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Russian Sanctions And Civilian Nuclear Power

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A NuScale Power module on a truck. NuScale is one of the small modular reactor companies whose designs are going through pre-licensing approval with Canada’s nuclear regulator. Many are designed to be small enough to transport by truck or by shipping container. (NuScale Power)

We’re just beginning to see the effects of shutting Russia out of the world economy.

Russia has been a big supplier of nuclear power plants. About 1 in 3 being built around the world is Russian. South Korea is another potential supplier, and China might like to expand its market share.

But if Russia is out of the market, building of nuclear power plants will slow down. Those currently under construction may falter because their financing comes through Sberbank, also sanctioned.

In the United States, Westinghouse is once again up for sale, having been through a bankruptcy and sale to somewhat hidden owners. They are being less than transparent about the sale.

Saudi Arabia has issued an inquiry for construction of two 1400 Mwe nuclear plants. The responses to that may show how things will go with Russia sanctioned.

A number of new companies want to offer small modular reactors, but it’s not clear when they’ll be ready for installation.

There is a small move toward recognizing nuclear power as a way to supply electricity with much less carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. Not at all clear how this will turn out.

[This post is based on John Quiggin’s at Crooked Timber and is close in content, although I’ve added a bit.]

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner

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