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Small modular nuclear reactors risky venture for Saskatchewan

 https://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/letters/letters-small-modular-nuclear-reactors-risky-venture-for-saskatchewan 16 Oct 22, Small modular reactors do not exist yet

Referring to nuclear as a possible part of our future energy mix in “SaskPower working to find right mix for the future,” (Oct. 5) CEO Rupen Pandya said “small modular reactors are smaller, easier to build, more affordable and safer”. This statement is both misleading and inappropriate.

Pandya’s use of the word “are” is a red flag: SMRs do not yet exist. The type of SMR SaskPower has selected to build — if it ever gets beyond the conceptual stage — would use enriched uranium fuel imported from the
USA, thus cannot be considered “safe”.

Are SMRs easier to build? We don’t know, since none have ever been built.

The exact cost of building the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 is unknown, but would be in the billions of dollars, and is certainly less affordable than renewable energy options that are already available.

Nuclear power projects are prone to cost over-runs and delays — but this is an advantage for the companies involved in their design and construction, as it means more money will be be transferred to them from
the taxpayer.

An energy mix based on expensive, uncertain and risky SMRs would foreclose on building a truly sustainable energy future based on energy conservation and renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal
and energy storage systems.

SaskPower should be listening — not trying to sell us on a particular option.

Cathy Holtslander, Saskatoon

SMRs are hardly emissions free

Re. Cameco engineer Brahm Neufeld’s letter on small modular reactors.

The marketing of SMRs has been entirely fraudulent. No emissions? Of course there will be emissions. All nuclear power plants must release radioactive gases, tritium and krypton intermittently and sometime inadvertently.

If carbon dioxide is included it would likely be radioactive carbon-14. Green? The carbon cost of building, mining, refining, enriching and decommissioning is many times that of solar and wind.

Dale Dewar, Wynyard

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October 16, 2022 - Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

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