US/Mountain, 28 May - 2 June 2017
Economic appraisal of deployment schedules for high-level radioactive waste repositories
French Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission, CEA/DAS, Paris Saclay University,
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Received in final form: 30 June 2016
Accepted: 16 March 2017
Published online: 6 April 2017
The deep geological repository (DGR) is considered as the definitive management solution for high-level waste (HLW). Countries defined different DGR implementation schedules, depending on their national context and political choices. We raise the question of the economic grounds of such political decisions by providing an economic analysis of different DGR schedules. We investigate the optimal timing for DGR commissioning based on available Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) data (2013). Two scenarios are considered: (1) rescheduling the deployment of a DGR with the same initial operational period, and (2) rescheduling the deployment of a DGR with a shorter operational period, i.e. initial closure date. Given the long timescales of such projects, we also take into account the discounting effect. The first finding is that it appears more economically favorable to extend the interim storage than to dispose of the HLW immediately. Countries which chose “immediate” disposal are willing to accept higher costs to quickly solve the problem. Another interesting result is that there is an optimal solution with respect to the length of DGR operational period and the waste flow for disposal. Based on data provided by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), we find an optimal operating period of about 15 years with a flow of 2000 tHM/year.
© P.H.L. Doan et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.