Modular Nuclear Reactors —Gene Editing for Everyone — China’s Hyperloop

And other news in Tech This Week

Nabil Alouani


I’m late this week because I had a professional trip and a few personal issues. It reminded me of a French proverb that says: “A problem never shows up alone.”

In this issue of Tech This Week, we’ll talk less about Artificial Intelligence and more about what’s going elsewhere.

You’ll also find a curated list of interesting headlines.

The US certifies a Small Modular Reactor (SMR)

SMRs are the IKEA version of nuclear reactors: they’re cheaper and can be assembled with relative ease. After all, they are:

  • Small — occupy a fraction of the space needed for conventional nuclear power reactors.
  • Modular — can be factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation. You can also stack them to scale your energy production.
  • Reactors — harness nuclear fission to generate heat that later converts into electricity.

“SMRs are no longer an abstract concept,” Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Kathryn Huff said in a press release. “They are real, and they are ready for deployment […] and we are just getting started here in the U.S.!”

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently certified an SMR design. This means in the future, utility companies will be able to apply for a license to build and operate this specific model.

Nuscale is the company behind the certified design. It generates up to 50 MW of electricity, but the company wants to increase that amount to 77 MW. If you line up five or six of this SMR design, you can match the power output of a traditional reactor.

Before you get too hyped up, remember Small Modular Reactors are like every other tech — they come with a few downsides.



Nabil Alouani

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