Coming Soon to Your Town-- Mini-Nuclear Plants?
This needs to be stopped:
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Pushing ahead with ambitious nuclear plans, the Tennessee Valley Authority signed a letter of intent to become the nation's first electricity provider to build small modular reactors.
Spokesmen for the nation's largest public utility and Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy subsidiary Generation mPower in Charlotte, N.C., said Friday that the letter signed in late May outlines plans for building up to six of the mini reactors at TVA's vacant Clinch River site west of Knoxville in East Tennessee.
TVA spokesman Terry Johnson said the utility is pursuing possible development of a single small reactor to start operating by 2020. He said they would be built in pairs. Johnson said the small reactors each could supply enough power to support about 70,000 homes, about one-tenth of a large reactor.
The cost and who will pay it are not known.
Generation mPower President and CEO Ali Azad said in a statement Thursday that TVA plans to apply for a construction permit in 2012, while Generation mPower plans to apply for design certification in 2013. But TVA nuclear spokesman Ray Golden said it is still "not an absolute certainty we are going to do this."
Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Roger Hannah said that those reviews would take several years and that a license application review would follow.
Hannah said the proposed mini reactor is the first for any NRC site.
A Babcock & Wilcox email Friday said that compared to large reactors that vary in size and design, the mPower reactor is about 80 feet tall and 15 feet wide at it largest point and weighs about 500 tons before being loaded with fuel.