We’ve talked about modular nuclear reactors before. Basically any new construction technology that employs modular construction methods is of interest to this blog. As we’ve said before, modular construction methods are quickly becoming the dominant mode of construction and are being used for many different kinds of applications in today’s construction industry.
It seems as though the US government is showing increasing interest in the modular nuclear industry. According to an article, the United States government announced a new funding initiative for the reactors which will involve the Department of Energy sharing costs with private modular reactor manufacturers to build small modular nuclear reactors.
The smaller reactors are deemed more flexible and cost-effective to construct, due to their modular nature. Also, these new modular reactors are much more safe, utilizing passive, automatic safety controls that more effectively monitor safety conditions than the old active controls that required human interaction to function.
Improved safety conditions will especially be important to the public, considering the recent Fukushima disaster being fresh in the public’s mind. China itself has already been investing in the smaller modular nuclear reactors to accommodate its ever-increasing industrial capacities.
With modular design making more and more construction projects more efficient and cost-effective, we may be seeing all sorts of new construction activity spring up that was previously in the form of dormant projects. For example, not many companies could make nuclear reactors because of the astronomical costs associated with construction, as well as the long period of time before the reactors would start turning a profit. Now with a more efficient construction method, higher quality and safer reactors can be constructed.
Expect modular reactors to start popping up around the United States in the next decade.