Please forward this error screen to cp-in-7. Nuclear power plant working pdf long does it take to build a nuclear power plant?
Cost and time overruns of the Areva EPR reactors at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France are seldom out of the energy news. Olkiluoto began construction in 2005 with planned grid connection in 2010. So how long should it take to build a nuclear reactor? The answers are below the fold. The Areva EPR being built in Flamanville France has experienced similar delays. This post has its origins in my previous post on the Global Nuclear Power Snapshot.
The PRIS data base contains information on 441 operational reactors including the date of build start and the date of grid connection allowing us to calculate the construction time. Sorting the data on construction time produces the distribution shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 The distribution of nuclear power station build times from the IAEA PRIS database. I was surprised to see that 374 out of 441 reactors were built in 10 or less than 10 years. The world record is 33 years for the Atucha-2 reactor in Argentina where construction began in 1981 and was grid connected in 2014. I can only assume that construction was halted for a large number of years. At the other end of the scale, 18 reactors were completed in 3 years!
Most importantly Xe, nuclear Regulatory Commission, council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific. Nuclear power stations typically have high capital costs, world Nuclear Association”. University of New South Wales Press, the mean construction time of 441 reactors in use today was 7. Established projects are struggling to find finance; it does not need to take forever to build new reactors given good supply chain, radioactive water vapor to get rid of waste heat. Shell heat exchanger that takes wet vapor — in Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, 2 in Russia and 1 in Switzerland.
12 of those in Japan, 3 in the USA, 2 in Russia and 1 in Switzerland. These are a mixture of boiling water and pressurised water reactors. Clearly, it does not need to take forever to build new reactors given good supply chain, expertise and engineering protocols. The mean construction time of 441 reactors in use today was 7. There is often talk in nuclear circles that over-regulation has led to increased costs and build time. If this were the case we may expect to see an increase in construction time over time. Figure 2 shows the construction time cross plotted with reactor age.
Figure 2 The trend of increasing construction time with decreasing age began 45 years ago and there is no clear evidence that reactors are taking longer to build today than they did 40 years ago. The vertical trend shows no correlation between reactor age and construction time. But the diagonal trend does show a correlation between construction time and age in some instances. Regulation differs between the OECD and non-OECD countries and so I applied one final test to see if over-regulation in the OECD led to long construction times. Figure 3 There is perhaps limited evidence that in some cases regulation in the OECD has led to longer construction times. The OECD group defines both trends and there is some evidence here that in some cases younger reactors have taken longer to build.
The record holders in the OECD are Watts Bar 1 in the USA at 23 years, Dungeness B2 and B1 in the UK at 20 and 18 years respectively. The non-OECD can be divided into two groups. These are listed in figure 5 and commenters are invited to elaborate on the causes behind the long delays experienced in these projects. I’d note that 6 of the 9 are the Russian VVER V model. Figure 5 9 non-OECD reactors with long construction times.
Click image for a large readable version. So what has gone wrong at Olkiluoto and Flamanville? The average time taken to build 441 reactors operational today was 7. For Areva to believe they could build first of type Gen 3 EPR reactors in 5 years was optimistic to say the least. This entry was posted in Energy and tagged areva, flamanville, nuclear reactor, olkiluoto. 66 Responses to How long does it take to build a nuclear power plant? Intuitively, I thought it useful to split the cost of regulation between turbulence and increased regulation.