Originally published by Power Engineering International.

Finnish energy company Fortum has collaborated with MIT to launch a Nuclear Cost Estimation Tool (NCET) that enables more precise cost estimation and risk assessment of new Small Modular Reactor (SMR) projects.

The open-source version of the tool is now publicly available, and its customized application is now being used by Fortum.

The NCET aims to benefit all who work in the nuclear industry, specifically supporting the accurate evaluation of costs for SMR projects and providing valuable information to back up investment decisions.

“SMR’s have the potential to reduce the risk to cost overruns by leveraging their smaller and simpler designs. However, reducing risk alone is not enough and they must still provide competitive cost to meet market demands. We hope to explore this relationship between risk and cost within our multidisciplinary team,” said Koroush Shirvan, the principal investigator from MIT.

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For Fortum, the collaboration is not just about creating new tools for business, it’s also about creating networks and furthering the understanding and know-how through information sharing.

“In less than two years, we reached our first major milestone with the launch of the first version of the cost estimation tool. While this is already highly useful for us, the ongoing work will continue to provide more precise cost data and will further our understanding of the general project risks,” noted Konsta Värri, the NCET project lead on Fortum’s side.

Added Värri: “The first SMR projects in the West are just around the corner. For these projects to reach the finish line, they need to be sustainable from both a technical and economic point of view.”

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