The nuclear industry is making a big bet on small power plants. Efforts to build the nation’s first “advanced small modular reactor,” or SMR, in Idaho, are on track for it to become operational by the mid-2020s. The project took a crucial step forward when the company behind it, NuScale, secured an important security certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But the first ones could be generating power by 2020 in China, Argentina and Russia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The debate continues over whether this technology is worth pursuing, but the nuclear industry isn’t waiting for a verdict. Nor, as an energy scholar, do I think it should. This new generation of smaller and more technologically advanced reactors offer many advantages, including an assembly-line approach to production, vastly reduced meltdown risks and greater flexibility in terms of where they can be located, among others.
The Conversation 8th June 2018 read more »