Nuclear scenarios

Nuclear scenarios

As anticipated in the last post concerning my research, in the last weeks I focused on conceiving the nuclear exercise.

First of all, I carried out an extensive literature review concerning the present nuclear landscape and the prospects in the different countries. The nuclear scenario is rather polarized between OECD and non-OECD countries. The former feature the most numerous fleets, but most reactors are approaching the end of their operational life and governmental policies are in most cases against further nuclear development, whhile they only consider dedicated investments for the lifetime extension of existing reactors. The latter instead, apart from some regions which do not feature and do not intend to invest in nuclear, show higher momentum and more ambitious expansion plans, especially China, India, and Russia.

This coherent picture allows considering a limited set of scenarios in this exercise, which are five in total, i.e. four policy scenarios compatible with the Paris long-term target in addition to the benchmark no-policy Business-as-Usual (BAU) scenario. The policy scenarios are run imposing a uniform carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a temperature increase in 2100 with respect to the pre-industrial levels below 2°C with a likely chance.

One scenario (CTAX) is run without any other constraints, and in particular nuclear generation is freely optimized by the model in all regions.

On the opposite, one scenario (CTAX_global_phase-out) considers a nuclear phase-out in all regions of the world.

A more realistic scenario (CTAX_OECD_phase-out) applies the phase-out policy to the OECD countries only, while no constraints are applied to the non-OECD regions.

The last scenario (CTAX_OECD_switch-off) considers a more extreme situation where nuclear is immediately and completely abandoned in the OECD regions starting from 2020, while, again, no constraints are applied to the non-OECD regions.

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