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The next generation of nuclear reactors is getting more advanced. Here’s how

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on MIT Technology Review or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Advanced nuclear technology, diverging from traditional commercial reactor designs, is gaining interest for its potential to improve safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness

🔭 The context: Traditional nuclear reactors use enriched uranium fuel and water-based cooling systems
Advanced nuclear technologies explore alternative coolants like molten salt and liquid metals, and fuels such as TRISO and high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), aiming to enhance safety and operational efficiency

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The development of advanced nuclear technologies could significantly contribute to a low-carbon future
By improving safety and efficiency, these new reactor designs can provide a more sustainable and reliable source of energy, aiding in the global effort to combat climate change

⏭️ What's next: The focus is on developing and regulating these advanced nuclear technologies
Companies like NuScale are facing challenges in SMR deployment, but the industry continues to progress towards alternative designs
The next few years will be critical in determining the viability and adoption of these advanced nuclear technologies

💬 One quote: "There are roughly 70 companies in the US working on designs for advanced nuclear reactors, with six or seven far enough along to be working with regulators." (Jessica Lovering, co-executive director at the Good Energy Collective)

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