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More Countries See Nuclear Energy, Small Reactors as Option for Secure Energy Future

Oct. 4, 2019 (EIRNS)—World Nuclear News documents in its Oct. 3 edition that several countries, including the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, see nuclear energy—especially small modular reactors, or SMRs—as a safe way to guarantee their energy security, as well as satisfying “clean” requirements against carbon dioxide. For example:

• Uzbekistan is preparing to build its first nuclear power plant. Speaking to foreign journalists in Tashkent on Sept. 20-21, Energy Minister Alisher Sultanov reported that a specially-appointed task force had debated the issue for 18 months and reached a decision to move forward. “We know this is a sensitive matter, but globally most power sector professionals understand that nuclear is green energy,” he said.

• In Estonia, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Fermi Energia will collaborate on potential deployment applications for GEH’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor. Their memorandum indicates they will examine economic feasibility of building a BWRX-300 in Estonia. Fermi Energia launched a feasibility study in July on the suitability of SMRs for Estonia’s electricity energy supply and climate goals beyond 2030.

• A Puerto Rican-led non-profit organization is about to begin a feasibility study of SMRs and micro-reactors, following support from the Department of Energy. The Nuclear Alternative Project (NAP) founded in 2016 by Puerto Rican engineers in the U.S. nuclear industry to inform and advocate for SMRs and micro-reactors on the island, proposed the study to the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, to evaluate economic, safety and social impact of deploying SMRs for the island. NAP will officially begin a feasibility study on Oct. 8 and sees SMRs as a way to “transform the island’s energy infrastructure,” it said in a statement.

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