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Geoffrey Black

Geoffrey Black, professor of economics, recently had his article, “Economic viability of light water small modular nuclear reactors: General methodology and vendor data,” published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Resources Reviews. This journal is ranked above the 95th percentile and has a wide readership and many citations.

“This article is important because a major new technology to produce carbon-free energy, small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), has been hampered in its commercial development due to a large degree of uncertainty regarding its economic viability, especially given the relatively high costs of traditional nuclear power plants,” explained Black.

He continued: “This article uses an innovative methodology to estimate the manufacturing and construction costs and, for the first time, incorporates actual cost data from a firm developing this technology. The article shows that there are major cost savings relative to traditional nuclear power plants and that this technology is economically competitive. This will go a long way to reduce the uncertainty and facilitate the commercial development of SMRs. The vendor providing the detailed cost data, NuScale Power, has an agreement with UAMPS, the major utility in eastern Idaho and Utah, to develop a commercial power plant at the Idaho National Laboratory site near Idaho Falls.”