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« EDF's Hinkley Point C nuclear power station faces £18bn decision day | Main | The Serious Warning No One’s Talking About »

Small modular reactors are nuclear energy’s future

Scaled-down plants offer price gains over conventional sites

As delays mount at large new nuclear power projects around the world, more attention is turning to smaller alternatives, which industry experts hope may help provide the next generation of electricity.

So-called “small modular reactors” — miniature nuclear power plants with a capacity of less than 300 megawatts — could provide an alternative to mega-plants like the two 1.6 gigawatt reactors planned at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

The UK project is one of a number of delayed or abandoned nuclear power schemes, which have left policymakers around the world looking for cheaper, less risky options to meet electricity demand.

SMRs are designed as shrunken versions of larger plants; they can be made in factories and moved by train, truck or barge to the site. Developers say that if enough are built in the same factory, costs per unit of energy output can be driven down well below those of larger plants.

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With Cameco still flirting with the $10.00 level its hard to figure out which way the price is headed.

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