The global search for alternative energy sources to Russian energy during the war in Ukraine has revived interest in smaller, easier-to-build nuclear power plants. (SMRs) are much cheaper and faster to operate than standard power plants and offer the kind of energy security many countries are looking for.

France already relies on nuclear power for most of its electricity, and Germany has retained the option to reopen two nuclear power plants that will close at the end of the year as Russia cuts its natural gas supply.Rolls-Royce While SMR and its competitors have signed contracts with countries from the UK to Poland to start building stations, they will take years to operate and the energy crisis currently gripping Europe cannot be resolved.

Nuclear power also poses risks such as the disposal of highly radioactive waste and keeping that technology out of the hands of rogue states and nefarious groups that might pursue a nuclear weapons program.Europe in Zaporizhia These risks have been underscored by the bombardment around the largest nuclear power plants.However, as a result of the war, “gas imports and Russia’s reliance on energy sources have put people’s minds on energy security.” We focused,” said Rolls-Royce SMR spokesman Dan Gould.

Gould said the SMR’s components are assembled in a factory, moved to a tractor-trailer location, and assembled there, making the technology more attractive to modest buyers. “By building smaller, it’s less risky and makes the project more investable.” Other designs use sodium, lead, gas, or salt as coolant instead of water. Its main advantages are its size (about one-tenth the size of a standard reactor), ease of construction and price.

The Rolls-Royce SMR has an estimated cost of £2.2 billion to £2.8 billion ($2.5 billion to $3.2 billion) and an estimated construction period of five and a half years. According to International Atomic Energy Agency statistics, this is two years earlier than it took him to build a standard nuclear power plant between 2016 and 2021. Some estimates put the cost of building a 1,100 megawatt nuclear power plant at $6 billion to $9 billion. Rolls-Royce is aiming to build its first station in the UK within five and a half years, Gould said.

Similarly, Oregon-based NuScale Power last year partnered with two Polish companies, copper and silver producer KGHM and energy producer UNIMOT, to explore the possibility of building an SMR to power heavy industry. I made a deal. Poland wants to move away from polluting coal power plants. Rolls-Royce SMR said last month it had struck a deal with Dutch developer ULC-Energy to consider setting up his SMR in the Netherlands. Another of his partners is Turkey, where Russia is building the Akkuyu nuclear power plant on its southern coast. Environmentalists say the area is seismically active and could be a target for terrorists.

To environmentalists who argue that the introduction of “unproven” nuclear power technology in the form of SMRs will exacerbate the problem of how the proliferation of small reactors will deal with highly radioactive nuclear waste. Unacceptable. Korey Dogan Urbarli, spokesman for Turkey’s Green Party, said, “Russia is an incompetent regime that has abandoned certain regional sovereignty for at least 100 years, turning Russia into a corporate ‘testbed’. Nuclear power plant. This incompetence and lobbying power make Turkey a prime target for his SMR,” Koray said, adding that his party is avoiding technology in an “uncertain future.” .

Gould said a single Rolls-Royce SMR would produce nuclear waste the size of “a meter high tennis court piled up” over the plant’s 60-year service life. He said the waste would initially be stored on UK factory premises and eventually moved to a long-term disposal site selected by the UK government.

MV Ramana, a professor of public policy and international affairs at the University of British Columbia, says there are “proven ways to prevent future leaks of nuclear waste stored in what authorities consider safe. It cites research suggesting that no. Ramana, who specializes in international security and nuclear energy, said the constant heat generated by the waste would change the rock formations in which the waste is stored, allowing water to seep in, and future mining activities to , said the integrity of nuclear waste sites could be compromised.

Skeptics also pose the risk of potentially exporting such technology in politically turbulent regions. Gould said Rolls-Royce is “fully compliant” with UK and international requirements for exporting SMR technology.

But Ramana said there is no guarantee that nations will follow the rules. It can produce “plutonium equivalent to about 10 bombs”, he added. Rolls-Royce SMR could choose to stop supplying fuel or other services to anyone who flouts the rules, but “if a country chooses to do so, as Iran has done, for example, We can tell the International Atomic Energy Agency to stop the inspections,” Ramana said.

Spent fuel is typically chemically reprocessed to produce the kind of plutonium used in nuclear weapons, but Ramana said such reprocessing techniques are widely known and can produce the quantities needed for weapons. of plutonium does not require a very advanced reprocessing plant.


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