Will nuclear power power some Utah cities in the future?

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  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2018 12:36 p.m.

    Maybe, nuclear power very well could play a role in Utah's future. However, coal is the generator of electricity now. I'm currently getting funding for a new coal mine and a new power plant in the bears ears area. So for now, support coal and stop complaining or sit in the dark.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    Nov. 27, 2018 9:33 a.m.

    First, no one is proposing only solar nor only wind power. It's all part of the portfolio, including natural gas. I question why so many like to conveniently leave that out of the equation. As many rightfully comment, this is a portfolio discussion.

    These small nukes do have potential. Especially with the forthcoming pebbles based reactors. And I know many tout the new air cooled reactors coming - but these aren't those. Water can and will be an issue. At the end of the day these are steam generators - just like coal and natural gas and access to plentiful water is crucial. But still promising.

    One part of this is very inaccurate..

    "Yucca Mountain in Nevada was the planned depository for the storage of high level nuclear waste, but President Obama scuttled the project by yanking the funding after two decades of research."

    Yucca Mountain was killed by the states that would be included in it. Utah objected to many parts of the project. In the current budget cycle DOE had requested $120 million and the NRC $30 million. Congress in the 2018 budget allocated $0s. That was a Republican budget. Yucca Mountain has issues... both at state and federal levels.

  • Um Actually... Provo, UT
    Nov. 27, 2018 6:58 a.m.

    Nuclear power has to be a part of the equation of carbon free power. The fact is that the sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t always blow. We need a reliable source of carbon free energy! Nuclear energy is actually safer than most carbon producing technologies. And doesn’t take up all the land that solar does. But we do need to solve the long term storage problem.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    Nov. 26, 2018 11:54 p.m.

    Things like solar and wind power sound nice, but they do take up a lot of space for the amount of power they produce and need extensive battery storage when the weather doesn't cooperate for an extended period of time.
    Nuclear is safer than fossil fuels and offers a much more favorable energy to cost ratio. Many modern reactor designs have no risk of meltdown, produce significantly less waste than old reactors, and can use things like thorium (which is much easier to mine and refine) to start the reaction cycle instead of working directly with uranium.
    If we're actually interested in solving problems, we need to be investing more of our energy research budget into nuclear. Things like these small reactors sound like a good start. Oil companies will lobby against it and environmentalists will cry day and night about it, but it's an easy option that could drastically cut down our CO2 emissions in a matter of just a few years.

  • Soon To Springville guy Parowan, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 4:19 p.m.

    Wind and solar power are a joke. Will not prove out. If government subsidies are cut, no one will use solar or wind.
    Nuclear power is a no brainer. The modern technology is very safe. In England they build houses next to Nuclear power plants. Yes, yes.

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    Nov. 26, 2018 3:51 p.m.

    @Red Smith:

    "Solar and natural gas cost half as much,"

    Solar is not cheaper. It's roughly comparable to the price that UAMPS is targeting for the NuScale project. (That price is $65/MWhr.)

    However, I will grant that solar prices are going down. Will that continue? I don't know. However, it cannot be used alone as baseload power. To match the capability of the NuScale project (and thereby become baseload power), it would need extensive battery storage, which would raise the price considerably.

    As for natural gas, yes it's cheaper.... Until somebody passes a CO2 tax, at which point nuclear would win hands down.

    Will somebody pass a CO2 tax at some point? Again, I don't know. But I know it's on the agenda for some portion of Congress.

  • WaywardPatriot Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 3:27 p.m.

    Nuclear Power is a huge component of fighting global warming and displacing fossil fuels. We absolutely MUST invest in this critical zero-carbon power source if we are to have even a hope of fighting disastrous global warming.

    Misguided environmentalists have given Nuclear energy a black eye in the public consciousness, but in reality it is one of the safest and best zero-carbon forms of energy we have. The facts and figures don't lie.

    When you factor in the costs for wind and solar + battery storage (which doesn't even exist at scale yet) you see that Nuclear is a wise choice economically and environmentally.

    The waste question is massively overblown, as the total quantity is incredibly small compared to other power sources, can be recycled into more zero-carbon energy. It's an entirely manageable engineering problem if the radical environmentalists would simply get out of the way and let the Scientists and Engineers get to work.

    Nuclear is a proven and available technology that can scale to supplant fossil fuels quickly and help stabilize the climate. We should be investing full-force into this technology for rapid deployment.

  • JimHopf San Jose, CA
    Nov. 26, 2018 12:47 p.m.

    In response to various comments.

