Eddie Guerra, VP of Civil Infrastructure: Our energy infrastructure is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, which is in turn opening a new wave of challenges for deploying the next generation of nuclear reactors.
The decentralization of power generation will require nuclear plants to be sited closer to demand centers. As the future grid becomes more distributed, energy--intensive customers will demand proximity and flexibility, and new--generation reactors will need to accommodate the intermittency and load--following requirements that a greener and more dynamic grid will pose. Added to that, nuclear projects will need to compete economically within a more liberalized electricity market. Advanced reactor deployments will face unprecedented challenges in today’s world, and in the future.
Despite challenges, advances in engineering and technology point to a very bright future. Smaller reactors with enhanced safety features will allow stakeholders to rethink proximity criteria on siting, opening doors for deployment in new scenarios: university campuses, municipalities in remote areas, or industrial conglomerates, just to name a few.