Along Those Lines: Co-ops Explore ‘Tremendous Potential’ of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

The service territory of Glennallen, Alaska-based Copper Valley Electric Association is a big driver behind its exploration of small modular nuclear reactors. While hydroelectric plants cover most of the co-op’s generation needs in the summer, the co-op wants to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in the winter months, especially given the volatile price of diesel. (Photo By: Debora Vandor/Getty Images)

Small modular reactors, or SMRs, are in the news a lot lately. These innovative nuclear powerhouses and their smaller cousins, microreactors, are being touted as not only an important potential source of carbon-free power, but a promising bridge to facilitate the nation’s ongoing transition away from fossil-fuel based generation.

This episode is sponsored by CHR Solutions.

As their name suggests, SMRs are smaller than traditional nuclear power plants and contain new technologies that make them scalable, safer to operate, and potentially easier and cheaper to site and deploy. But are they capable of delivering on their many promises from a technological and financial standpoint, and how long will it take until we could realistically expect these devices to be added to the grid?

To learn more, we’re joined by Dan Walsh, NRECA’s senior power supply and generation director, and Travis Million, CEO of Copper Valley Electric Association, which has been working hard to bring a microreactor to its Alaska territory.

Listen to the episode below:

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Disclaimer: Podcast guest Dan Walsh is an advisory board member for NuScale, one of the SMR vendors mentioned in this episode.

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RE Magazine: Some Co-ops Are Making Early Moves on Small Nuclear Reactors

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