There is a terrific, must read article by Rebecca Smith in the February 18, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal titled Small Reactors Generate Big Hopes. It may not be there when you check it, but right now, that article is occupying a prominent place on the landing site for one of the most widely read and respected business publications in the world, right above a story about Shaun White winning a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. The focus is on an agreement signed yesterday by Tennessee Valley Authority, First Energy Corp. and Oglethorpe Power Corp. to work with B&W to obtain an NRC license for the mPowerTM reactor.
It is a balanced piece that allows the naysayers their space, but it clearly lays out the reasons why there are some very smart people who are recognizing that the age old “economy of scale” mantra that engineers are taught in their one required economics class has many meanings.
In today’s energy supply world, there are many other economies to consider, like the economy of speed to market, the economy of series production (which is not a new thought, by the way), the economy of a secure supply chain and the economy of incremental capacity additions.
It is never attractive to be an “I told you so”, but here are a couple of other articles on the topic that you might find interesting:
- Atomic Insights May 1996 – Small is Beautiful
- Atomic Insights May 1996 – Economy of Scale?
- Atomic Insights Blog September 2009 – Small is Beautiful, Even for Nuclear Fission Reactors
Have a great atomic day!
Update: (February 19, 2010 0403) The below list of links provide some investor reaction information. It is starting small, but I expect it will grow as I continue to search.