by Staff Writers
Washington DC (Sputnik) Jun 18, 2015
The United States may add small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to its energy portfolio in the next ten years, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said at the 2015 Energy Information Agency conference on Monday.
"We are hoping we will see the first of these units [SMRs], particularly right now one in the 50 Mega Watt (MW) scale, deployed early in the next decade," Moniz stated.
The US Department of Energy remains "very interested" in testing the deployment of small modular reactors to assess the safety and environmental benefits, Moniz noted, adding that the SMRs present other advantages because of their relatively low capital costs per unit.
SMRs are smaller, factory produced units designed to provide electricity in areas that are isolated or may have smaller electric grids, or where water and space are limited. SMR energy production can range up to 300MW, under current designs.
In 2012, the US Department of Energy launched a six year $452 million SMR support program aimed at promoting the development and investment in US-based SMR projects.
Approximately 20 percent of US energy consumption comes from nuclear power, with the majority of energy derived from coal and natural gas.
Source: Sputnik News
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