Developers of small modular reactors hope their time has comeYara
War, climate worries and oil prices make nuclear power attractive.
Nuclear power has never quite lived up to its promise. Reactors have proved much more expensive than hoped. Accidents and leaks have given it a reputation for being risky despite its zero-carbon credentials. (Attempts to point out that coal-fired power kills far more people than the nuclear variety have failed to convince many voters.) Nuclear’s share of the world’s electricity production fell from 17.5% in 1996 to 10.1% in 2020.
But governments committed to ambitious climate-change targets have been giving the technology a second glance. In January the European Union added nuclear power to a list of projects eligible for green finance. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, meanwhile, has sent fossil-fuel prices soaring, and put energy security at the top of the political agenda in Europe, which currently relies heavily on Russian natural gas. The nuclear industry reckons it has just the answer: a new generation of small modular reactors (SMRS), designed to be cheaper, quicker and less financially risky to build.
Quoting From The Economist
Last Updated on March 26, 2022