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SarahD

(1,732 posts)
Thu May 30, 2024, 03:54 PM May 30

Here come the small modular reactors. Or maybe not.

What strikes me about SMRs is that there are so many competing designs in a field that promises to standardize, to concentrate on two or three designs that will simplify licensing, construction, operation, and decommissioning. Instead, we have dozens of tech firms, each claiming its design is the one, and each demanding federal money for development. If I were a cynical person, I might think this whole thing is a big scam, an effort to embellish old ideas and suck up taxpayer money.
https://ieefa.org/resources/small-modular-reactors-still-too-expensive-too-slow-and-too-risky

8 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Here come the small modular reactors. Or maybe not. (Original Post) SarahD May 30 OP
Definitely not a scam... Think. Again. May 30 #1
The emissions math doesn't add up Envirogal May 30 #3
In a way, yes... Think. Again. May 30 #4
SMRs are more realistic than fusion reactors. nt Shermann May 30 #2
Certainly the case. WheelWalker May 30 #5
Yep, at the moment they are.... Think. Again. May 30 #6
Very interesting, thanks for posting. mountain grammy May 30 #7
The "energy transition" is a lie promoted by the fossil fuel industry. hunter May 30 #8

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
1. Definitely not a scam...
Thu May 30, 2024, 03:59 PM
May 30

...but a very important path to eliminating CO2 emitting energy.

Research and development in any new industry is always competitive, and that's a good thing. The more they work toward finding the best final design, the better off we will all be. The last thing we should do with any new nuclear energy designs is to take the first one that comes along.

Envirogal

(89 posts)
3. The emissions math doesn't add up
Thu May 30, 2024, 04:14 PM
May 30

So will the eventual l/inevitable decommissioning of nuclear plants cancel out any net emissions savings?

Not to mention the impacts of facility building, mining feedstock, and managing the waste?

Are we just borrowing Peter to pay Paul on harm and environmental liability?

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
4. In a way, yes...
Thu May 30, 2024, 04:21 PM
May 30

...we know that the absolute most harmful thing about energy production right now is CO2 emissions.

And yes, we WILL have to deal with less immediate dangers in the future no matter what we do, but the math does actually add up: less fossil fuel burning (due to replacing CO2 emitting energy plants) equals less CO2 emissions.

Think. Again.

(11,803 posts)
6. Yep, at the moment they are....
Thu May 30, 2024, 04:23 PM
May 30

...and we must act now, in this moment.

Luckily, research and development on fusion will continue anyway, but our immediate need, in this moment, is to reduce and then eliminate CO2 emissions.

hunter

(38,571 posts)
8. The "energy transition" is a lie promoted by the fossil fuel industry.
Thu May 30, 2024, 04:48 PM
May 30

See usonian's post here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1127174162

New documents demonstrate that Big Oil companies:

Seek to ensure the long-term use of fossil fuels, like natural gas, promoting natural gas as a “bridge fuel,” and eventually even a safe “destination fuel.” For example, a 2017 BP America Inc. (BP) email asserted that “promoting and protecting the role of gas as an increasing part of our energy mix is a paramount priority. We need to be ready to speak to this wherever there is a credible effort to dis-incentivize gas.”

Seek to portray natural gas as a green, climate-friendly fuel, while internally acknowledging that there is significant scientific evidence that the lifecycle emissions from natural gas are as harmful to the climate as coal and are incompatible with scientific emissions reduction targets. For example, the American Petroleum Institute (API) developed a 2016 draft print ad showing people engaging in outdoor activities, like skydiving, soaring on a playground swing, and playing basketball that states: “Natural gas doesn’t just cook dinner. Thanks to natural gas the air up here is cleaner than it’s been in 25 years.”
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