Feasibility assessments of SMRs

Nuclear-21 performs technical-economic assessment of the role that Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) may fulfil in the future energy mix in countries and/or specific regions. Such technical-economic assessment studies being requested in the decisional process regarding the role for nuclear energy in more resilient energy system strategies embracing the decarbonisation objective and economic competitiveness for society at large and energy-intensive industries particularly.

We apply our extensive and comprehensive expertise of Nuclear-21’s team with a strong experience backing on virtually all facets of a nuclear energy programme, from early evaluation of energy systems and the role for nuclear energy, over the development programme including R&D en skills developments, to newbuild programme design and development until technology qualification, licensing and construction, operation until even decommissioning. Not to forget the fuel and fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. We are involved in international programmes regarding the harmonisation of regulatory framework and involved, as independent partner, in assessing SMR/AMR designs and proposals.

For more extensive technical-economic assessment, we can build upon our unique integrated NESSAT toolbox allowing to assess nuclear energy scenarios from ‘cradle-to-grave’.


Financial Risk Assessment of Used Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management Options

Assessment of financial risk exposure for, typically, a utility in light of possible changing technical-economic-regulatory changes regarding longer-term interim stored used fuel or changing geological disposal programmes (e.g. costs). Application of our NROM (Nuclear Real Options Model) methodology, part of the NESSAT Toolbox, allows to determine the value of cost/risk-optimising strategies with regard to spent fuel management and radioactive waste management.

This NROM methodology evaluates the optional value for different used fuel and radioactive waste management options to mitigate the uncertainties in the futures and therefore allows to minimise the overall financial risks exposure for such uncertain future changes.

One of our clients praised our methodology referring as “I’m making money with electrons, de-risk me of my neutrons” and, via financial real options valuing, was able to assess the options to de-risk his exposure to uncertain futures but also to evaluate the investment interest in new technologies to mitigate such risks in the future.

Harmonisation of the Regulatory Framework for newbuild nuclear installations

Very committed for the reflection on the harmonisation of the regulatory framework for the design and assessment of innovative nuclear systems (1), Nuclear 21 actively participates in the European Harmonise project, whose objectives are as follows:

  • To analyse preliminary safety assessments of innovative fission and fusion installations
  • To peruse the licensing needs for innovative nuclear installations
  • To examine risk-informed, performance-based (RIPB) approaches in licensing reviews and regulatory decision-making
  • To delimit harmonisation and standardisation on component assessments, methodologies, codes and standards
  • To learn from earlier experience in harmonisation efforts

The work includes the methodical study of IAEA Safety Standards for preliminary assessment of their applicability in advanced fission and fusion reactors in order to draft proposals which will reduce the technology dependence on the expressed requirements. Specifically for Nuclear 21: proposals will be formulated for of a risk-informed, performance-based process to support the licensing of these future plants.

Nuclear-21’s Perspectives report having been extensively consulted and a direct basis to those Harmonise project.

More information can be obtained from Mr. Gian-Luigi Fiorini.

Lecturing, Educational and Tutoring Activities

The recourse to nuclear energy is increasingly considered as a necessary or an unavoidable means to ensure both a transition towards a (GHG) CO2 free energy and the security and availability of electricity worldwide, in support to a sustainable development .The dissemination of nuclear power worldwide will not only require the construction of nuclear power plants and the supply of related nuclear fuel but also of a diversified and expert manpower.

Nuclear-21 underwrites the importance to train a new generation of experts and that such training should allow to give a broad picture and knowledge of the diverse issues and responsibilities facing “nuclear workers”.

In that respect, Nuclear 21 has delivered several lectures on technical as well as on legal and political aspects related to the use of nuclear energy. For instance, Nuclear-21 has contributed for instance to the the Nuclear Safeguards Master Program within the ENEN Safeguards training and education program (SaTE).

More information can be obtained from Ms. Caroline Jorant.

Scenario assessment for advanced nuclear energy systems, including Molten Salt Reactors, in Europe

Nuclear-21 is partner in the EC MIMOSA project (2022-2026) investigating and maturing the option for Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) to allow for the multi-recycling of spent nuclear fuel in Europe and thus reduce the spent fuel inventories while ensuring an affordable and responsible management of the nuclear materials. As Work Package 1 leader, we undertake the task to will devise and demonstrate risk-cost optimised integrated multi-recycling strategy of plutonium and uranium combining multi-recycling options in LWRs with recycling Pu and other transuranics today considered as waste in Cl MSRs using existing European infrastructures such as the Orano reprocessing plant in La Hague (France). We analyse country-per-country the possible nuclear energy system futures as well as integrated on EU-level with the gradual introduction of addition Light-Water Reactors (LWRs), Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) as well as fast reactors (FRs) and MSRs. All of these performing specific functions in an integrated nuclear energy system.

Secondly, we coordinate the roadmap development towards such futures i.e. including market prospects, technology and regulatory challenges towards such option.

We integrate hereby our NESSAT Toolbox and our extensive expertise and experience with different reactor technologies and fuel cycle options while keeping a clear technology-to-business focus aimed at presenting tangible scenarios deployable before 2050.

More information on this project can be obtained via Mr. Luc Van Den Durpel (scenarios/roadmap), Mr. Jim Kuijper (energy scenarios), Mr. Gian-Luigi Fiorini (safety) and Ms. Caroline Jorant (security/safeguards).


Due Diligence of Advanced Nuclear Reactor projects

Investors in nuclear newcomer countries tasked Nuclear-21 to perform due diligence process on advanced nuclear reactor development projects and the investment interest and risks as part of a nuclear programme development.

Nuclear-21 performed customised due diligence process(es) fitted to the specific investment decisional roadmap and presenting the value of these new advanced nuclear technologies in the investment portfolio of the investors.

Strategic Business Assessment of Fuel Cycles and Waste Management Strategies

An international fuel cycle service company outsources  the strategic business analysis to Nuclear-21 aimed at pro-actively assessing the technical-economic performance of their business proposals in the international market and timely decide on investments and/or commercial offers.

Accompany an AMR start-up in international partnering

An advanced reactor design start-up company tasked Nuclear-21 to broker international partnerships in light of a first financing round  allowing to perform more detailed engineering activities and aiming at de-risking the next financing round. Nuclear-21 successfully brokered the participation of  international companies in this start-up development programme.

Mapping and Assessing Business Strategies

An international operating reactor vendor and fuel cycle company tasked Nuclear-21 to analyse the policy, market and technical options strengthening their business strategy and to present a quantitative assessment of the main options as input to the strategic investment decisions they faced to deploy or not some of these options.

We performed an energy and nuclear energy policy review of various countries and detailed the policy and regulatory challenges that such new reactor and fuel cycle options might, or even better will, need to address. Part of the study also applied our NESSAT toolbox to support the assessment with quantitative analysis results.

Nuclear Medicine Radioisotope Business Assessment and Development

Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) requires reliable new radioisotopes supply chains. Our options assessment identified new avenues for radioisotope-sourcing, the competitive positioning options and partnership proposals towards business development.

Nuclear-21 performed the assessment using our IsoSup market analysis and simulation tool in order to analyse the market prospects and appropriate pricing options declining into investment and market development strategies.