The first time I danced Salsa was when I met Jesabel. It was forbidden to dance Salsa in my home.
Did you know there’s a grass-roots campaign to include advanced nuclear energy in Puerto Rico’s future clean energy system? It’s the Nuclear Alternative Project.
Jesabel Y Eddie - Outside/In
Before Hurricane Maria hit in September of 2017, Puerto Rico's rickety electric grid was a notorious headache. After…
And, you know, why do we need nuclear? We have solar and wind and all the renewables that we can do? I mean, like I had all these different questions. So I went and started finding, you know, information on my own. And I couldn’t find a reason not to like nuclear. So that’s when I started telling, you know, Eddie, like, okay, we need to talk about this differently.
Just this week, the Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Ontario announced they were doing things differently, signing an MOU towards the accelerated deployment of small modular reactors. This will build on the Canadian regulator’s considerable licensing progress with a dozen advanced nuclear designs.
Of these vendors, ARC Nuclear has already engaged with New Brunswick and infrastructure firms. The ARC-100 will be a modular fast reactor capable of consuming conventional used nuclear fuel, with a twenty year refueling cycle. The design is derived directly from the highly successful EBR-II operated until the 1990s at Idaho National Labs.
The Canadian provinces are intending from the outset to demonstrate SMRs, like ARC-100, not only to decisively achieve their climate targets, but to export globally. These small and sustainable units might be just right for Puerto Rico. But as Jesabel and Eddie’s story outlines, the island’s grid is fragile. Maybe not many power plants of normal or even small, modular size will fit. Maybe Puerto Rico will lead in its own way, with local, community-centred micro reactors.
Reactors like the Aurora Powerhouse announced this week by Oklo.
The Aurora is built on years of technology research, development, and demonstration done at the U.S. national labs and universities, and work done by Oklo to make the Aurora possible. While heat and electrons are the product, the Aurora powerhouse is the main point for community interaction. We spent years thinking about how it could look, how it would function, and how it would become a point of pride in a community.
Oscar Archer holds a PhD in chemistry and has been analysing energy issues for over 14 years, focusing on nuclear technology for five, with a background in manufacturing and QA. By day he works in energy efficiency research & development. He helps out at Adelaide-based Bright New World as Senior Advisor (we want your support!)and writes for The Fourth Generation. Find him @OskaArcher on Twitter.