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Author Topic: Nuclear Power Industry Mendacious Propaganda  (Read 3072 times)

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    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Mendacious Propaganda
« on: December 12, 2013, 07:32:07 pm »

Cool graphic of a giant radioactive poison pill called a Small Modular Reactor. ;)
= Nuke Puke Wet Dreams

Small Modular Reactors: First the HYPE!

Advancing Small Modular Reactors: How We're Supporting Next-Gen Nuclear Energy Technology 

December 12, 2013 - 4:00pm

Nuclear energy continues to be an important  part of America’s diverse energy portfolio, and the Energy Department is committed to supporting a domestic nuclear industry.   ;)

While we are supporting the deployment of passively safe large nuclear reactors, both in the United States and around the world, we are also looking to the next generation of nuclear energy technologies.

Today, the Department announced a new award that supports first-of-its-kind engineering, design certification and licensing for an innovative small modular reactor (SMR) design. Supporting this innovative technology will help advance low-carbon nuclear energy deployment in the United States. 

What is a Small Modular Reactor?  

Small modular reactors are approximately one-third the size of current nuclear power plants or about 300 megawatts -- enough to power almost 230,000 homes each year. These reactors feature simplified, compact designs that are expected to be cost-effective    and incredibly safe

Agelbert NOTE: I'm surprised they used the expression "cost-effective" instead of "too cheap to meter!" 

And  why the laughing hard emoticon? ANSWER: See the adjective "incredibly" for the hidden truth in the propaganda mendacity. Clever fellows, aren't they?

And now, let use return to the rest of the PROPAGANDA:

For example, small modular reactors could be manufactured in factories and transported to sites where they would be ready for installation upon arrival, reducing both capital costs and construction times. SMR designs also have built-in passive safety systems that use the natural circulation of air, water and steam to maintain the right conditions for operation.

At the commercial scale, SMRs could expand the options for nuclear power in the U.S. and around the world. The smaller size also makes these reactors ideal for small electric grids and for locations that cannot support large reactors, in addition to offering utilities the flexibility to scale production as demand changes.

The investment made today builds upon the Department’s broader efforts to promote a sustainable nuclear industry in the U.S., including cultivating the next generation of scientists and engineers and solving common challenges across the industry. Check out more on these efforts at www.energy.gov/nuclear.

For the nuke puke true believers, you will find a slick infographic on SMRs at the above link created with mendacious TLC to have soft colors, look peppy, safe, clean, modern, safe, forward looking, high tech, inexpensive, and did I mention safe? ;) ;D


Small Modular Reactors: Safety, Security and Cost Concerns

Small isn't always beautiful

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and some members of the nuclear industry, the next big thing in nuclear energy will be a small thing: the “small modular reactor” (SMR).

SMRs—“small” because they generate a maximum of about 30 percent as much power as typical current reactors, and “modular” because they can be assembled in factories and shipped to power plant sites—have been getting a lot of positive attention recently, as the nuclear power industry has struggled to remain economically viable in an era of flat demand and increasing competition from natural gas and other energy alternatives.

SMRs have been touted as both safer and more cost-effective than older, larger nuclear reactor designs. Proponents have even suggested that SMRs are so safe that some current NRC regulations can be relaxed for them, arguing that they need fewer operators and safety officers, less robust containment structures, and less elaborate evacuation plans. Are these claims justified?
Economies of Scale and Catch-22s

SMR-based power plants can be built with a smaller capital investment than plants based on larger reactors. Proponents suggest that this will remove financial barriers that have slowed the growth of nuclear power in recent years.

However, there's a catch: “affordable” doesn’t necessarily mean “cost-effective.” Economies of scale dictate that, all other things being equal, larger reactors will generate cheaper power. SMR proponents suggest that mass production of modular reactors could offset economies of scale, but a 2011 study concluded that SMRs would still be more expensive than current reactors.

Even if SMRs could eventually be more cost-effective than larger reactors due to mass production, this advantage will only come into play when many SMRs are in operation. But utilities are unlikely to invest in SMRs until they can produce competitively priced electric power. This Catch-22 has led some observers to conclude that the technology will require significant government financial help to get off the ground.

Are SMRs Safer?

One of the chief selling points for SMRs is that they are supposed to be safer than current reactor designs. However, their safety advantages are not as straightforward as some proponents suggest.SMRs use passive cooling systems that do not depend on the availability of electric power. This would be a genuine advantage under many accident scenarios, but not all. Passive systems are not infallible, and credible designs should include reliable active backup cooling systems. But this would add to cost.

SMRs feature smaller, less robust containment systems than current reactors. This can have negative safety consequences, including a greater probability of damage from hydrogen explosions. SMR designs include measures to prevent hydrogen from reaching explosive concentrations, but they are not as reliable as a more robust containment—which, again, would add to cost.

Some proponents have suggested siting SMRs underground as a safety measure. However, underground siting is a double-edged sword—it reduces risk in some situations (such as earthquake) and increases it in others (such as flooding). It can also make emergency intervention more difficult. And it too increases cost.

Proponents also point out that smaller reactors are inherently less dangerous than larger ones. While this is true, it is misleading, because small reactors generate less power than large ones, and therefore more of them are required to meet the same energy needs. Multiple SMRs may actually present a higher risk than a single large reactor, especially if plant owners try to cut costs by reducing support staff or safety equipment per reactor.

Relaxing Security Standards

The April 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon remind us that terrorism is an ongoing threat. Yet the nuclear industry is proposing weaker security standards for SMRs. Industry representatives have suggested potential security force reductions of as much as 70 to 80 percent, which seem likely to leave plants inadequately defended.

Some industry representatives have suggested that underground siting could make SMRs less vulnerable to attack, but this is true only in some possible attack scenarios—in others, underground siting could work in the attackers' favor. No matter what safeguards are added to a plant's design, a robust and flexible security force will be needed.

Shrinking Evacuation Zones

Because of SMRs' alleged safety advantages, proponents have called for shrinking the size of the emergency planning zone (EPZ) surrounding an SMR plant from the current standard of 10 miles to as little as 1000 feet, making it easier to site the plants near population centers and in convenient locations such as former coal plants and military bases.

However, the lessons of Fukushima, in which radiation levels high enough to trigger evacuation or long-term settlement were measured at as much as 20 to 30 miles from the accident, suggest that these proposals, which are based on assumptions and models that have yet to be tested in practice, may be overoptimistic.


Unless a number of optimistic assumptions are realized, SMRs are not likely to be a viable solution to the economic and safety problems faced by nuclear power.

While some SMR proponents are worried that the United States is lagging in the creation of an SMR export market, cutting corners on safety is a shortsighted strategy.

Since safety and security improvements are critical to establishing the viability of nuclear power as an energy source for the future, the nuclear industry and the DOE should focus on developing safer reactor designs rather than weakening regulations.

Congress should direct the DOE to spend taxpayer money only on support of technologies that have the potential to provide significantly greater levels of safety and security than currently operating reactors.

The DOE should not be promoting the idea that SMRs do not require 10-mile emergency planning—nor should it be encouraging the NRC to weaken its other requirements just to facilitate SMR licensing and deployment.

Last Revised: 09/10/13



Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


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