A recent survey of the history of nuclear power reactors [by Anna Kucirkova writing in the IQS Industrial Directory] concludes that, despite a checquered history, newer designs can and should be part of a low carbon future. I agree and have said so.
As I’ve written before, it’s not just the technology and the inherent risks in its processes and by-products, but the whole investment scale and timescale in design approvals and construction (and decommissioning) that dog nuclear power projects and magnify their perceived public and political risks.
The fact is that newer, proven and approved technologies, are not only inherently safer but also lend themselves to much smaller-scale and/or modular implementations. With fewer risky eggs in any one basket, there is opportunity for a portfolio of mixed technology projects where all risks can be spread and public confidence re-built.
Not coincidentally, the new article above reports on the real progress of the specific modular Chinese “PBMR” reactor projects I had recommended earlier. Nuclear progress. Far from having had their heyday, I suspect nuclear has a bright future if prejudice gives way to reason.
[Also from Summer 2019 this excellent Bloomberg piece by Liebreich.]