This may not be a good thing, even to anti-carbon environmentalists, but safer nuclear technology is viable, it's here, and it will be employed.
One player in the field of small nuclear reactors is Corvallis-based, NuScale Power, with technology developed at Oregon State University. NuScale's reactors will be ready for deployment sometime in 2023-2024 with the first plant going to Idaho. Other Western states (including Oregon) are in a loose alliance and will follow Idaho's lead.
New, innovative, large-scale nuclear energy
At this point, Russia and China have taken the lead in nuclear power technology and are speeding ahead with production of new, full-size plants. They will lead world mRkets because they can get things done - a complete reversal of fortunes in just one generation. Government regulation - an awesome power by itself.
Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2015 By Eric McFarland
Rethinking the U.S. Surrender on Nuclear Power
Russia and China are racing to profit from an energy source developed—and overregulated—in the West.
The ghosts of Lenin and Mao might well be smirking. Communist and au-thoritarian nations are moving to take global leadership in, and profit from, the commercial use of nuclear power, a technology made possible by the market-driven economies of the West. New research and development could enable abundant, affordable, low-carbon energy as well as further beneficial products for indus-try and medicine.
Yet outdated and burdensome regulations and restrictions have stifled nuclear innovation in the U.S. and other Western nations, and are pushing these opportunities to China and Russia.
President Dwight Eisenhower’s Cold War “Atoms for Peace” campaign notwithstanding, there has never been any real attempt to allow competitive, innovative, private-sector exploitation of nuclear reactions. Potential applications that might be co-developed with new reactor system concepts go well beyond producing simply heat for baseload electricity. They include medical and industrial isotope co-production, large-scale radiation-induced chemical synthesis, water treatment, food preservation and other applications that creative thinkers will certainly invent.
Globalization is real. Preventing the innovators in Western democra-cies from creating new cost-effective technologies using nuclear reactions won’t prevent it from being done. It’s ironic, but given America’s ever-bur-densome nuclear regulations, it will likely be engineers from nondemocra-tic, authoritarian regimes like those in China and Russia who will be free to design the safe and cost-effective commercial nuclear technologies of the future.