Clean Virginia’s Views on Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors

By James C. Sherlock

VOYGR™ SMR plants powered by NuScale Power Module™, the first and only small modular reactor (SMR) to receive design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

I wrote in an earlier article that I had reached out to Clean Virginia on its policy on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and had not received a response.

Laura Gonzalez Guerrero, Clean Virginia’s energy policy lead, has been kind enough to contact me with that answer.  She was out of the office on April 25th when I inquired.

Ms. Guerrero’s response today:

“Clean Virginia recognizes SMRs as a nascent technology that has neither been fully tested nor proven to be cost-competitive.

Thus, it is our view that this technology warrants further study by the state.

Specifically, we hope state agencies lead a process with stakeholder input to understand and research SMRs and other technologies like hydrogen to determine their viability and the pathways to deploy these technologies in the safest and most cost-effective way possible.”

I fully expect that Clean Virginia, understanding that the Commonwealth has no equivalent state government expertise in next generation nuclear power, will also consider the decisions of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

I sincerely thank Ms. Guerrero for her response.