Thursday, December 29, 2011

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to be Mass Produced in US? at Oil Price

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to be Mass Produced in US? at Oil Price:

Aside from opining that small modular reactors (SMR’s) could be a tremendous business opportunity, the article takes some shots at Gregory Jaczko, the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the NRC).  The two issues are intertwined, but the article doesn’t make that clear.  Internationally, NRC certifications are highly respected once awarded, but the inability of the NRC to deal expeditiously with applications is seen as crippling to the USA’s ability to be a leader in nuclear technology.  There is little to no chance of SMR's being developed in the US with the currently dysfunctional NRC acting as an impediment to innovation.
The other news this week is the realization by many that the Obama appointment of Gregory Jaczko, to Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should be removed.  Apetition drive is underway at, following an inspector general’s report released last June that said Jaczko intimidated staff members who disagreed with him and withheld information from members of the commission to gain their support. The report also said several high-ranking employees at the independent agency complained that Chairman Jaczko delayed and hindered their work on important projects.
The inspector general report times well with the four experienced and well-educated nuclear energy professional commissioners, who among them can count close to 100 years of working with nuclear reactors, nuclear safety analysis, nuclear propulsion plants, advanced nuclear energy research and development, and nuclear project management, that have signeda letter addressed to the Chief of Staff of the President of the United States detailing their frustration with the leadership style and decision making processes used by the 41-year-old, politically-appointed Chairman.
Its far past time for Jaczko to return to Congress where his skill set can be hidden more effectively.
The bolding of the last line is mine - out of admiration.  More on Jaczko’s capacity to do that job is at Rod Adams’ Atomic Insights blog.  

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