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Nuclear lobby touting small nuclear reactors to Alaska


House bill would streamline approval of small nuclear reactors in Alaska, Alaska Public Media, By, Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks, March 21, 2022  A bill moving through the Alaska Legislature would streamline the state’s approval process for small nuclear reactors, which have been touted as cleaner, more cost-effective sources of energy for Alaska.

There are no microreactors operating anywhere in the United States. But a few pilot projects are planned, including one at Eielson Air Force Base. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission must approve any new reactor, but House Bill 299 from Gov. Mike Dunleavy would exempt microreactors from some decades-old state requirements.

At a state House committee hearing, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation environmental health director Christina Carpenter said the bill would exempt microreactors from multi-agency study and legislative siting approval requirements……………

Alaska Community Action on Toxics executive director Pam Miller describes nuclear power as destructive throughout its lifecycle.

“While these nuclear microreactors are being touted as a solution for the climate crisis and energy needs in rural Alaska, I believe that it’s a false solution and that these reactors are actually quite dangerous,” she said. “From the mining of uranium, which usually takes place on Indigenous lands, through the enrichment process. And then there is the untenable problem of radioactive waste disposal, and that has not been solved.”

Miller said she is also concerned about the security of microreactors in Alaska, especially if deployed in remote locations.

Under the bill, microreactors proposed for areas without local government would still need to get siting approval from the legislature.  https://www.alaskapublic.org/2022/03/21/house-bill-would-streamline-approval-of-small-nuclear-reactors-in-alaska/

March 22, 2022 - Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA

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