Tuesday, 17 November 2020
SMRs: too close for comfort!
Letter sent to The Guardian: Your business commentator, Nils Pratley, concludes his evaluation of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) (“Rolls’s mini nuclear plants are appealing- but also I untried,” Finance, 12 November) by suggesting these so-called advanced nuclear technologies (ANTGs) “are an experiment worth exploring.” SMR proponents, such as Dr Mike Middletion, formerly of the defunct Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), have concluded such reactors would only ever be economically competitive if the surplus heat they inevitably create in operation can be used as either industrial process heat, or piped as domestic central heating. (https://www.eti.co.uk/library/etis-strategy-manager-mike-middleton-presented-smrs-in-the-context-of-waste-and-spent-fuel-management ETI's Strategy Manager Mike Middleton presented 'SMRs in the | The ETI The Energy Technologies Institute is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK government. Delivering affordable, secure and sustainable energy. www.eti.co.uk ) For this to happen, SMRs would have to be built on greenfield sites in, or close to urban populations, or industrial parks near to centres of population. This would reverse the decades- long safety policy of siting nuclear plants far away from concentrated centres of population. Would Mr Pratley be sanguine - as part of the experiment he welcomes - if the first SMR was built next to his home, so he could benefit from its surplus heat?