WASHINGTON, D.C.///NEWS ADVISORY///The many tens of billions of dollars needed to scale up production of small modular reactors (SMRs) in the U.S. would effectively choke off funds needed to shift the nation to an electricity generation system more heavily reliant on renewable energy (including wind and solar) and enhanced energy efficiency, according to a report to be issued on Thursday (May 15, 2014) by economic analyst Dr. Mark Cooper.
Dr. Cooper's new report also will note that SMRs – in addition to being unproven technology in an industry plagued with often severe headaches and prolonged delays when it comes to implementing new tech –also will not escape any of the problems currently bedeviling large nuclear reactors, including uncontrollable costs, no means of disposing of waste, and serious safety issues.
Dr. Cooper is senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School, and author of "Policy Challenges of Nuclear Reactor Construction, Cost Escalation and Crowding Out Alternatives" (2009). Less than a year ago, he released a widely cited July 2013 report identifying the 38 most at-risk reactors in the United States. (For details, see "Renaissance in Reverse: Competition Pushes Aging U.S. Nuclear Reactors to the Brink of Economic Abandonment," at http://22.214.171.124/atriskreactors.html.)
The new report by Dr. Cooper shows that the factors putting pressure on the economics of old reactors will put an even tighter squeeze on SMRs, further highlighting the growing conflict between nuclear power and the emerging decentralized electricity system based on renewables and demand management.
For more information, please visit: Mark Cooper, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT