How to gain a foothold in the power market for the

2022-09-22
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How can nuclear power be clean and uneconomical in the power market

compared with the rapid construction of high-speed rail, nuclear power has not been approved for new projects for three years. What is more serious is that the price competitiveness of nuclear power is facing unprecedented challenges, and there is no sign of improvement in the short term

the national development and Reform Commission recently issued a notice specifying the electricity price of the first batch of the world's most advanced third-generation nuclear power projects - Guangdong Taishan nuclear power phase I, Zhejiang Sanmen Nuclear Power Phase I, Shandong Haiyang nuclear power phase I. However, from the electricity prices of 0.4350, 0.4203 and 0.4151 yuan/kWh of the three projects, as the main force of China's new nuclear power installation in the future, the electricity price of the third generation nuclear power is much higher than that of hydropower and coal power, close to wind power, photovoltaic and other new energy. However, the cost of wind power and photovoltaic power generation is declining rapidly, and it is expected that the electricity price will be equivalent to that of coal power next year. In other words, even compared with new energy, nuclear power will no longer have price competitiveness and become the most expensive category of China's main power sources

on the day of the "falling price" of the first batch of third-generation nuclear power projects, the China Nuclear Energy Industry Association released the "Research Report on the economy and market competitiveness of China's third-generation nuclear power" (hereinafter referred to as the "Research Report") on the "China Nuclear Energy Sustainable Development Forum", pointing out that the third-generation nuclear power has higher safety requirements, large investment and long construction period, and its economy and market competitiveness have become important factors impeding the development of nuclear power in China. However, it is understood that the whole nuclear power industry, rather than the three generations of nuclear power, is facing development difficulties

01 "the increasing redundancy of nuclear power safety has virtually raised the cost of equipment manufacturing, construction and operation of nuclear power units, making the market economy of nuclear power face increasingly arduous challenges"

the research report predicts that the power on price of the first three generations of nuclear power - AP1000 and EPR projects is about 0.50 yuan/kWh, significantly higher than the power on price level of about 0.42 yuan/kWh determined by the national development and Reform Commission

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HUANG Feng, head of the policy research group of the expert committee of China Nuclear Energy Industry Association, said at the press conference of the Research Report: "The electricity price of nuclear power in China is determined according to the local benchmark electricity price of coal power. With the reduction of benchmark electricity price of coal power in various regions, the electricity price of nuclear power units is also declining. At present, the electricity price of most nuclear power units has been lower than the benchmark electricity price of 0.43 yuan/kWh approved in 2013. Therefore, this has increased the financial pressure on active nuclear power units." Considering the gap between the electricity price predicted in the Research Report and the actual electricity price announced by the national development and Reform Commission, the first batch of new third-generation nuclear power projects will face greater operating pressure

electricity price is a direct reflection of the economy of power supply. Why is the price of nuclear power so high

it is reported that the first reason is the delay in the construction of the power station. According to public information, 60% of the 55 nuclear reactors under construction in the world in 2017 were faced with construction delays and budget overruns, of which the third-generation nuclear power projects were the "hardest hit" - EPR projects in Finland and France, and AP1000 projects in the United States and China, all of which experienced budget overruns and construction delays to varying degrees

in this regard, the research report points out: "the AP1000 supporting project of the third generation nuclear power and the EPR project are the first reactors in the world. The long verification cycle of design equipment, coupled with design changes and construction delays, has led to a significant increase in engineering costs and a serious cost overrun."

in addition to the delay in the construction period, Wei Zhaofeng, the full-time vice president of the China electricity Union, believes that the continuously improving standards have also led to an increase in costs. "The increasing complexity of the manufacturing process, the increasing requirements of material standards, and the fact that some standards of nuclear power conventional island are much higher than the coal power construction standards have led to the increasing redundancy of nuclear power safety, which has virtually raised the costs of equipment manufacturing, nuclear power unit construction and operation, and made the market economy of nuclear power face increasingly arduous challenges."

