Texas explores mini nuclear reactors as a power solution

In an ambitious pivot from traditional energy sources, Texas, led by Gov. Greg Abbott, is investigating the potential of small nuclear reactors to provide reliable, pollution-free power.

Emily Foxhall reports for The Texas Tribune.


In short:

  • Gov. Abbott is evaluating small nuclear reactors for their safety and reliability as an alternative to fossil fuels, with an aim to expand nuclear power in Texas.
  • These compact reactors could provide a stable power supply for the state, especially during demand surges, unlike the intermittent energy from solar and wind farms.
  • The move is a response to the state's power grid vulnerabilities, highlighted by the 2021 winter storm disaster, and represents a broader diversification of Texas' energy portfolio.

Key quote:

"These reactors have the potential to revolutionize the way power is generated in this state and provide stable, low-cost power for a long, long time here in Texas."

— Jimmy Glotfelty, state public utility commissioner

Why this matters:

As a source of continuous, or "baseload," power, small modular reactors can complement intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar, ensuring a steady power supply without the carbon emissions associated with fossil fuels. This aligns with global efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources to combat climate change.

Peter Dykstra: Past deadline and over budget, nuclear energy is struggling.

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Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

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Record-breaking ocean temperatures are prompting scientists to explore underlying causes and potential impacts.

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Freshwater supplies dwindling due to human activity, studies find

Two significant studies reveal how human demand and technological advancements are rapidly depleting the planet's freshwater resources.

Andrew Nikiforuk reports for The Tyee.

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Wild fish host new viruses, including a coronavirus cousin

Researchers have detected multiple new viruses in wild sport fish in Wisconsin, revealing a surprising diversity of pathogens.

Danielle Kaeding reports for Wisconsin Public Radio.

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Climate change impacts immune health globally, leading to an epidemic of diseases

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Kari Nadeau reports for STAT.

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Economic and environmental strain affects rural Mississippi amid renewable energy push

Economic challenges and environmental worries collide as Mississippi towns turn to the burgeoning wood pellet industry in a bid to revive local economies.

Alex Rozier reports for Mississippi Today.

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