Selected Recent Consulting Assignments:
- Nuclear Fuel Market Issues & Insights - multi-client report
NFMI&I evaluates the worldwide markets for U3O8, UF6 conversion and enrichment services,
including demand, the status of major suppliers, as well as projected ranges of
and general trends for spot and long-term price movements. NFMI&I addresses the
relative sensitivity of the price forecasts to changes in supply-demand balance
driven by plausible future scenarios. NFMI&I also analyses the LWR fuel fabrication
market, discussing the expected trends in competition and prices for both BWR and
PWR segments. The report features concise commentaries on the main issues and conclusions,
backed up by appendices compiling the related detailed data and assumptions, NFMI&I
presents NAC’s expert opinion of where the markets are heading and why. In late
July/early August, NAC issued an addendum to the original report to address the
potential impact of Honeywell’s July decision to consider a series of upgrades to
its Metropolis Works operations. This decision was made following the recent U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection that focused on preparedness for extreme
natural disasters such as strong earthquakes and tornados.
- Fuel Fabrication Industry Competitive Analysis
This report presents a benchmarking analysis of selected international LWR fuel
fabrication vendors. It addresses supply structure and organization, fuel fabrication
facility performance in terms of capacities and utilization (load factor), estimates
LWR fuel assembly manufacturing costs by fabrication site, including breakdowns
to the extent possible by materials, labour, components, processes etc. Full costs
and direct fabrication (shop door) costs are presented. These estimates are developed
for recent actual shop loads and also for a theoretical average shop load of 80
percent across all facilities, the latter case being developed to provide a like-for-like
comparison of the competitiveness of the various fabrication facilities. A description
of market prices for LWR fuel fabrication in the U.S. and Europe is included and
compared with estimated production costs, in order to assess the approximate financial
performance of the fabricator businesses.
- Conversion and Enrichment of Reprocessed Uranium
This report addresses selected aspects of the industrial scale recycle of reprocessed
uranium recovered in the reprocessing of enriched oxide fuel, including historical,
current and potential or planned future facilities involved; the quantities of reprocessed
uranium that have been recycled; selected technical matters related to the scheduling
and handling of the reprocessed uranium; and the specifications relevant to acceptance
of such material in the conversion and enrichment stages of the recycle process.
- U.S. DOE UF6 Disposal Projects
This report presents information related to activities on the part of the United
States Department of Energy in connection with the assessment of potential problems
associated with the management, handling and storage of depleted uranium hexafluoride.
- Decontamination and Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants in France, Germany,
Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom
This report addresses selected aspects of the decontamination and decommissioning
(D&D) of nuclear plants in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Summary explanations of the laws and associated regulations that govern D&D
of nuclear plants are provided along with information on D&D policy and funding
sources for D&D activities, the approaches adopted and the techniques used.
- Survey of Alternative Amines Use by PWR Utilities
This report provides information obtained from a survey on the use of secondary
side alternative amines at U.S. PWRs. The strategies adopted by the respondents
to the survey are reported, identifying a range of different chemistry approaches.
The report also includes relevant reference material on this subject area.
- Safety related QA program and procedure development
This effort involved assisting an established safety-related supplier to expand
the scope of services covered by its existing program, and include engineering services.
NAC performed critical reviews and provided essential content for program and procedure
changes required to satisfy safety-related requirements and to ensure successful
audits by external customers with an interest in procuring these services.
- Analysis of the Russian UF6 Conversion Industry
The Russian conversion industry was developed under the unique conditions of the
Former Soviet Union. Processes were selected and plants were built under very different
conditions than existed in the western commercial nuclear fuel industry. This report
provides information on production capability, capacity utilization, technologies
deployed, plans to modify capacity and the imports and exports of U3O8
and natural UF6.
- Evaluation of Selected African Uranium Mining Projects
Detailed cash flows (in constant 2009 U.S. dollars) are presented in this report
for 23 projects in Africa based on two assumed average annual selling price scenarios.
A net present value is determined for each project based on these two revenue scenarios
and estimated life-of-project operating and capital expenditures. In addition, an
internal rate of return is calculated for each project based on these two revenue
scenarios. Potential risk factors for each project are also identified. The number
of potential risk factors varies from project to project depending on each project’s
technical parameters, location, stage of development, etc.
- Survey and Analysis of Transportation Accidents
NAC compiled a database of over 600 transportation accidents regarding radioactive
materials. The database includes accidents on all major continents, every mode of
transportation and virtually all forms of radioactive materials. The accidents range
in severity from simple spillage to accidents that resulted in significant property
damage, personal injury and/or spread of radioactivity with associated evacuation.