    It's great that people are receptive to these new, vastly safer reactor designs, but the public safety risks and public health impacts of existing US nuclear were already negligible; definitely compared to the fossil fuel alternative. US nuclear (and its wastes) has not caused a single public death and has never had any measurable public health impact, whereas US fossil generation is responsible for ~8,000 *annual* deaths along with a large fraction of our global warming emissions. (Nuclear has a negligible global warming impact.)

    US nuclear plants represent a negligible "security" risk (terrorists could cause far more harm, with a far greater chance of success, by attacking almost anything else), and the costs of plant decommissioning and waste management ARE included in the cost. Always have been. It's other energy sources that have unpaid external (indirect) costs.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    I’m generally opposed to nuclear power because once all the true costs are added in (cost such as national security and storage never are) the price tag and risks just are not worth it.

    But this project is a bit different for a few reasons: the cost is about 75% less, the National Labs site in Idaho has the unique ability to store waste on site, and anyone who has ever been near that site knows security is already extremely high level.

    The Green River project is purely a publicity stunt and everyone connected to utility scale energy knows it, but I’ll be interested to see what happens with this project.

    As an aside, the real reason nuclear power is dying across the world isn’t about the environmental concerns or propaganda from other industries, it is all about funding.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 7:29 a.m.

    Nuke power is outdated and too costly.

    Solar and natural gas cost half as much, so what's the point of dangerous nuke power?

    It's just stupid.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 7:27 a.m.

    @James E "And why can't we recycle our dangerous nuclear fuel into more fuel and low-level waste? "

    Well apparently we can't. Such is not in the proposal. Nevertheless the CO2 emergency, and it is that, forces our hand on nuclear power.

    This proposal merits serious consideration. BTW, in an earlier censored comment I said this was an example of forward looking focus by the west's socialized power systems. I guess the censor thought this off topic. But municipal owned means socialized. Socialism often works.

  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Nov. 26, 2018 6:23 a.m.

    Nuclear power is not unproven. Using the word “unproven” promotes fear among the uninformed.

    Nuclear power has provided safe, clean electricity for many years in many places. It is not unproven. This smaller, modular approach to an already proven technology makes sense.

    Solar tax credits are a cost borne by every tax payer to the benefit of a few for the support of an industry “the government” seeks to promote. YOUR tax credit is MY additional taxation!

    We all like clean energy. We all want cheap energy. We all expect reliable energy. The path to these ends is achieved by being open to diversification and technology in our energy sources.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 6:04 a.m.

    So we're investing billions into a new, yet unproven nuclear technology that is supposedly "safe" using water in the drought-prone West.

    And yet, renewable energy (wind and solar) -- that doesn't use water -- is booming with little safety problems and reports that it is getting cheaper with its growing economies scale. In fact, subsidies for renewables are going away in the next few years -- making it a non-subsidized power source with the LEAST risk in terms of public financing and safety.

    Remember, that to build this nuclear facility, it will take governmennt subsidies OR ratepayer-financed upfront money before a single kwh of electricity is produced. If it fails, the taxpayers or ratepayers (they're the same people, folks!) are left holding the bag.

    The future is renewable energy and storage batteries at homes and buidlings; as electric vehicles retire their batteries, the next use of those batteries will be for buildings as they can be repurposed for storage for energy from solar panels that are currently being net-metered to utilities. Of course, home solar and storage batteries are substitutes for utility power plants so utilities aren't looking at that option.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 26, 2018 5:22 a.m.

    Nuclear is a bad word in environmentalist circles.. but it is a carbon free power source and climate change is going to kill us all if we don’t do something.... environmentalists don’t really want a solution.. they want a money making cause for themselves. Wake up America

  • James E Tooele, UT
    Nov. 25, 2018 11:45 p.m.

    Finally, new nuclear power systems. The enviros have done their normal thing and decreased the public's safety by freezing our nuclear-power infrastructure in the 1960's using lawsuits and propaganda. Even this system is a decade out of date because of our arcane licensing systems.

    And why can't we recycle our dangerous nuclear fuel into more fuel and low-level waste? April 7th, 1977, Jimmy Carter banned reprocessing nuclear fuel. Everyone else does it, so why do we store that dangerous stuff and strip-mine for more?

    And PS, the energy density of nuclear vs. solar isn't even in the same league. It's like comparing a Roomba to a black hole.

  • drski Eden, UT
    Nov. 25, 2018 5:22 p.m.

    The government will spend billions on unproven nuclear power, and still take away our solar 1000$ tax credit!!