Techno-Economic Assessment of Coal-Fired Power Unit Decarbonization Retrofit with KP-FHR Small Modular Reactors

April 2021

MDPI, Energies 2021, 14

Abstract

The near and mid-term future of the existing Polish coal-fired power fleet is uncertain. The longer-term operation of unabated coal power is incompatible with climate policy and is economically challenging because of the increasing price of CO2 emission allowances in the EU. The results of the techno-economic analysis presented in this paper indicate that the retrofit of existing coal-fired units, by means of replacing coal-fired boilers with small modular reactors, may be an interesting option for the Polish energy sector. It has been shown that the retrofit can reduce the costs in relation to greenfield investments by as much as 35%.

This analysis focuses on the repowering of a 460 MW supercritical coal-fired unit based on the Łagisza power plant design with high temperature small modular nuclear reactors based on the 320 MWth unit design by Kairos Power. The technical analyses did not show any major difficulties in integrating. The economic analyses show that the proposed retrofits can be economically justified, and, in this respect, they are more advantageous than greenfield investments. For the base economic scenario, the difference in NPV (Net Present Value) is more favorable for the retrofit by 556.9 M€ and the discounted payback period for this pathway is 10 years.

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This article references a study written by our Co-Founders and team members: Eric Ingersoll, Kirsty Gogan, John Herter:

The ETI Nuclear Cost Drivers Project Full Technical Report