|dc.description.abstract||The South African Government has prioritized industrialization and infrastructure investment to
ensure electricity supply and distribution to its people and industries. In order to realize this, the
Government intends to construct a fleet of nuclear power plants (NPPs) with a combined output
capacity of 9 600 MW, which is in alignment with the updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP
2016) for South Africa. However, before a procurement decision can be made, policymakers
must first address concerns regarding the economic viability of nuclear technology. A study is
therefore required to support the policy-making process.
This research proposes that a techno-economic analysis be performed in order to provide some
context to the debate about the cost of nuclear energy, i.e. nuclear power economics.
The methodology for this research starts with an initial survey of literature concerning nuclear
power economics and the key aspects by which it is influenced. Literature concerning various
nuclear power projects and the various nuclear power plant technologies was also considered.
The scope of this research is limited to Generation III and Generation III+ plants that are
currently operational, under construction, as well as approved nuclear projects that have valid
contracts in place. The Generation III and Generation III+ reactor technologies that were
considered for this research include the AP1000, EPR1600, Hualong One, APR1400, and the
VVER1200 reactor technologies. The research focuses on accumulating costing information to
be used for conducting economic simulations. The various designs were also evaluated for their
A mathematical model was developed to perform the economic evaluation. The model inputs for
the calculation of the Overnight Capital Cost (OCC) are explained and described. It is assumed
for this research that the nuclear component industry is fully integrated with components being
sourced internationally at competitive prices, and that nuclear power economics is sensitive to
variations in the labour cost as well as labour productivity. The emphasis is therefore on
determining the Overnight Capital Cost (OCC) for each project, were it to be constructed within
the South African economic landscape, but also to observe the influence of labour cost and
labour productivity on the OCC.
The different scenarios were prepared on a country-by-country basis and were developed by
reference to a common set of generic assumptions for each scenario, as described in the
modelling procedure (refer to § 4.1).
The Total Capital Investment Cost (TCIC) component of each project was transformed to a
localized (South African) OCC for projects, were it to be constructed within the South African
The results indicate that the average OCC for constructing one of the five technologies within
the South African economic landscape is $2 910/kW. The technology with the lowest localized
OCC is the APR1400 at a cost of $2 293/kW.
A sensitivity analysis will also indicate which assumed or determined variable will have the
greatest impact on the localized Overnight Capital Cost||en_US