U.S. Approves First Small Commercial Nuclear Reactor
The future of nuclear power looks a little brighter now that U.S. officials have approved a design for a small commercial nuclear reactor for the first time in the nation’s history. According to the Associated Press:
“The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday approved Portland-based NuScale Power’s application for the small modular reactor that Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems plans to build at a U.S. Department of Energy site in eastern Idaho.
“The small reactors can produce about 60 megawatts of energy, or enough to power more than 50,000 homes. The proposed project includes 12 small modular reactors. The first would be built in 2029, with the rest in 2030.”
“NuScale says the reactors have advanced safety features, including self-cooling and automatic shutdown.”
The small modular reactors did receive government support in their development. The AP reports the Department of Energy spent $400 million to speed up the development of these smaller, more nimble reactors. While this is a significant sum of money, it pales in comparison to the billions of dollars that have been squandered on wind and solar, and these energy sources don’t even work when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Rather than building thousands of megawatts of solar and wind, which will only last 25 to 20 years, respectively, utilities like Xcel Energy would better serve their ratepayers by scrapping their planned investments in unreliable solar and wind and instead using their existing coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants until the end of their useful lifetimes, and then running the numbers on emerging nuclear technologies to see if they will return the greatest value for Minnesotans.
Unfortunately, Minnesota’s current laws mandate the use of wind and solar and prohibit the construction of new nuclear power plants, even though nuclear is the only source of energy than can be built anywhere and deliver reliable, carbon dioxide free energy. As we have seen from the blackouts in California, this is the exact wrong thing to do, but liberal politicians in Minnesota refuse to acknowledge energy reality and admit they were wrong to mandate renewables and outlaw nuclear.
This may be the most unbelievable hypocrisy in energy policy. We are told that we need to have California bureaucrats decide which cars we can drive or else our entire species will die. Governor Walz always says climate change is an “existential crisis,” but he refuses to legalize the one source of power that could actually reduce emissions while ensuring the reliability of the grid.
What makes this position even more astonishing is that climate change is the issue liberal politicians pretend to know the most about. They denigrate conservatives for “not following the science” or “denying climate change” even though they can’t seem to understand the simple physics that says wind and solar cannot power an entire electric grid. For those of you reading at home, physics, is a science.
The unreliability of wind and solar is why these technologies will eventually collapse, and nuclear power will probably replace them. Small reactors may be the next big thing in the energy industry, but only time will tell.