Ensuring an ongoing supply of power in a low carbon economy is one of the major national and international challenges that almost every country faces. Investments in alternative and renewable energy technologies have risen steadily over the last decade, particularly since the ratification of the 2030 Paris Agreement. Although reasonable progress has been made as a result of this, even the most developed renewable energy technologies, for example, solar, wind and hydro, cannot satisfy the rapidly growing energy demand of the world. Arguably a non-renewable energy source, nuclear energy may be one clean energy answer for the future. More specifically, small-scale nuclear energy holds considerable potential. Such potential exists in the form of light water small modular reactors (LW-SMRs). These SMRs have the capability to meet the energy independence and the energy security needs of many countries while reducing capital and operating expenditure and environmental and physical footprint. The modularity aspect of this technology allows for varied application, from large towns to rural regions that currently rely on individual generators. It also creates the opportunity of cogeneration with already existing conventional power generation technology to diversify power generation and increase grid stability. LW-SMRs are not a new idea; in fact, they have been used to power U.S. aircraft carriers and submarines for almost 60 years. This case study will address the advantages and disadvantages of the LW-SMR, using the market leader NuScale as an example. NuScale in Oregon, United States, is arguably the most experienced and influential LW-SMR nuclear energy company when it comes to the factory fabrication of LW-SMRs.
Small-Scale Nuclear Energy: Environmental and Other Advantages and Disadvantages
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Liam Darby, Amanda Hansson, Clement Tisdell; Small-Scale Nuclear Energy: Environmental and Other Advantages and Disadvantages. Case Studies in the Environment 1 January 2020; 4 (1): 1112327. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cse.2020.1112327
Download citation file: