‘New’ nuclear reactors? Same old story

The two main obstacles to new designs for nuclear reactors are still exactly the same: cost and unforeseen technical problems:

The nuclear industry is forever reinventing itself with one brilliant ‘new’ idea after another, Amory Lovins wrote in this classic 2009 essay. But whether it’s touting the wonders of future SMRs, IFRs or LFTRs, the reality never changes: the reactors they are building right now are over time, over budget and beset by serious, entirely unforeseen technical problems.

“But on closer examination, the two kinds most often promoted – Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs) and thorium reactors – reveal no economic, environmental, or security rationale, and the thesis is unsound for any nuclear reactor.”

Read the essay in The Ecologist issue of April 12, 2016.

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