Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DOE Supporting Modular Nuclear Tech

This is very good news and the Obama administration deserves credit for working to advance the ball in this arena.

The Energy Department has taken a number of steps to help jumpstart America’s nuclear industry and ensure that nuclear power continues to play an important role in the U.S. energy mix. As part of these efforts, the Department has worked to advance small modular reactors, which provide an important opportunity for America’s manufacturing sector to make and sell cutting-edge technology. Small modular reactors have the added advantage of passive safety systems, compact and scalable design and lower capital costs.

“We have a unique combination of nuclear knowledge and laboratory expertise, infrastructure, location and much more to make the Site a natural fit for advancing the small modular reactor technology,” said Dr. Dave Moody, DOE-SR Manager. “We are about reinvigorating SRS assets to impact national needs and influence new missions for the future of the Savannah River Site.”

By strengthening information sharing and access to site facilities and technical expertise, these MOAs will help break down engineering and testing barriers to advanced nuclear reactor research and development while providing these nuclear companies with the resources to support effective deployment plans.
Read the whole thing

The take away for me is the effort, through the MOAs, to strengthen information sharing.  Open and honest communication is the most importnt element in building interated teams and the MOAs recognize that reality and reinforce it.  From an energy independence / green energy perspective this is a very important development.  Long term strorage of nuclear waste is, of course, a problem but we have done little to address the issue since the intitial generation of nuclear power plants were brought on line.  This kind of research and development may lead to break throughs.

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