Scientists have identified the most effective scenario for the nuclear energy in Russia until 2100

Currently, worldwide there is a rapid, fundamental transformation of energy systems with new technologies, developing at an accelerated pace.

It is clear, that nuclear energy will clearly be part of the global energy mix for decades to come, but its share and growth rate will depend on a number of factors, such as the speed of innovation in nuclear technology or energy policies and funding mechanisms. Many scenarios, based on specific targets, predict the growth of the nuclear power sector, as it can solve the problem of energy supply over a long period.

Due to the large number of both objective and subjective factors, it is impossible to accurately predict the direction of the future development of nuclear power for a long period. However, scientists from State Scientific Centre of the Russian Federation – Leypunsky Institute for Physics and Power Engineering in the study “Multi-criteria analysis of the efficiency of scenarios for the development of the Russian nuclear industry in view of the uncertain prospects for the future” considered several trajectories of nuclear energy development in Russia for the next 80 years. Research was published in the open-access journal NUCET — Nuclear Energy and Technology (provided by National Research Nuclear University MEPhI).

Three types of scenarios were considered with the same power change. The first scenario was a reference one with thermal neutron reactors. The other two were two-component: with the ‘timely’ commissioning of fast reactors (base scenarios) and the ‘delayed’ commissioning of fast reactors.

The results of multi-criteria analysis for all scenarios showed the greatest potential for a two-component system. Even the option with the delayed commissioning of fast reactors has a higher potential compared to the reference one-component system.

The inclusion of fast reactors in the nuclear power system is the best way of development, since the transition to a two-component system with fast and thermal reactors will solve such most important problems as reducing the amount of spent nuclear fuel, saving natural uranium, improving export potential, and reducing the amount of plutonium accumulation. At the same time, the timely commissioning of fast reactors is the most promising scenario for the development of nuclear energy in Russia.