I read with interest your July 25 article "The first small nuclear modular reactor in the country may be coming soon." Unfortunately, this NuScale reactor system is being presented as if its design is fully tested and will be ready to produce power by 2026. The NuScale design being developed on behalf of Utah municipal utilities is a radically new, experimental reactor system that has never been built anywhere.
With the bankruptcy of Westinghouse due to new reactor construction last year and the bankruptcy of France's Areva in attempting similar projects in Europe, even pro-nuclear advocates like Michael Shellenberger have concluded that nuclear power cannot hope to be economic if its proponents continue to insist upon embarking on brand new designs. Shellenberger outlines this eloquently in Forbes this week: "If radical innovation makes nuclear power expensive, why do we think it will make nuclear cheap?"
An Oregon company wants to build a radically new nuclear power reactor system in Idaho and have a Washington utility, with its own history of failing to complete construction on four out five reactors [google WPPSS default], run it. And they want Utah ratepayers to pay for it. What could possibly go wrong?
Charles K. Johnson, Boston