Nuclear's Role in the U.S. Electricity System: A Multi-Model Inter-Comparison Analysis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Multiple capacity expansion models (CEMs) for the U.S. power system represent the balance of options among generation, transmission, and storage assets that can satisfy electric loads, operating and planning reserves, and policy requirements. These models are typically set up to find the least-cost portfolio of assets that meet specified requirements, and model decisions can include both investments in new, and retirement of existing, resources. The scenarios explored by CEMs can help inform strategies for meeting future electricity and energy needs under a range of future conditions. However, projections can differ between models, sometimes dramatically, for a seemingly similar scenario. Differences in model coverage, structure, and input assumptions contribute to the range of model outcomes. Understanding what drives the biggest differences in model outputs improves model insights and provides context for interpreting results. This summary presents analysis that was performed through a forum of analysts who own, update, and apply CEMs, as well as nuclear experts from national laboratories, industry, and the research community. The following sections describe methods, results, and findings from an original, innovative inter-model comparison that provides insights into what drives the greatest differences in nuclear retirement and deployment projections across models and a range of technology, market, and policy conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 American Nuclear Society (ANS) Annual Meeting - Anaheim, California
Duration: 12 Jun 202216 Jun 2022


Conference2022 American Nuclear Society (ANS) Annual Meeting
CityAnaheim, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A40-81541


  • capacity expansion model
  • model intercomparison
  • nuclear


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