Study: Advanced reactors a good fit for Puerto Rico

May 27, 2020, 10:10AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Alternative Project (NAP), a nonprofit group supporting the use of advanced reactors in Puerto Rico, has released the findings of a preliminary feasibility study undertaken to explore in detail the potential for these devices on the Caribbean island. The 288-page study, Preliminary Feasibility Study for Small Modular Reactors and Microreactors for Puerto Rico, was sponsored by the Department of Energy. The study concludes that small modular reactors and microreactors could be part of Puerto Rico’s energy portfolio and potentially supply a substantial part of a strong and diverse zero-emission energy mix.

Key takeaways: Notable findings from the study include the following:

Advanced nuclear reactors provide a combination of reduced electricity costs, zero-emission baseload electricity, and minimal dependency on fuel imports that can lead to a strong degree of energy security and reliability, much needed for a robust manufacturing and industrial sector in Puerto Rico.

Small nuclear reactors can integrate with renewable energy and the existing transmission and distribution grid, as well as with a decentralized system envisioned for the island.

Over 90 percent of more than 3,000 Puerto Rican citizens surveyed are interested in continuing to study the nuclear alternative for the island.

The design and siting regulations of advanced reactors allow this technology to sustain severe natural events, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

Implementation of advanced reactors will not result in the long-term storage of nuclear waste in Puerto Rico; the waste will instead be shipped to federally approved facilities in the United States.

More: NAP is preparing for phase-two studies, which will focus on the viability of constructing small reactors at specific locations in Puerto Rico and on an education campaign for the Puerto Rican people.

Also, those interested in learning more about NAP’s efforts should register here for the GAIN-American Nuclear Society webinar, “Clean Energy for Industry: The Case for SMRs and Microreactors in Puerto Rico,” on June 18 at 1 p.m. (EDT).

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