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An Economics Method for Symbiotic Fusion-Fission Electricity Generation Systems

D. H. Berwald, J. A. Maniscalco

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 1 / Number 1 / January 1981 / Pages 128-136


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A self-consistent analytical methodology for evaluating the economic incentives for symbiotic electricity generation systems that consist of fusion breeder reactors and supported fission converter reactors is developed. This methodology employs a discounted cash flow analysis of breeder and converter direct operating costs and indirect capital costs, as well as a novel treatment of fissile inventory charges. Three figures of merit are emphasized:

  1. the levelized cost of electricity generated by the symbiotic system
  2. the levelized cost of fuel exchanged by the breeder and converter reactors in the system
  3. the equivalent cost of fuel to produce the same levelized electricity cost in an alternatively fueled converter reactor.
A fission converter operating on the current once through fuel cycle is a special case of the above. The method is equally applicable to symbiotic systems that utilize spallation accelerator breeder reactors.

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