Tags: nuclear | power

Power Utilities Could Turn to Smaller Nuclear Reactors

Monday, 12 Mar 2012 06:20 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The possibility of using small, modular nuclear reactors has FirstEnergy reconsidering its future in nuclear power, reports the Toledo Blade. In the mid 1980s, FirstEnergy spent $6 billion building the Perry Nuclear Power plant on Lake Erie, the paper reports, but the price tag kept the company from expanding.
 
However, the smaller reactors, which are only about the length of a bowling lane and cost as little as $500 million each, are making the Akron-based utility rethink its future in nuclear power. 
 
Pete Sena, president of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., the utility's nuclear subsidiary, said while FirstEnergy can’t afford full-scale nuclear reactors, smaller reactors are manageable investments.
 
FirstEnergy is among 15 utilities who last year joined nuclear engineering and design firm Babcock & Wilcox Co. to form the mPower Industry Consortium. The group provides oversight and pre-licensing funding to develop a 125-megawatt "mPower" reactor — a small, modular light water reactor that is 83 feet high, weighs about 700 tons, and can power about 125,000 homes.
 
In comparison, the Davis Besse nuclear reactor, commissioned in 1978 near Toledo, generates about 940 megawatts.
 
The smaller reactors are more cost-effective for companies that must fund the cost of building their own plants, said Chris Mowry, president of Babcock & Wilcox's Modular Nuclear Energy subsidiary.
 
Since Ohio deregulated electric utilities in 2000, electric rates are determined through competitive bidding, and utility companies such as FirstEnergy can’t build new plants and have the cost passed on to customers.
 
The answer, Mowry said, is to get the total cost under $2 billion, or about the price tag of a new coal-fired or combined-cycle natural-gas fired plant.

With small, modular reactors, that $2 billion or less price is achievable, because for that amount, a utility should be able to buy two modular reactors with a total output near 360 megawatts, Mowry said.
 
The small modular reactors are still under development, and won’t be approved for use in the United States before 2020.
 
 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Calif. Bill Allows Families to Seek 'Gun Restraining' Order

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 08:06 AM

California would become the first state to allow family members to petition judges to take away relatives' guns if they  . . .

Body of Missing Arkansas Real Estate Agent Found

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:53 AM

Police have discovered the body of an Arkansas real estate agent in a shallow grave after she was reported missing last  . . .

Virginia Police: Forensic Evidence Links 2 Cases

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:44 AM

They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. O . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved