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Research Highlight | Nuclear Science and Engineering

Dedicated software helps streamline capital cost estimation of advanced nuclear reactors

When information is needed early, resources are limited and designs are preliminary, ACCERT can provide estimates of capital cost and identify cost drivers.

The Algorithm for the Capital Cost Estimation of Reactor Technologies (ACCERT) methodology is useful in the design and construction of advanced nuclear reactors. This includes large-size advanced reactors, small modular reactors, and microreactors, where accurate capital cost estimates are essential to implement successful projects. Recently, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory developed the ACCERT methodology into dedicated software.

Previously, customized spreadsheets were used to interact with ACCERT methodology for each new application, but the new database management ACCERT software allows users to manage information needed for particular advanced reactors. It helps ensure better quality assurance, easier review, more efficient archival and retrieval, clearer documentation of inputs, and other benefits that result from the capabilities of a structured relational database. The software is a marked improvement on the previous approach of using customized spreadsheets to interact with ACCERT methodology for each new application.

Argonne’s Jia Zhou, Ed Hoffman and Nicolas Stauff developed the ACCERT software with the support of the Systems Analysis & Integration Campaign of DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.