WTI Crude

Loading...

Brent Crude

Loading...

Natural Gas

Loading...

Gasoline

Loading...

Heating Oil

Loading...

Rotate device for more commodity prices

Why There’s More Upside For Natural Gas

Why There’s More Upside For Natural Gas

Natural gas has rallied significantly…

Energy Digital

Energy Digital

Energy Digital is a leading digital media source of news and content for C-level executives focused on business and all aspects of managing the environment.…

More Info

Cheaper, Safer, Smaller Nuclear Reactors will Put the US Back on Top

Moving away from large-scale, toxic nuclear reactors, the Department of Energy announces a plan to develop safer, smaller options

Mini reactors the future of nuclear power?

The US Department of Energy announced that it would support the new design of “small modular nuclear reactors” last week. Contracts to design and begin production of the reactors by 2022 will be awarded to select companies and funded under the DOE.

The smaller reactors are intended to make it easier on utilities, who will gain more flexibility with reactors that are about one third in size, cheaper and quicker to design and easier to obtain permits for running.

Energy Secretary Steve Chu touts the idea. “We think (small, modular nuclear) solves a lot of issues in terms of investments and electricity infrastructure,” Chu said at a press conference a year ago. “And it’s a way for the United States to regain its leadership in nuclear.”

They'll also be much safer. A number of startups have been working on new designs, including TerraPower, NuScale Power and Hyperion Power Generation, that also use different fuels and reduce nuclear waste.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster last year, technology companies are stepping up to develop safer, more economical nuclear reactors in an attempt to wean dependence on conventional, large-scale nuclear used all over the world today. After Bill Gates took his concepts to China—where regulations on nuclear plants are less stringent and innovations gain support—the DOE's announcement is a positive step in spurring more US manufacturing.

“America’s choice is clear - we can either develop the next generation of clean energy technologies, which will help create thousands of new jobs and export opportunities here in America, or we can wait for other countries to take the lead,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The funding opportunity announced today is a significant step forward in designing, manufacturing, and exporting U.S. small modular reactors, advancing our competitive edge in the global clean energy race.”

By. Carin Hall



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Mark Chembrovich on January 25 2012 said:
    This is actually a farce, we don't need the DOE to finance and approve of their method of clean energy. We need them to get out of the way so the private sector can build already approved mini power plants that the consumer uses independently of the gvt. Since they have not, the technology has been forced overseas to leverage the EU financial situation.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News