Environmental blog SmartPlanet posted a great story, “The US Nuclear Renaissance Has Begun ,” the impact of the NRC’s recent approval of twin AP1000 reactors at Vogtle Nuclear power plant in Georgia. SmartPlanet’s views on the current and next generations of nuclear technology, and what it means for the U.S. energy landscape provided a good perspective of the resurging nuclear industry.
The article begins with:
“There are cooling towers on the horizon in the United States. The nuclear renaissance is slated to begin in rural Georgia with new reactors being built over the next five years, and work is already underway to leap another generation ahead …”
In the interest of technology accuracy, they make a mis-classification a little further in the article: “The AP 1000 is classified as an EPR, or Evolutionary Power Reactor.”
Actually, AREVA’s EPR(TM) is an advanced Generation III+ reactor—same as Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor—but the two are not the same reactor.
They do share modern Gen III+ reactor safety designs and efficiencies. We were glad to see SmartPlanet point out some of these, such as the advanced defense-in-depth safety systems and design.
The article does a good job describing the importance of the Vogtle plant for the U.S., a good sketch of emerging technologies, and the key focus on implementing lessons learned from Fukushima in modern reactor designs. Read the entire article here.