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Risks
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Public outcry makes Pueblo County officials drop support for nuclear

February
2022

After officials of Pueblo, Colorado invited Oregon-based NuScale to give a presentation on how its small modular reactors could replace the Comanche Generating Station, the largest coal power plant in the state, many Puebloans criticized the county in local newspapers. The city has now refocused on its commitment to looking at all potential replacement technologies to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

New report drops the hammer on NuScale's small modular reactor

February
2022

The independent Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) finds that the NuScale project will cost far more than the company claims, take much longer to build, and pose serious financial risks for the members of the Utah Associated Municipal Power System (UAMPS) and other municipalities and utilities that sign up for the project’s power.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

The economics of nuclear power do not add up

February
2022

As nuclear costs remain high – with half of the world’s installed nuclear capacity over 30 years old and coming to the end of its life – new small scale nuclear reactors (SMRs) won’t contribute to any strong reduction of cost.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Small modular reactors offer no hope for nuclear energy

January
2022

Electricity from a new nuclear plant today is estimated to cost four times more than power from new wind and solar facilities. Countries look to public money to fund these new small modular nuclear projects because private financiers are unwilling to risk investing in production lines and reactors that could prove uneconomic. 

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Nuclear has become 33% more expensive over the past 10 years

December
2021

While renewables costs have dropped 90% over the last decade, nuclear costs have risen 33% say Brigham Young University researchers and other authors in a recent report. With increased cost and development delays, new “next-generation” nuclear plants won’t be completed for 10 to 20 years, the report notes, and even then nuclear costs are expected to be at least double what renewables are today. 

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Taxpayers’ Losing Bet on NuScale and Small Modular Reactors

December
2021

A new report from Taxpayers for Commonsense explains how the UAMPS/NuScale project contributes to a long history of taxpayer money down the drain for nuclear projects, finding that “ever-increasing subsidies cannot solve the nuclear energy industry’s costly flaws.”

Risks
Risks

Renewable-powered grids are more reliable

December
2021

As wind and solar become so much cheaper and faster to power lives and economies, myths are propagated against them designed to bolster options like nuclear. In fact, the authors point out, nuclear plants are regularly and often out of action and nuclear plant interruptions have become seven times more frequent in the past decade as a result of climate and weather-related factors.

Secrecy & Uncertainty
Secrecy & Uncertainty

Oregon's experience with nuclear power has not been positive

December
2021

The Citizens Utility Board of Oregon -- which advocates for affordable, accessible, reliable and clean electricity for Oregonians -- explains concerns over financing, fuel supply, radioactive waste disposal and other uncertainties that could send costs skyrocketing for a small modular nuclear plant being proposed to provide power for Oregon.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Planned SMR likely to leave Wyoming with a nuclear lemon

November
2021

Two nuclear experts take a close look at the small modular reactor proposed for Wyoming and conclude that residents are likely left with a lemon for a range of safety, technical and economic factors. These include very expensive molten salt storage, fire risk from sodium-cooled reactors, and a track record of leaks and other operational problems for this technology at other locations.

Risks
Risks

Proposed Washington nuclear reactor site draws fire from local tribes

November
2021

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have told the U.S. Department of Energy that they do not support a small modular reactor proposal from X-energy at the Hanford Nuclear Site, as there is no solution for the hazardous waste that is already a problem at Hanford from plutonium production during WWII. "Some of these larger cleanup sites like the Hanford site represent some of the largest environmental injustice sites," says the tribe's energy and environmental science program manager.

Risks
Risks

Nuclear power industry continues its global decline: New report

September
2021

The nuclear power industry continues to grapple with rising costs, uncertain demand and a risky future, according to The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021. The report notes widespread construction delays, cost overruns, and other factors that contributed to high costs and low output over the previous year. This applies to SMR technology in the United States as well, where "[t]here are thus no new signs that of a major breakthrough for SMRs, neither technologically nor commercially."

Risks
Risks

More market problems and delay loom for small nuclear

August
2021

With the need for the development of a different form of uranium in order to function—and no supply chain in place—most of the new proposed smaller reactors face significant delay and fundamental challenge to their commercial viability. 

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Proposal for nuclear power calls for caution

August
2021

Wyoming writer David Romvedt sounds an alarm on TerraPower’s proposed nuclear power plant, signaling that timelines, generation costs and economics for his state may be big problems.

Risks
Risks

Utah cities shouldn’t gamble on nuclear power

August
2021

The president of Utah Taxpayers Association makes the case that small nuclear reactors are a shaky investment for Utah’s municipalities because of rising costs and a process which involves the public’s money that has been less than transparent.

Secrecy & Uncertainty
Secrecy & Uncertainty

SMR advocates refuse to learn the lessons of the past 

August
2021

TFIE Strategy’s Michael Barnard explains that most of the small modular nuclear reactor innovations being touted as the new really aren’t. “In the seven decades since the first SMR was commissioned, 57 different designs and concepts have been designed, developed and, rarely, built,” he notes. The article explores concerns with SMR economics, security, decommissioning and more. 

Risks
Risks

Small nuclear reactor advocates refuse to learn the lessons of the past

August
2021

TFIE Strategy’s Michael Barnard explains that most of the small modular nuclear reactor innovations being touted as the new really aren’t. “In the seven decades since the first SMR was commissioned, 57 different designs and concepts have been designed, developed and, rarely, built,” he notes. The article explores concerns with SMR economics, security, decommissioning and more.

Risks
Risks

Study reveals an increase in the frequency of nuclear power outages caused by climate change

August
2021

Climate change increases the possibility of power outages, including at nuclear plants. A new study by Ali Ahmad from Harvard University points to stricter safety regulations for nuclear plants as they struggle to get back online after a power outage.

Risks
Risks

‘Advanced’ Nuclear Reactor Designs Are No Better Than Current Reactors—and Some Are Worse

March
2021

A Union of Concerned Scientists’ analysis, ‘Advanced’ Isn’t Always Better, argues that in addition to their long development timelines and costs, smaller, non-light-water reactor designs do not meet essential criteria to be safer and more secure than existing reactors.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Building nuclear power plants – Why do costs exceed projections?

November
2020

Cost overruns are often left out of nuclear industry projections and are overlooked in the design process. MIT researchers analyzed five decades of industry data on construction cost from 107 U.S. nuclear plants from 1967-2017, finding constant cost overruns in several areas. Safety requirements, material cost and low productivity were all examined.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Eyes Wide Shut, a September 2020 Report on UAMPS/NuScale project

September
2020

In an in-depth report on the UAMPS/NuScale proposed SMR project for Idaho Falls, University of British Columbia’s Dr. M.V. Ramana finds that increasing project and electricity costs, lengthy schedule delays, and nuclear waste disposal issues could be a significant albatross for participating municipalities.

Escalating Costs
Escalating Costs

Cost Analysis of Small Modular Reactors and Alternative Power Portfolios

May
2019

An Energy Strategies analysis commissioned by HEAL Utah examined the costs of small nuclear reactors in comparison with alternative low- or non-carbon emitting energy options. The study found that alternative options were roughly 40% cheaper and pointed out that major utilities and venture capital firms have rejected SMRs as a poor risk.


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