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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Taxpayer funding might not be enough to save USA’s failing new nuclear, specifically the ”Versatile Test Reactor”

Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Stumble Despite White House Support, Forbes, 12 Dec 21,    During the COP26 climate conference, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that the United States is “all-in” on nuclear energy ………The White House supports an expansion for all next-generation nuclear reactors………..
All this is in the context of the U.S. House and Senate actions, where lawmakers “zeroed-out”  [reduce something to zero; eliminate or remove entirely]  funding for the so-called Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) at the Idaho National Laboratories. 

…. For now, Russia is the only country with a test reactor similar to VTR…… Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy industry gives it a guaranteed source of funding. In contrast, the United States’ private model requires investors to buy-in — not to mention the elected policymakers in a democratic system. …….  The Natrium facility, which Microsoft’s Bill Gates founded, is an electricity-generating reactor that is getting Energy Department support: $80 million, a small part of the overall cost. The goal is to have it up and running by 2030. 

VTR will not produce power for consumers. It is a test facility that can, for example, predict the long-term wear-and-tear on reactors through modeling.

But some experts say that VTR is too costly and that advanced nuclear reactors are unproven. The Union of Concerned Scientists says that the jury is still out as to whether those units can reduce costs, limit nuclear waste, burn uranium more efficiently, and strengthen safety. 

“Despite the hype surrounding them, none of the non-light-water reactors on the drawing board that we reviewed meet all of those requirements, says Dr. Edwin Lyman, a physicist and the director of nuclear power safety, in a report. “High-temperature, gas-cooled reactors may have the potential to be safer, but that remains unproven, and problems have come up during recent fuel safety tests.” ……

December 14, 2021 - Posted by | technology

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