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Small Modular Nuclear Reactors could be a costly mistake for Idaho utility

Murray Power looks to tap into nuclear energy  Murray Journal  By Shaun Delliskave| Aug 23, 2018 Murray Power is moving forward with plans to tap into the nation’s first small nuclear modular reactor (SMR)—but not without opposition. Murray Power has, so far, committed $15,000 towards NuScale Power’s reactor, which is in development at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls.Murray’s main power supplier belongs to the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) consortium, consisting of several municipally owned power systems in Utah. Murray City has subscribed to a portion of the nuclear plant’s capacity through its partnership with the UAMPS organization…….

NuScale Power is based out of Corvallis, Oregon and recently completed the Phase 1 review of its design certification application by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). NuScale’s reactor is the first and only SMR to ever undergo an NRC review. …….

Diane Turner, chair of the Murray City Council, is leery about Murray’s interest in a reactor using unproved technology. “I have concerns about Murray committing funds to a new energy form that has not yet been proven and is likely to cost billions of dollars. It is my understanding that our initial investment is not that high. However, it is my concern that as we get further into the commitment it will cost much more.”

Watchdog groups have also expressed concerns regarding the new reactor. HEAL Utah, an advocacy group that promotes renewable energy to protect public health and the environment from dirty, toxic and nuclear energy threats, attended a recent city council committee-of-the-whole meeting to advocate for cleaner renewable investments in power and to express their concerns. They argued that renewable energy is more cost-effective and proven technologies already exist……..

radioactive waste generated by reactors remains toxic for thousands of years. The NuScale reactor has space to store waste for 60 years. Nuclear reactors also draw significantly from water resources.

This is one reason for Council Chair Turner’s reservations. “I don’t know that it is in Murray’s best interest to invest in nuclear rather than making further investments in renewable energy that has been determined to be more environmentally and fiscally sound.”


August 25, 2018 - Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA

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