SMRs are useless says the UK’s leading SMR analyst! – 100 per cent renewable energy is much more feasible!

Professor Stephen Thomas, the UK’s leading analyst of ‘small modular (nuclear) reactors’, has concluded that the idea faces a dead end, with no future. Yet the UK continues to give large grants to hopeful companies to develop these white elephants. The Government has proclaimed the need for ‘billions of pounds‘ of investment in SMRs. Meanwhile badly needed district heating networks to be supplied by large-scale heat pumps and a range of other realistic clean energy initiatives go unfunded!

The UK’s political institutions, including the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), continue to promote these fantasy SMRs through one-sided hearings and ignore possibilities for 100% renewable energy scenarios. Has the EAC set up an enquiry into the practicalities of 100 per cent or near 100 per cent renewable energy for the UK? No, it hasn’t, because it seems to prefer to spend time pursuing dead-ends such as SMRs.

Steve Thomas’s analysis lampooned the concept of SMRs when he said ‘The cheap way to produce SMRs is to scale down their failed designs’ (ie to scale down the larger versions of nuclear manufacturers previous failures). This highlights the central silliness of the idea of SMRs. On the one hand nuclear manufacturers built nuclear plant larger to improve economies of scale, but they have not produced economically viable results, so now there are pressures for them to reverse this process and make the resulting smaller nuclear power plant even worse!

He also commented that

‘All things equal, a large PWR/BWR will create less (nuclear) waste than the same capacity of small reactors’.

Thomas concluded that:

  • the impression is that large numbers of SMRs are being ordered around the world
  • These claims are unproven or misleading or simply wrong
  • No modern design SMR is operating, 3 prototype SMRs are under construction (China, Russia, India)
  • No current design has completed a full safety review by an experienced & credible regulator. Until this is done, it will not be known if the design is licensable or what the costs would be. So no design of SMR is commercially available to order

You can watch and hear Steve Thomas’s presentation on SMRs in the full youtube recording of our seminar on 100 per cent renewable energy rather than SMRs  HERE Please go to 55 minutes into the recording to start watching from the beginning of Steve’s presentation.

The full power point presentation (on its own) can be downloaded as a ppt from HERE  or as a pdf from Thomas-SMR-Webinar (3)

We shall soon be sending in the petition asking the EAC to launch an enquiry into 100 per cent renewable energy for the UK instead of the one it did on small modular reactors. It should be obvious that faced with new nuclear power failing and fossil fuel carbon capture and storage schemes that do not work we should be urgently looking at how we can run a 100 per cent renewable energy system for the UK! PLEASE SIGN IT NOW! Go to THIS PAGE HERE to sign the petition now!

by David Toke

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2 thoughts on “SMRs are useless says the UK’s leading SMR analyst! – 100 per cent renewable energy is much more feasible!”

  1. Professor Stephen Thomas, the UK’s leading critics of nuclear energy says nuclear energy is bad. Bear shits in woods

  2. More to the point – is he the leading expert or not. If he is, then the argument of the article is strengthened by his opinion. If not, then you maybe should be saying why not.

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