Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Rebecca Kern
Nov. 3 — Advanced nuclear reactor technologies would be speeded up if the federal government increased spending to $2 billion annually on research and development test beds and demonstration projects, nuclear experts advised.
In order to move advanced nuclear reactors from the conceptual stage where they are today to the testing stages and eventual deployment, the government needs to increase its funding from its approximately $500 million per year to $2 billion per year over a 10-year period, Armond Cohen, executive director of the Clean Air Task Force, said during a Nov. 3 event releasing the Global Nexus Initiative’s policy memo outlining a framework for advanced reactors.
The Global Nexus Initiative is a group formed two years ago by the Nuclear Energy Institute, which represents the nuclear industry, and the Partnership for Global Security, a nonpartisan, non-profit focusing nuclear security policy.
The report is based on discussions during the group’s February workshop on the challenges to deploying advanced reactors, which are non-light water nuclear reactors that rely on other substances, such as sodium, to cool the reactor that have the potential to be cheaper to build and safer than existing reactor technologies.
Todd Allen, a senior visiting fellow at Third Way, a policy research group, said that government funding should be focused on early innovation for startup companies, of which some fraction will move up to commercial deployment.
The report said that advanced reactors could be one of the solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to help meet the U.S. targets set by the Paris climate agreement.
“The current generation of light-water reactors is probably going to be too expensive and too slow to be relevant to solve the problem,” said Cohen, a member of the working group that wrote the report.
But Cohen said the advanced nuclear industry can’t be wholly subsidized by the government, but must be a technology that can survive in the commercial marketplace on its own. The initial government funding will help with the front-end development. “The first part of this is really about getting launch of a really commercially viable product that can compete against fossil,” he said.
The wind and solar industries are getting even larger federal and state subsidies totaling nearly $10 billion annually from the investment and production tax credits and the state renewable portfolio standards. “So this seems like a reasonable kind of bet on early stages of the technology. I don’t think we’re advocating that there be a permanent subsidy for advanced reactors,” he added.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Kern in Washington at rKern@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)