Living With Climate Change: Modern-day Oppenheimers see the future of nuclear energy — and it’s mobile

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Stock Market

Executives and engineers at NANO Nuclear Energy Inc. care little about updating old nuclear-power plants, whose huge water vapor clouds billowing against pristine blue skies, though harmless, have historically illustrated public fascination and hesitation around nuclear energy. Public investment and private expansion of this decades-old “greener” coal and natural-gas alternative have all but gone up in their own puff of smoke.

Nuclear energy is powerful, relatively cheap, and in two rare and unforgettable instances, in Pennsylvania and the former Soviet Union, catastrophic. That energy, of course, can also be weaponized. Not just in the court of public opinion, but literally, weaponized, as this summer’s WWII-era biopic “Oppenheimer” reminds. For Jay Jiang Yu, NANO’s founder, executive chairman and president, and James Walker, its head of nuclear reactor development, who recently talked with MarketWatch, all of our nuclear past should be left to historical films. The future of nuclear power for NANO and a handful of competitors lies with Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) — technology that fits on the back of a flatbed semi. SMRs are even less risky, these proponents say, than old reactors because of their size and simplicity. And, as their truck base suggests, able to pull on site to power a manufacturing hub, for instance, or parts of the developing world long neglected when it comes to reliable electricity. That future, at commercial scale, is just a handful of years away, they say. Renewed attention on nuclear power, pro and against, has been revived with “Oppenheimer,” a film about the personal and professional conseq …

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