment is made of future technology policy options for the United Kingdom and the opportunity of a developing a new highly proliferation resistant reactor is explored. The possibility of collaborating with another country in such an endeavour is considered.
Progress in Nuclear Energy 11/2014; 77:201–213. DOI:10.1016/j.pnucene.2014.05.007 · 1.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Superconductor Science and Technology. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. It will be under embargo for 12 months from the date of publication. The Version of Record will be available online at http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-2048.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The United Kingdom has twice suffered major disruptions as a result of fuel panics, first in September 2000, coincident with a wave of fuel protests, and, more recently, in March 2012, following political warnings of a possible future supply chain disruption. In each case, the disruption and economic consequences were serious. In this paper, we demonstrate that agent-based techniques offer a powerful framework for simulation of supply chains and consumers under conditions of transient demand. In the case of fuel panic crisis, we show that even a highly abstract model can reproduce a range of transient phenomena seen in the real world and present a set of practical recommendations for policymakers faced with panic buying.
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems 08/2014; 15(4):1499-1509. DOI:10.1109/TITS.2014.2302358 · 2.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Choosing a suitable site for a nuclear power station requires the consideration and balancing of several factors. Some 'physical' site characteristics, such as the local climate and the potential for seismic activity, will be generic to all reactors designs, while others, such as the availability of cooling water, the area of land required and geological conditions capable of sustaining the weight of the reactor and other buildings will to an extent be dependent on the particular design of reactor chosen (or alternatively the reactor design chosen may to an extent be dependent on the characteristics of an available site). However, one particularly interesting tension is a human and demographic one. On the one hand it is beneficial to place nuclear stations close to centres of population, to reduce transmission losses and other costs (including to the local environment) of transporting electricity over large distances from generator to consumer. On the other it is advantageous to place nuclear stations some distance away from such population centres in order to minimise the potential human consequences of a major release of radioactive materials in the (extremely unlikely) event of a major nuclear accident, not only in terms of direct exposure but also concerning the management of emergency planning, notably evacuation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we have sought to determine the advantages, disadvantages, and viability of open cycle thorium–uranium-fuelled (Th–U-fuelled) nuclear energy systems. This has been done by assessing three such systems, each of which requires uranium enriched to ∼20% 235U, in comparison to a reference uranium-fuelled (U-fuelled) system over various performance indicators, spanning material flows, waste composition, economics, and proliferation resistance. The values of these indicators were determined using the UK National Nuclear Laboratory’s fuel cycle modelling code ORION. This code required the results of lattice-physics calculations to model the neutronics of each nuclear energy system, and these were obtained using various nuclear reactor physics codes and burn-up routines. In summary, all three Th–U-fuelled nuclear energy systems required more separative work capacity than the equivalent benchmark U-fuelled system, with larger levelised fuel cycle costs and larger levelised cost of electricity. Although a reduction of ∼6% in the required uranium ore per kWh was seen for one of the Th–U-fuelled systems compared to the reference U-fuelled system, the other two Th–U-fuelled systems required more uranium ore per kWh than the reference. Negligible advantages and disadvantages were observed for the amount and the properties of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) generated by the systems considered. Two of the Th–U-fuelled systems showed some benefit in terms of proliferation resistance of the SNF generated. Overall, it appears that there is little merit in incorporating thorium into nuclear energy systems operating with open nuclear fuel cycles.
Annals of Nuclear Energy 03/2014; 69:314–330. DOI:10.1016/j.anucene.2014.01.042 · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As we enter the second century of superconductivity, helium still prevails as the cryogenic coolant of choice. What does the future of helium hold? What can be done to avoid the squandering of this precious resource? In our presentation, we will discuss the use of cryogenic hydrogen originated from renewable and low-CO2 emission sources. We suggest that 20 K of liquid hydrogen can ultimately displace helium as an indirect coolant in a range of superconducting electromagnetic devices. As is already well documented, superconductors have much potential underpinning the future developments in transportation, energy supply/storage and also in medical applications. Although superconductors that can operate at liquid hydrogen temperatures, such as MgB2 and YBa2Cu3O7, are not yet truly commercially available, research indicates that these will be feasible in the near future.
Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism 02/2014; 28(2). DOI:10.1007/s10948-014-2660-7 · 0.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: •Electricity smart and super grids could undermine, rather than reinforce, one another.•Complexities shaping the future grid are more than those from within the grid itself.•The conceptual framework for assessing emerging electricity systems must shift.•Electricity policy makers and managers must take a holistic and complexity-based view.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change 01/2014; · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To advance current knowledge of the uranium market, a system dynamics
model of the nuclear fuel cycle for the time period 1988 to 2048 has been developed. The proposed framework of analysis illustrates some of the key features of the market for this commodity, including the role that time lags play in the formation of price volatility. Various demand reduction and substitution strategies and technologies are explored, and potential external shocks are simulated to investigate how price and the associated industry respond. Sensitivity analysis performed by considering key model parameters indicates that the time constant related to the formation of traders’ expectations of future market prices embedded in the proposed price discovery mechanism has a strong influence on both the amplitude and frequency of price peaks. One particularly interesting and timely scenario simulated is the possibility of the ending of the “Megatons to Megawatts” program, in which the USA agreed to buy down-blended uranium from former Soviet nuclear warheads for use in power production. This agreement has not been formally renewed and we find that in the absence of new substitute sources this could cause a significant rise in uranium prices. Finally, our analysis leads us to believe that uranium resource scarcity will not pose any significant challenges until the second half of the twenty first century at the earliest, even if high uranium demand projections are realized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Helium plays a central role in superconductivity. Despite breakthroughs in high-temperature superconducting materials, helium remains the coolant of choice. Against this there is concern about helium shortages. Global geological helium reserves are estimated to be approximately 8 million tons and are mainly in the U.S., Qatar, Algeria, and Russia. Annual helium production from natural gas runs at approximately 30 000 tons and is distributed across a few players, both public and private: the U.S. government, Air Liquide, Air Products, Linde Group, Matheson, Messer, and Praxair. Currently, the natural gas industry focuses insufficiently on the helium that remains blended throughout the gas supply chain until it is “vented” upon combustion. This constrains new supply development. These factors combine to create waves of market anxiety. Consideration of demand reveals a diversity of government, public, and private buyers each of whom perceives their needs, and how much they are willing to pay, differently. For more than 100 years, researchers in low-temperature physics and especially superconductivity have been dependent on liquid helium supply. Currently the cryogenics and super-conductivity users consume ~ 29% of the global helium supply and 3/4 of that is taken by the magnetic resonance imaging/nuclear magnetic resonance market. These users are already responding to helium price increases by developing liquid cryogen-free technologies to gain independence from the helium market. The purpose of this article is to explore options facing the global helium industry and helium users in an attempt to answer the question: what is the future of helium and how would that influence the cryogenic and superconductivity market? We consider the future options for current users such as: discontinuing helium-related activities; continuing to pay higher helium prices; running expensive onsite storage/reliquefaction helium systems; deploying costly cryogen-free low-te- perature installation; influencing policy on the global industry extracting and distributing helium from natural gas or developing new, disruptive technologies that may reduce helium demand.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential for countries that currently have a nominal nuclear energy infrastructure to adopt thorium-uraniumfuelled nuclear energy systems, using a once-through 'open' nuclear fuel cycle, has been suggested by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This review paper highlights generation II, III and III1 nuclear energy technologies that could potentially adopt an open thorium-uranium fuel cycle and qualitatively highlights the main differences between the open thorium-uranium and open uranium fuel cycles.
Energy 05/2013; 166(2):74-81. DOI:10.1680/ener.13.00003 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A comprehensive Net Present Value (NPV) model has been developed to demonstrate the economic advantages of process safety and risk reduction investments on Pd/Au-based membrane reactors. In particular, the economic viability of Pd/Au-based membrane reactor modules incorporated into Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plants is evaluated within the aforementioned framework by pro-actively following sound process safety design principles. Sources of irreducible uncertainty (market, technological, operational) as well as safety risk are explicitly recognized, such as the Pd/Au prices, membrane life-time and loss in the power plant capacity factor due to possible accidents. The effect of the above uncertainty drivers on the membrane module cost along with production disruption and associated revenue losses is elucidated using Monte-Carlo simulation techniques that enable the propagation of the above uncertain inputs through the NPV-model, and therefore, generate a more realistic distribution of the process system's value rather than a single-point/estimate that overlooks these uncertainties. Pre-investment on risk reducing measures, such as spare safety relief systems (cautionary redundancy) for membrane reactor modules operating at high pressures (e.g. 50 atm), is shown to be economically more attractive than cases where analogous safety measures are not implemented. Since accidents and possibly catastrophic events do happen in an uncertain world, additional investment on safety measures could ensure a safer and more profitable operation of the process system under consideration giving credence to the thesis that process safety investments may result in enhanced techno-economic performance in the presence of irreducible uncertainties.
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 05/2013; 26(3):468–477. DOI:10.1016/j.jlp.2012.07.012 · 1.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential for countries which currently have a nominal nuclear energy infrastructure to adopt thorium-uranium-fuelled nuclear energy systems, using a once-through “open” nuclear fuel cycle, has been presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This paper highlights Generation III and III+ nuclear energy technologies that could potentially adopt an open thorium-uranium fuel cycle and qualitatively highlights the main differences between the open thorium-uranium and open uranium fuel cycles. Furthermore, 28 indicators (and corresponding metrics) have been identified that could elucidate the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy systems which utilise thorium-uranium fuels in an open cycle. Such systems will be compared to an AREVA EPR operating with a once-through uranium fuel cycle. The indicators determined in this work have been drawn by grouping 270 indicators from eight previous studies of indicators associated with holistic and specific appraisals of the various life-cycle stages associated with the nuclear fuel cycle. The 28 indicators cover technoeconomic, environmental, waste, social, and proliferation-resistance themes and can be determined quantitatively, either by explicit determination or from an appropriate sensitivity analysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A detailed Net Present Value (NPV) model has been developed to evaluate the economic viability of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle – Membrane Reactor (IGCC-MR) power plant intended to provide an electricity generating and pure H2 (hydrogen) producing technology option with significantly lower air pollutants and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission levels, where the membrane reactor module design conforms also to basic inherent safety principles. Sources of irreducible uncertainty (market, regulatory and technological) are explicitly recognized, such as the power plant capacity factor, Pd (palladium) price, membrane life-time and CO2 prices (taxes) due to future regulatory action/policies. The effect of the above uncertainty drivers on the project’s/plant’s value is elucidated using a Monte-Carlo simulation technique that enables the propagation of the above uncertain inputs through the NPV-model, and therefore, generate a more realistic distribution of the plant’s value rather than a single-point/estimate that overlooks these uncertainties. The simulation results derived suggest that in the presence of (operational, economic and regulatory) uncertainties, inherently safe membrane reactor technology options integrated into IGCC plants could become economically viable even in the absence of any valuation being placed on human life or quality of life by considering only equipment damage and interruption of business/lost production cost. Comparatively more attractive NPV distribution profiles are obtained when concrete safety risk-reducing measures are taken into account through pre-investment in process safety (equipment) in a pro-active manner, giving further credence to the thesis that process safety investments may result in enhanced economic performance in the presence of irreducible uncertainties.