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How to Estimate Construction Costs of a Nuclear Power Plant?

How to Estimate Construction Costs of a Nuclear Power Plant?, Arnaldo M. Angelini, PE; Apostolos Chatzisymeon; Sean T. Regan, CCP CEP EVP PSP FAACE; Dr. Geoffrey Rothwell, 2021 AACE International Transactions, EST-3656, AACE International, Morgantown, WV, 2021

In today’s technologically advanced and competitive economy, a growing interest can be observed when it comes to the use of nuclear fission energy to guarantee a reliable load-base power and carbon free electricity, while there are more cost competitive nuclear projects are in developing countries than in developed countries.

Every project starts with a cost estimate, and for new build nuclear projects cost estimates are as essential as having a reliable process to create them. A high-quality cost estimate is decisive and critical after scope and schedule definition.

It is not easy to develop cost estimates for a nuclear power plant (NPP); a large amount of time, an expert team, and a reliable process are required to develop realistic cost estimates.

As examples of NPP construction cost estimation process, this paper describes developing class 3 capital cost estimates of a nuclear-grade turbine building and of an administration building for a new build pressurized water reactor (PWR) NPP under construction in the Middle East.

Quality assurance, safety and seismic regulation are essential cost drivers: their different impacts on cost development of the two buildings will be shown. The cost estimates will be compared with a benchmark plant. The variability of the two building cost estimates should be assessed through uncertainty and risks analysis.