Modular Nuclear Reactors and attaining carbon footprint reduction

The New York Times (13 February 2011) has an article describing a plan to subsidize design of modular nuclear reactors that can be manufactured in a factory and transported, like modular homes, to replace coal fired power plants at their exiting sites.  Given the high design cost, the Obama administration proposes to spend $ 500 million to subsidize the design costs.  The driver for use of nuclear reactors is a requirement that Federal agencies should reduce their carbon footprint by 28 % by 2020.   The smaller modular reactors will potentially permit faster deployment and with capacities that match local requirements.  Utilities could contract with military bases and Federal research labs to buy power to comply with carbon footprint guidelines in order to finance the reactors.  But security and control considerations for nuclear plants will have to be adjusted  to make the costs affordable.  Is this approach to driving carbon footprint reduction over an aggressive time frame a desirable supply chain strategy ? Should the Federal government subsidize specific technological approaches to attain sustainability metrics ? Will these subsidies enable US exports of these reactors and thus control of the possible collateral global impact (diversion) of nuclear fuel ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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