THE CALCULATOR

This page estimates the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for each of the three configurations of the nuclear fuel cycle considered by this tool. Below, users can select the fuel cycle they would like to examine, change cost estimates for each component, and alter the form of the model output. The simulations represented in the plots below can be used to, for example, evaluate the model’s sensitivity to a given parameter (e.g., how much does the median LCOE change as the price of uranium fluctuates?). They can also be used to observe changes in the simulated extremes (tails of the distribution) according to a given parameter's uncertainty (e.g., what is the simulated maximum LCOE when you increase the uncertainty in the overnight cost - the cost of constructing a nuclear power plant if it were built instantaneously without any financing costs?).

Clicking the "distribution" button to the left will show a blue curve that represents the distribution of model-simulated electricity costs given the user-specified fuel cycle technology and parameter values. This distribution illustrates the uncertainty inherent in such large-scale projects. The mean is displayed as a value on the plot and to the left of the model (in cents per kilowatt-hour).

Clicking the “scatter” button to the left will show results from individual runs of the model as yellow points on the plot. Each of these results is called a realization. The slider at the top right of the plot allows users to change the number of realizations.

Users can change the assumed price of each component of the fuel cycle by sliding the blue bars below the plot. The white bars change the uncertainty surrounding users' assumptions. If users do not wish to consider uncertainty, they can “use deterministic parameters” to operate the tool in a manner that will yield a single estimate of the electricity cost.