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Economic assessment of nuclear electricity from VVER-1000 reactor deployment in a developing country

Xoubi, Ned
Energy 2019 v.175 pp. 14-22
developing countries, discount rate, economic analysis, electricity, energy, engineering, issues and policy, nuclear power, Jordan
The decision of policymakers in developing countries to introduce nuclear power to their energy mix has been mainly conversant with the low generation cost of nuclear electricity and its competitiveness with alternative conventional and renewable sources. This paper presents an economic assessment of the levelized cost of VVER-1000 reactors deployment in a newcomer developing country, taking Jordan as an example. This paper applies recent engineering procurement and construction (EPC) cost; observed construction time and plant performance, cost escalation rates, owner cost, and real discount rates in developing countries to calculate the levelized cost of electricity. The obtained results estimate the levelized cost of nuclear generation to be between $212.32 and $277.56 per MWh. However, evidence and sensitivity analysis presented in this paper suggest that the levelized cost vary considerably and may endup being as high as $610.09 per MWh or as low as $144.81 per MWh, this is mainly due to its sensitivity to unpredictable input parameters, which in turn has significant policy implications.