Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Idaho nuke wannabe eyeballing small modular reactors

Alternate Energy Holdings' ground in Payettte County.
This appeared on PR Newswire this morning and we thought it worth posting, considering the passionate interest around here concerning all things nuclear.

Alternate Energy Holdings today announced it is exploring the use of small modular reactors (SMR) on its proposed nuclear power plant site in Payette County, Idaho. SMRs range between 45 and 220 megawatts, and because of their modular and easily expandable design their implementation can be modified based on future energy needs.

"This would not necessarily replace our plans to build a large-scale reactor on the proposed site, but there may be an opportunity to build one or more years in advance of the larger reactor," said Don Gillispie, the company's CEO.

Several SMR designs are being reviewed including designs from Babcock & Wilcox, Westinghouse, NuScale Power and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). "We are seriously reviewing these options," Gillespie said. "SMR designs may give the company the flexibility it needs in the short term, while at the same time providing a very lucrative addition to AEHI's long-term plans."

Here is a link to the company's Web site, detailing its plans for Idaho: http://www.alternateenergyholdings.com/idaho-energy-complex.aspx

Of course, announcing that you intend to do something and actually getting it done are two different things. AEHI's plans for bringing nuclear power to Idaho have gotten a fair amount of attention since 2006. Our most trusted source on all things nuclear, Dan Yurman's Idaho Samizdat Nuke Notes blog, posted this in April: http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2012/04/far-west-follies.html

Key point: "(The Snake River Alliance) still has harsh things to say about the project on its web site. It calls AEHI a 'cartoonish nemesis' and says it does not take its proposals seriously enough to devote time to opposing them. That's probably the last word on the firm. If the local anti-nuclear group can't be bothered to stir up trouble for a nuclear reactor project, how viable can it be?"