A retired distinguished staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will discuss Thursday evening whether small modular nuclear reactors, such as the one proposed in west Oak Ridge, can rejuvenate nuclear power.
The presentation by Kent Williams starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge.
Many people in the nuclear industry say that small modular reactors, or SMRs, are key to a revitalized nuclear industry in the U.S. and overseas because of their projected market, safety, and economic characteristics, a press release said. One SMR plant has been proposed at the former Clinch River Breeder Reactor site in west Oak Ridge.
The release said Williams will describe the differences between large and small nuclear plants and how the latter might meet future demands for electricity in the Southeastern U.S and elsewhere in the world. The role of nuclear power compared to natural gas, coal, and renewables will also be discussed, with emphasis on environmental impacts and economics.
The release said Williams is presently a consultant to national laboratory customers on nuclear fuel cycle technical and economic issues. He worked in the Operations Analysis and Planning Division at the former K-25 site for 15 years and in the Engineering Technology and Nuclear Science and Technology divisions at ORNL for 25 years.
The Thursday night program is open to the public, and there’s no charge to attend. It is sponsored by the Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation and the Oak Ridge Section of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. For more information, call or write Frank Hensley at (865) 250-1158 or [email protected].
First Presbyterian Church is at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
As previously reported on Oak Ridge Today, the Babcock and Wilcox Co. has already invested more than $360 million in a project that could result in a small nuclear reactor in west Oak Ridge, and now the North Carolina company is looking for investors and possibly majority owners.
The mPower small modular reactor, or SMR, program is expected to have a nuclear power plant operating at the former Clinch River Breeder Reactor Site by 2022. Initially, it could have two small reactors, a “twin pack,” and produce 360 megawatts.
See this story for more information.
ASME was founded in 1880 and currently has 130,000 members in 158 countries around the world. ASME is the original author of the boiler and pressure vessel design code, which has been incorporated and adopted as law by virtually every country on earth. For over 40 years, the Oak Ridge Section has worked with sister technical societies to bring pertinent technical content, especially regarding energy choices, to the Oak Ridge community.
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