Can Small Modular Reactors Save the US Nuclear Industry?

green-tech-media-logo 200Exerpt from a post by Eric Wesoff Greentechmedia

Pressures to lower carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas power plants have provided the opportunity to reboot the U.S. nuclear industry. Operating nuclear reactors have zero carbon emissions and the technology has grown more reliable and more efficient. In the U.S., reactors now run more than 91 percent of the hours in a year, the highest capacity factor of any energy source.

Can new technology, policy, and thinking usher in the much-heralded “Nuclear Renaissance” or will still-grim economics and dif?cult regulatory terrain keep the U.S. nuclear market mired in a post Three Mile Island hangover?

Small modular reactors and standardized designs are the potential disruptors and game-changers for the US nuclear power industry. Under the SMR concept, reactors can be built in factories and shipped to the site instead of being expensively and riskily built on-site. Rather than engineer and build reactors capable of producing over 1 GW of electric power, SMRs can produce 10 MW to 350 MW of electricity (or heat). 

You can read Eric’s complete post here.