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Small nuclear reactors exist only in theory – costs and safety problems hamper their develpment

These so-called small nuclear reactors are a big scam. NuScam is planning them to be operating in batches of at least 12- not small, really. The entire nuclear fuel chain emits plenty of CO2, even if the actual reactor doesn’t. Anyway climate change is moving far too fast for these reactors to be operating in time, even if they did work against global heating. They are realy tied to the military uses of nuclear, and are just a distraction from genuine efforts to deal with climate change.  

Nuclear power’s big new idea is really … small  Grist , By Nathanael Johnson on Sep 8, 2020“……….Small modular reactors still only exist in theory. And there are many people working to make sure they stay that way. After NuScale received the government’s greenlight, Physicians for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit that opposes nuclear power, organized a press conference last week with two critics of NuScale, M.V. Ramana, a physicist at the University of British Columbia, and Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Ramana said that city councils should be skeptical of the promised budget. Back in 2017, NuScale said that it would take about $3 billion to build 12 plants on a generic spot somewhere in the southeastern U.S. Now it’s saying the 12 plants would cost some $6 billion.“A few years ago they were talking about $65 per megawatt hour,” Ramana said. “Since then the costs have nearly doubled, yet they claim that they can produce electricity for under $55 per megawatt hour. I don’t understand how that is possible.”

Recent history suggests there’s good reason to be concerned about spiraling costs: Nuclear projects have gone spectacularly over budget. An anti-tax group, the Utah Taxpayers Association, is asking towns to back out of the coalition, warning that it’s fiscally risky. Two cities have already peeled off.

During the press conference, Lyman said this project could also pose health risks. He said NuScale’s claim that its reactors can cool themselves in an emergency is no more than “a public relations campaign.” One member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently suggested that NuScale’s safety design might not stop nuclear reaction in all circumstances. Though that wouldn’t lead to a disaster like Chernobyl, or Fukushima, it’s still a serious problem that should be resolved so they don’t cause delays or cost increases later, Lyman said.   https://grist.org/energy/nuclear-powers-big-new-idea-is-really-small/

September 10, 2020 - Posted by | general

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