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Wednesday
Jul052017

Small modular reactors are a (misguided) aspiration not a likely reality

The Tennessee Valley Authority says it wants to develope the decades-old small modular reactor concept at the Oak Ridge laboratory (pictured). The Southern Alliance of Clean Energy (SACE) is among the groups opposing this. "We are concerned that billions of dollars could be spent on a technology that is unproven, untested and significantly more expensive than other types of power technology that are available to TVA," said SACE spokeswoman, Sara Barczak.

M.V. Ramana, a professor and chair of the Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, said TVA's site application for the small reactors is "more like an advertisement brochure than an examination of the environmental impacts of constructing these reactors."

SACE and the Union of Concerned Scientists have joined the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League in petitioning the NRC to deny the early site permit for the small reactors in Oak Ridge.

"There is a long history of experimentation with small nuclear reactors, and the evidence so far suggests that small reactors cost too much for the little electricity they produce," Ramana said. More