Two Senate Bills Would Encourage Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Two bills advancing in the Senate aim to spur small modular nuclear reactor projects.

Small reactors could do better in economics and security than existing large-scale operations.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was examining two bills that would spur the creation and licensing of the small, modular reactors. One measure would authorize the government to spend $250 million over five years to support the technology.

Another bill would create a demonstration program at the Energy Department to test modular reactor designs.

The Energy Department plans to announce a multi-billion-dollar government-backed loan for a nuclear power plant by the end of 2009

Other Nuclear News

2. A ceremony yesterday evening marked the official start of construction at Sanmen 2, China’s third AP1000 nuclear power reactor. The project was six weeks ahead of schedule. It is meant to begin operation in June 2014.

3. The McClean Lake uranium mill in Saskatchewan, Canada, is to be put on stand-by in mid-2010 until market conditions improve

4. Russia Monday said it has no issues about transferring enrichment and reprocessing technologies (ENR) to India and set an ambitious
target of setting 12-14 nuclear reactors in India, days after the two countries inked an accord on civil nuclear cooperation.

Moscow is looking to set up six to eight new nuclear reactors at a site allocated in West Bengal besides six reactors it is building at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu under two separate arrangements.

“Maybe there will also be a third site,” the Russian envoy said while pitching for the setting up of more atomic reactors by Russian companies in India. “It should be done not piece by piece but series by series,” he said.

The India-Russia atomic pact is widely seen as better than the 123 agreement in as much as it guarantees uninterrupted fuel supplies in case of termination of cooperation and gives reprocessing rights to India.