So-Called Next-Generation Nuclear Power Plants Are Being Oversold


One contender, for example, TerraPower’s 345-megawatt Natrium reactor, received considerable media attention earlier this year when company founder Bill Gates touted it during interviews about his new book,How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. According to the UCS report, however, sodium-cooled fast reactors such as Natrium would likely be less uranium-efficient and would not reduce the amount of waste that requires long-term isolation. They could also experience safety problems that are not an issue for light-water reactors. Sodium coolant, for instance, can burn when exposed to air or water, and the Natrium’s design could experience uncontrollable power increases that result in rapid core melting.

There’s little evidence that they’d be cheaper or safer than existing designs Negin, Elliott Neginis a senior writer at the Union of Concerned Scientists. July 21

The U.S. nuclear power industry is at an impasse. Since 2012, 11 of the 104 light-water…

View original post 831 more words