The potential of an SMR to make nuclear power cheaper and more readily available excites proponents, but worries those who do not think wider availability of nuclear power is such a great thing.

SMR_TVA

TVA is teaming with Babcock & Wilcox on a project that may produce the nation’s first operational small modular reactor.

The potential of this device to make nuclear power cheaper and more readily available excites proponents, but worries those who don’t think wider availability of nuclear power is such a great thing.

The smaller, simpler design of modular reactors makes it possible for a power company to scatter them in more sites — maybe even a decommissioned coal plant — or to cluster them to get the effect of a full-sized reactor, proponents say.

This also means more sites where nuclear materials will have to be disposed of or where accidents or terrorist attacks could occur, detractors say.

But this is all yet to come. For now, what TVA has going is a pilot project, said Joe Hoagland, TVA senior vice president of policy and oversight. If TVA’s partnership with Babcock & Wilcox goes as planned, that company will build a reactor and TVA will build a facility for it at TVA’s Clinch River site in Oak Ridge.

Click here to read the complete article.

Source: Ed Marcum | Knoxville News Sentinel | April 7, 2013
Image: Tennessee Valley Authroity