There was an article in Sunday’s San Diego Union Tribune about a smaller, transportable nuclear reactor that is currently being designed by General Atomics in hopes of winning a portion of the $452 million set aside by the Department of Energy for development of new compact reactor technology. According to the article, GA will take about 12 years to design and deliver the first reactor if it receives the DOE funding, and reactors will be designed to be built on an assembly line and delivered by truck, rail, or barge. Each unit is anticipated to generate enough electricity to power a city of 330,000 people and wouldn’t require refueling for at least 30 years.
I am encouraged by this development, and I hope that GA attracts the funding it needs to initiate the program. Standard reactors cost many billions of dollars, making the construction of new units a rare event today. GA’s planned transportable reactor would be considerably more affordable than existing designs and I support this development.