- Nuclear Materials Transportation Situation in Selected Countries
This report discusses the transportation of nuclear materials to,
from and within Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Republic
of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. For each country, the report addresses the
types of nuclear materials transported to/from and within each country and the associated
modes of transportation and international transportation routes. General regulations
that govern transportation and the policies in each country that may impact future
transportation of nuclear materials are also reviewed
- Issues Related to the Use of Enriched Uranium Fuel with >5 w/o U235
This report investigates the issues that would need to be addressed in the event
the nuclear industry decided to pursue commercial power reactor fuel enrichments
in excess of 5 weight percent (w/o) U235. The report, which concentrates on Light
Water Reactors of current and evolutionary designs, addresses issues directly related
to the production and use of fuel with greater than 5 w/o U235, including initial
transition costs, as well as, issues related to the characteristics of such fuel
during and after irradiation.
- Independent Review of Utility Spent Fuel Information for Transmittal to the U.S.
This effort provided a U.S. nuclear power plant with an independent review of its
spent fuel assembly records and information on fuel design, burnup, location and
physical condition. The information was compiled to satisfy final shipment documentation
required by the U.S. DOE pursuant to 10 CFR 961, Appendix F.
- Review and Analysis of PWR Assembly Dimensional Behaviour
This report provided a comprehensive collection and summary of worldwide information
on issues and experiences at different plants relative to PWR fuel rod and fuel
assembly dimensional performance. The report covered fuel assembly growth, fuel
assembly bow, and fuel rod bow, and recent problems encountered in assembly designs
that employ advanced alloys.
- Prudency Review of the Cost Estimate for Decommissioning of an Old Uranium Facility
This report provides an independent evaluation of the decommissioning plan for a
closed uranium mining facility, including assessments of the assumed overall logistics
of the decommissioning effort; preliminary analysis of estimated costs for the various
parts of the decommissioning program; the budget available for the work; and comparison
of parts of the estimate with actual decommissioning costs for another facility.
- Critical Issues in the Enrichment Market
Centrifuge enrichment technology is capital intensive. Important determinants of
capital costs are the centrifuge machine design and output and whether or not the
machine manufacturing supply chain has been operating long enough to be optimized
and is producing sufficient volume to achieve economies of scale. These factors
provide a relative economic benefit to centrifuge suppliers using technology that
has a long operating history and a high volume of centrifuge manufacturing and a
disadvantage to a new entrant. Capital costs also are significantly impacted by
centrifuge reliability and the lifetime and magnitude of site infrastructure that
must be built. These factors also tend to favor the enrichers with established technologies
and those facilities with operating sites. These and other related issues are examined
in this report.
- Analysis of Selected Aspects of Reprocessing and Recycle
This report provides information about the closed option for the back end of the
nuclear fuel cycle, including economic analysis of spent fuel reprocessing and recycle;
mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel manufacture and audit planning; MOX fuel loading experience;
MOX fuel performance in LWRs; and the status of reprocessed uranium recycle market
and industrial infrastructure.
- Lithium in PWR Coolant Water: Supply and Demand Analysis
This report presents selected information about the use of enriched Li-7 in PWR
coolant water, with particular focus on the status of the use of. The report characterizes
this market worldwide in terms of production capacities, demand and supply; determines
the extent to which enriched Li-7 is used by PWR operators and how they procure
the material; and describes the extent to which existing agreements and regulations
might govern the production, sale and use of Li-6 and Li-7.
- Possible New Sources of Uranium Supply
This report evaluates a number of sources of uranium supply other than primary U3O8
supply that could be used to meet utilities’ future needs. It examines the various
sources related to the estimated costs and/or offers (including cost impacts related
to licensing issues, special fabrication requirements, etc.) compared to expected
future market prices for material and services in other relevant stages of the commercial
nuclear fuel cycle.
- Uranium Supply: Contenders and Pretenders – A review of potential new uranium
This report presents detailed profiles on 37 worldwide U3O8 production centers that
were in the construction/development pipeline or had begun commercial operations
as of early 2008. Each profile contains information on technical, regulatory, political,
financial and other factors that could influence startup of operations. One of the
primary objectives of the report is to provide NAC’s opinion as to when each project
is most likely to begin commercial production, if not already in operation, based
on its stage of development and/or licensing status. In addition to information
on technical and operating parameters, estimated summary production costs are included
for each project based on the Uranium Supply Analysis (USA) System, NAC’s U3O8 database
and production cost model.
- Review of the LWR Fuel Fabrication Supply Industry and Production Cost Estimates
- Review of the GNF2 BWR Assembly Design
- Review of Nuclear Materials transportation in Selected Countries
- Analysis of Centrifuge Enrichment Production Costs
- A Review of the Reprocessed Uranium Recycle Market and Industry
- Economic Analysis of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Recycle
- High Burnup and Mixed Oxide Spent Fuel Reprocessing Experience
- Update on MOX Fuel Utilisation Experience
For more information, please contact a consultant in your region: