Rod Adams covered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's December 15 press release on small reactors yesterday, but the story requires more comment. First the press release used childish, highly unprofessional language. For example stating,
"(t)hat is the first step in a process that will take years and years (emphasis added)."The press release does not in any respect suggest that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is willing to cooperate with potential reactor manufacturers in developing safety standards for new technology, and indeed the entire press release seems to express a fairly open hostility to the emergence of innovative American Owned reactor manufacturing businesses. Thus potential reactor manufacturers would be face the possibility of spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing a product only to have the NRC deny it licensing for reasons that would be impossible for the manufacturer to know.
It should be pointed out that the current NRC appears intent on blocking the development of reactors with superior safety potential as well as the potential to produce nuclear power without the creation of nuclear waste. The NRC short sightly dismisses the potential of small reactors to produce power that will serve millions of Americans. The NRC leadership is so incompetent that it does not understand that a large number of innovative reactors rapidly built in factories at low cost can produce more power over time than a small number of hugely expensive large reactors that take years and years to build. The NRC seems intent on crippling the potential for the emergence of new manufacturing models in the nuclear power business, and clearly has stated that it intends to impede the emergence of technological innovations from American own reactor start ups businesses. The NRC is throwing its weight on the side of Japanese and French owned reactor manufacturers against the possibility of American owned reactor businesses.
The December press release reveals the NRC to be incompetent, unprofessional, narrow minded, opposed to technological innovation, and intending to impede the development of innovative American owned reactor manufacturing businesses, while serving the interest of foreign owned reactor manufacturers. Congressional reform of the NRC is clearly called for. This incompetent agency needs a house cleaning beginning with a wholesale firing of its anti-innovation, foot dragging, anti- American reactor business leadership.