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Nukes – Part 3

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This is my third part in this series: The original “Nukes” was posted in October of 2018. In that paper we reviewed the various generations of reactors, and reviewed the economics of the large reactors currently being constructed (Generation III) versus the economics for other generation technologies.

Nukes – Part 2 (Little Nukes) was posted in January, 2019. This specifically focused on small modular reactors (SMRs), and on the most promising for these designs for U.S. which is being produced by NuScale.

Recently in a periodic review of SMR technology, I discovered that at least one new player has decided to join the party. This post will review the new player  and any additional potential SMR designs.


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John Benson's picture

Thank John for the Post!

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 25, 2020 5:08 pm GMT

Great summary, John.

A large percentage of Holtec's work in recent years has come from decommissioning. From an electricity customer's point of view there seems to be a conflict, should some of their decommissioned plants/reactors be replaced with ones of their own design. Am I wrong?

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Feb 25, 2020 6:52 pm GMT

Hi Bob, thanks for the question.

Not wrong. Note that this is also a major part of BWX Technologies' business. I'm sure there other former RMs that have moved into this business.

I expect the process to go back to grass will be completed before any new reactor request-for-bids goes out. But if the contractor for the former has a competitive SMR and performs well on decommissioning, they will have an advantage - on-site infrastructure, and relationships with the main stake-holders.


Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Feb 26, 2020 7:36 pm GMT

NuScale does indeed have a very promising technology, which goes above and beyond to address many of the concerns with nuclear energy, for example melt down and leakage, have been addressed by the NuScale SMR design. This new technology could turn out to be an ideal solution to meeting carbon reduction goals. while also providing what could be the safest form of electricity generation available. Very promising!

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 26, 2020 11:50 pm GMT

Richard, if you would like an invitation to NuScale's annual NGO Day in May/June, PM me. It's in Eugene, OR so it would be a hike, but they usually offer discount lodging.

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Feb 29, 2020 5:11 pm GMT

Thanks Bob. I'll let you know if we make the trip.

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