Holtec International

Small modular reactors are not a substitute for the familiar 1,000-plus-megawatt reactors, says Tennessee Valley Authority Chief Operating Officer William McCollum, any more than the iPad is a substitute for a laptop computer or a cell phone. Instead, he said, SMRs, like iPads, are creating a whole new niche for nuclear.

Supporters see them as safer than the big plants, cheaper, requiring less time and up-front investment to build, and, longer term, pioneering in nuclear nonproliferation and spent fuel disposal technology. Some designs have the potential to bring electricity to isolated and water-short communities. Keep reading →