Sunday, January 16, 2011

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Not Be Stopped

A global race is under way to develop small-reactor designs, says Paul Genoa of the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry body in Washington, DC. He estimates that more than 20 countries have expressed serious interest in buying mini-reactors.

At least eight different approaches are being developed, mainly in America and Asia, by an army of 3,000 nuclear engineers, according to Ron Moleschi of SNC-Lavalin Nuclear, an engineering firm based in Montreal. Regulatory and licensing procedures are lengthy, so little will be built until around 2017, he says. But after that the industry is expected to take off. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that by 2030 at least 40 (and possibly more than 90) small reactors will be in operation. It reckons that more than half of the countries that will build nuclear plants in coming years will plump for these smaller, simpler designs. _Economist

Obama's Nuclear Regulatory Commission is dragging its feet on nuclear energy -- particularly on new safer, more economical reactor designs such as small modular reactors. But the world is much larger than the Obama agenda of energy starvation. In the real world, small modular nuclear reactors will find a way.

19-20 April 2011 Conference in Columbia, SC, on Small Modular Reactors:
The conference is expected to draw about 120 people from about 60 companies and agencies around the world, such as China National Nuclear Corp., the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iraq Energy Institute. Also, industry heavyweights like Westinghouse, AREVA and GE have signed up, along with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Army and utilities across the nation.

The conference, scheduled to be held April 19-20 at the Marriott Hotel on Main Street, is sponsored by SCE&G and organized by the Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster and Nuclear Energy Insider _thestate

SMR Conference 23-24 May 2011 Washington, DC...._ Call for abstracts

Small modular reactors can be built more quickly, safely, and cheaply in a controlled factory environment. They can then be shipped to the site for a quick and inexpensive installation -- pre-loaded with fuel and ready to hook up.

The US Navy has been powering ships safely using small nuclear reactors for many decades. One of the most likely future suppliers of SMRs to the civilian market -- Babcock and Wilcox -- just received a new $2 billion award for Naval Nuclear Reactor Components.

But then, the US military has to actually accomplish something -- unlike the civil portion of the US government which generally does no more than consume scarce resources which would be put to better use elsewhere.



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