Publication
M&C 2013
Conference paper

Application of stochastic optimization to nuclear power plant asset management decisions

Abstract

We describe the development and application of stochastic optimization models and algorithms to address an issue of critical importance in the strategic allocation of resources; namely, the selection of a portfolio of capital investment projects under the constraints of a limited and uncertain budget. This issue is significant and one that faces decision-makers across all industries. The objective of this strategic decision process is generally self evident - to maximize the value obtained from the portfolio of selected projects (with value usually measured in terms of the portfolio's net present value). However, heretofore, many organizations have developed processes to make these investment decisions using simplistic rule-based rank-ordering schemes. This approach has the significant limitation of not accounting for the (often large) uncertainties in the costs or economic benefits associated with the candidate projects or in the uncertainties in the actual funds available to be expended over the projected period of time. As a result, the simple heuristic approaches that typically are employed in industrial practice generate outcomes that are non-optimal and do not achieve the level of benefits intended. In this paper we describe the results of research performed to utilize stochastic optimization models and algorithms to address this limitation by explicitly incorporating the evaluation of uncertainties in the analysis and decisionmaking process.

Date

09 Sep 2013

Publication

M&C 2013

Authors

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