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How Can Nuclear Construction Costs Be Reduced? Five Practical Tips to Improve Nuclear Project Economics

How Can Nuclear Construction Costs Be Reduced? Five Practical Tips to Improve Nuclear Project Economics, Arnaldo M. Angelini, PE; Apostolos (Tolis) Chatzisymeon; Sean T. Regan, CCP CEP EVP PSP FAACE, 2019 AACE International Transactions, OWN-3109, AACE International, Morgantown, WV, 2019

In the actual low carbon economy, there is a growing interest in the utilization of nuclear fission energy and in the long term of nuclear fusion energy. But It is a well-known fact that nuclear projects are facing rising costs and slipping schedules all around the world. It is imperative to improve nuclear project economics, particularly the high upfront capital cost of new build reactors. The managers first should identify the scope, and develop accurate estimates for costs to improve quality, shortens time taken for the project, and keeps the budget on track.

Every project starts with a cost estimate. The estimate is a decisive and critical part of whether a project is initiated after scope and schedule development. Dealing with uncertainty that arises from cost issues is an important aspect of risk management. This is a significant element impacting the overall cost of large projects. As the impacts of poor estimating are varied and serious, the process should be managed continuously appropriately all along the project life cycle. Moreover, the success of any project is linked to other aspects as well, including the accuracy of the analysis, the application of high-quality engineering design, a good supply chain, project controls and communication and coordination between the stakeholders.

This study looks at the possible ways to reduce construction costs through the application of total cost management best practices to high quality cost estimating processes, value engineering analysis, procurement and contracting strategies along with advanced project control strategies for each project discipline with the best project management practices and standards. As part of the Total Cost Management (TCM) Framework approach, cost estimating, value engineering, contracting and project control processes are essential ingredients for project success.