the interviewed experts generally reported that the above-mentioned factors such as construction period delay and standard improvement jointly led to the rise of nuclear power cost, which in turn pushed up the cost and electricity price of nuclear power

the cost of power engineering projects put into operation in 2016-2017 released by the General Electric Power Planning Institute and the general water planning institute shows that the average cost of five million kilowatt second-generation improved nuclear power projects in China is 12038 yuan/kW, 11 conventional hydropower projects are 9352 yuan/kW, 41 thermal power projects are 3593 yuan/kW, while wind power and photovoltaic power generation are 7587 yuan/kW and 7406 yuan/kW respectively. Nuclear power has been "lost at the starting line"

02 "China's economy and the relationship between power supply and demand have entered a new normal. The implementation of measures such as bidding and limiting electricity has reduced the utilization hours of nuclear power and affected the economic benefits of enterprises."

nuclear power, which has no advantage in investment costs, is also facing the impact and test of a new round of power market-oriented reform that began in 2015

liubaohua, deputy director of the national energy administration, pointed out that "the nuclear power industry should enhance its cost awareness and market awareness, actively adapt to the requirements of power market-oriented reform, reduce costs, make up for weaknesses, improve the quality and efficiency of development, and grow in market competition."

however, it is understood that the performance of nuclear power in the market is not satisfactory. In recent years, as the power industry has entered the new normal, the "disease" of power consumption has become increasingly prominent, and nuclear power has also ended the history of full load operation and guaranteed consumption of power generation

in 2015, the average utilization hours of nuclear power in China decreased by 437 hours year-on-year. The China Nuclear Energy Industry Association first disclosed at the end of that year that Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant reduced power and shut down due to consumption problems. In the first quarter of 2016, nuclear power projects in Liaoning, Fujian, Hainan and other places had consumption problems, and the average utilization rate of nuclear power equipment in China fell below 80% for the first time that year. In 2017, the scope of "consumption" was extended to Guangxi and other places, and the average utilization rate of nuclear power equipment in the whole year was only 81.14%

with the sharp decline of the fraction of power generation utilization, the nuclear power price also decreased significantly at the same time

in June 2017, Guangxi electric power trading center included nuclear power in direct electricity trading for the first time in China, and the trading price was lower than the benchmark price of nuclear power. In that year, more than 70% of the electricity of Guangxi Fangchenggang nuclear power was consumed through market transactions. In August, 2017, Fujian Provincial Price Bureau made it clear that the seven units of Ningde and Fuqing nuclear power implemented three gears of electricity price increase, and the electricity price of newly put into operation units was 0.058 yuan/kWh lower than the national nuclear power benchmark electricity price. During the heating season from 2017 to 2018, Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. participated in the heating power transaction in Liaoning Province at an up tariff of 0.18 yuan/kWh. In 2017, the market electricity generated by nuclear power enterprises throughout the year was generally around 20%, and that of individual provinces was close to 50%

in this regard, Wei Zhaofeng said, "China's economy and the relationship between power supply and demand have entered a new normal. The implementation of measures such as bidding and limiting the amount of electricity has reduced the utilization hours of nuclear power and affected the economic benefits of enterprises."

03 "with the solidification and optimization of subsequent design, localization of equipment and standardization of construction, the cost of the three generations of nuclear power projects built in batches in the near future can be significantly reduced"

in the face of rising safety requirements and fierce competition in the power market, how can nuclear power achieve sustainable development

Ye Qizhen, academician of the Chinese Academy of engineering, pointed out: therefore, its small load measurement accuracy is very low. "Nuclear power enterprises need to speed up the adaptation to the new requirements of the further open and competitive power market, and actively take countermeasures from the aspects of technological transformation and upgrading, reducing costs, and improving safe operation capacity. At the same time, the quantitative and large-scale construction of the third-generation nuclear power will promote the continuous improvement of its economy."

