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Posts Tagged ‘Savannah River National Laboratory’


Monday, September 20th, 2010

To anybody surveying the landscape of nuclear energy right now, it’s becoming more and more obvious that small modular reactors are quickly emerging as a viable and necessary option.

With Progress Energy effectively suspending their reactor initiative last week and with many "First Mover" projects grinding along, it seems plausible that building a full-scale U.S. reactor could be a 10-year, $10-billion undertaking unless the current paradigm changes.

Having licensed designs on the shelf will help; however, few American utilities may willing to run this triathlon without carbon pricing in an projected era of sustained low natural gas prices.  Small reactors, however, could offer a different dynamic if developers are able to consummate their designs and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission responds accordingly.

Last week the good news was that Hyperion, the New Mexico company and leading mini-SMR pioneer, signed a memorandum of agreement with the Savannah River National Laboratory to explore the possibility of building a demonstration reactor on the site.

This week the good news is that the project is finding favorable review in South Carolina. In a column in "The State", business columnist Andrew Shain expresses enthusiasm for Hyperion’s business-like attitudes. “Hyperion impressed Savannah River National Solutions officials because the company came showing the technology first instead of asking for money,” reports Shain. 

“They were not looking for a hand out from us or the government,” Pete Knollmeyer, vice president of strategic planning at Savannah River National Solutions, tells Shain.

Comments from South Carolina readers are what you’d hope to hear:  “Sounds like a Common Sense idea that should have been explored a long time ago.”  “The Navy has been running ships the size of cities for years with small nukes.” 

It’s good to hear so much hope outside-the-beltway when sometimes there is so little inside.

Read more at The State