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Nuclear Reactors Could Supercharge State Efforts to Promote Clean Energy

via CNBC
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Duke Energy plans to build a small modular nuclear reactor at an existing coal plant site in North Carolina to meet clean energy targets.

The company aims to shut down coal-fired units and reduce carbon emissions.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are portable and can be positioned in areas unsuitable for larger plants.

However, critics argue that the project poses financial risks and question the environmental benefits of nuclear power.

Duke Energy anticipates increased construction costs, potentially leading to higher energy bills for customers.

“Building these new technologies, that have the smaller footprints, can alleviate a lot of the environmental concerns, transmission concerns, permitting concerns that are present for other technologies,” ClearPath’s Niko McMurray said.

“Duke Energy Carolinas customers could pay 73% more per month if this plan is approved,” Drew Ball of the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

“We’re in a time period where we need to have infrastructure in order to meet those growing energy needs that we’re seeing all across the state,” Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said.

“We have a process that we can present some of these in a way that helps to avoid sharp spikes in rates,” Brooks said.

Proponents believe that updated nuclear technologies can address safety and environmental concerns associated with nuclear energy.

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