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"Due to various costs of new technology research and development and demonstration, the construction cost and unit cost of the first batch of third-generation nuclear power projects are significantly higher than that of the second-generation improved nuclear power. With the subsequent design solidification and optimization, equipment localization, and construction standardization, the cost of the third-generation nuclear power projects constructed in batches in the near future can be significantly reduced, and the third-generation nuclear power projects after long-term large-scale construction can gradually approach that of the second-generation improved nuclear power in terms of unit cost and electricity price Level. " Ye Qizhen said

insiders learned that from the current situation of three-generation nuclear power construction, the unit cost of AP1000 and EPR is about 6000-7000 US dollars/kW, the VVER of Russia's third-generation nuclear power is about 4000 US dollars/kW, and the estimated cost of China's independent third-generation technology "hualong-1" is less than 2500 US dollars/kW. In addition, the research report also shows that the completion price of units 1 and 2 of Daya Bay nuclear power plant put into operation in 1994 was US $4.07 billion, and the cost converted into RMB at the then exchange rate was 17483 yuan/kW. However, with the continuous improvement of the localization rate of second-generation improved projects such as Ling'ao phase II, Ningde, Hongyanhe, Yangjiang, Fuqing, Fangjiashan and Tianwan, the unit cost has been reduced to about 12000-13000 yuan/kW

Huang Feng also said that according to the current nuclear power price conditions, the power price of "hualong-1" and cap1000 third-generation nuclear power will be about 0.43 yuan/kWh

the research report predicts that the cost and electricity price of the three generations of nuclear power units under large-scale construction in the long term is expected to be reduced to about 0.40 yuan/kW, which is close to the current benchmark electricity price of coal-fired power in most coastal provinces (including desulfurization, denitration, dust removal, ultra-low emission markup)

04 "nuclear power enterprises need to take practical and effective measures, strengthen experience feedback, and improve the economy and market competitiveness of nuclear power through technological innovation and management innovation"

in view of effectively ensuring and improving the economy of the third generation nuclear power, the research report recommends: ensure the full load operation of the third generation nuclear power units, improve the formation mechanism of the third generation nuclear power price, scientifically grasp the pace of nuclear power development Nuclear power enterprises reduce the investment and operation and maintenance costs of third-generation nuclear power. In particular, on the basis of ensuring the base load operation of the third generation nuclear power, we should distinguish the base load electricity price and market-oriented electricity price of nuclear power. For the power of nuclear power units within 7000 hours (80% load factor), which belongs to the power of nuclear power with base load, the benchmark price of nuclear power approved by the State shall be implemented, and the market price can be implemented for the power of more than 7000 hours

as for the specific operation level, many enterprise representatives attending the meeting believed that under the premise of policy escort, the key to reducing costs and increasing efficiency of nuclear power lies in continuous innovation in technology and management

"nuclear power enterprises need to take practical and effective measures, strengthen experience feedback, and improve the economy and market competitiveness of nuclear power through technological innovation and management innovation." Gu Jun, general manager of CNNC, said that such as constantly optimizing and improving the system design scheme, reducing the manufacturing cost of key equipment, and shortening the construction cycle of nuclear power projects

according to xianchunyu, chief engineer of Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology Co., Ltd., after technical innovations such as optimizing operating parameters, optimizing the configuration of specially designed safety system, optimizing the measures to deal with the extended working conditions of design, optimizing the power supply configuration, and changing the containment from double-layer to single-layer, through preliminary calculation, the economy of "hualong-1" can be effectively improved and the project cost can be saved by more than 5%

in addition, zhangdonghui, executive deputy director of the nuclear power division of Huaneng Group, also said: "investment must be effective and development must have a market. In addition to the 'one vote veto' of nuclear safety, whether the nuclear power industry can develop on a large scale in the future, it must also comply with the development trend of power market and participate in bidding and auxiliary services."

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