The nuclear industry’s fierce fight for survival is leading several countries to develop smaller, off-the-shelf nuclear reactors. As costs escalate, several countries with nuclear ambitions have abandoned plans for large reactors. But the industry is adapting, seeking to reinvent itself by mass-producing small off-the-shelf nuclear reactors instead. If nuclear enthusiasts are to be believed, the world is on the edge of a building boom for a range of new reactors designed to produce electricity, district heating and desalination. The idea of small modular reactors (SMRs), as they are known, has been around for years. But an in-depth analysis, a so-called White Paper produced by a UK newsletter, the Nuclear Energy Insider, says the technology is reaching take-off point in Argentina, Canada, China, Russia, the US and the UK. Unlike their big cousins, which are falling out of favour because they take more than a decade to build and often have massive cost overruns, the concept behind small modular reactors is that the parts can be factory-made in large numbers to be cheaply and rapidly assembled on site. So far this is only theory; currently the industry is at the prototype stage.
Climate News Network 5th March 2019 read more »