Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.

  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Electric Power

US should incentivize the development of small modular reactors: Moniz

Agriculture | Energy | Coal | Electric Power | Natural Gas | Oil | Metals | Petrochemicals | Shipping

2020 US Elections

Electric Power

Platts Market Data – Electric Power

Electric Power | Renewables | LNG | Infrastructure Utilities

Caribbean Energy Conference, 21st

Electric Power | Nuclear | Renewables

US, Americas power sector deal activity slumps in H1; may grow later in year: EY

US should incentivize the development of small modular reactors: Moniz


The US government should incentivize small modular reactor development to evaluate the commercial potential of those technologies in light of the difficulties facing utilities attempting to build larger power reactors, former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said Wednesday.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Related Snapshot video: US uranium producers plagued by low prices, scant utility purchasing

"We've got to have the initiatives to answer the question of what it would take for the small modular reactor approach to demonstrate its cost proposition," Moniz said at a Bipartisan Policy Center event in Washington.

Such initiatives could be either direct financial incentives or indirect incentives such as power purchase agreements, he said.

The scale of current nuclear reactor projects represents a limiting factor for utilities, he noted.

"The issue of very large scale capital investments is very tough for most American utilities to manage," Moniz said. "Even if we take the original cost projection for plants in the Southeast -- $15 billion-$16 billion for a couple of gigawatts -- that's an awful lot of capital to be putting forward for the balance sheet of American utilities."

Former US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington
Former US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, right, at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington

The Vogtle nuclear plant expansion project in Waynesboro, Georgia, has seen its costs soar from an initial estimate of $14 billion to more than $20 billion, and is facing delays of at least two years from its original schedule.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Electric & Gas abandoned its partially built Summer nuclear plant expansion in July only to withdraw its petition to abandon the project after protests from local lawmakers. The Summer project has also seen its costs soar to more than $20 billion and face delays of a similar magnitude.

"If you look at the capacity factor-weighted capital cost of renewables, it's not very different from nuclear power," Moniz said. He noted, however, that utilities "will not be required to buy solar farms in units of 1,400 MW."

SMRs with a capacity of 50 to 100 MW each may be a game-changer because they would open up financial and engineering options not available to megaprojects, Moniz said.

"We are already in a small modular reactor business; it's called the nuclear navy. And I think we should [pursue] that for the commercial sector as well," he said.

--Yi-Jeng Huang,

--Edited by Annie Siebert,