CyberB0B39 writes: "The Department of Energy is set to approve $6.5B for a Georgia nuclear power plant, the first such plant in more than 3 decades. While other nuclear plants are shutting down due to competition from natural gas, Atlanta-based Southern Company is forging ahead with its planned construction of the plant."
[ED Note: "For those that are wondering, the new nuclear plant will be based on the AP1000 design by Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, a company based in Pittsburgh, PA and a subsidiary of Toshiba."]
"We need a utility-scale demonstrator to be built and run for a few years before anybody will take it seriously, though"
60MW in Prague already in operation, sir, developed by an Australian company. Prototype was done in 2012.
Actually, 60 MW would satisfy me. That's big enough to demonstrate commercial feasibility. Many of the demonstrators I listed were of similar size. Light Water Reactor industry kind of followed a sequence like: 5 MW test, 50 MW demonstrator, 200-300 MW small plant, 600-800 MW full-size plant, 900-1300 MW fully developed evolution of basic design.
Please provide a reference! This would be exciting news... but the only stuff I can find is the general "consortium is formed, development is in progress, exciting future upon us" kind of thing. The whole situation is rather reminiscent of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) craze from last decade; lots of basic research, lots of announcements, lots of excitement, but still no operating demo reactor anywhere that I'm aware of. The apparent leading consortium for PBMR was placed in a politically induced coma a couple of years ago.
http://www.bdlive.co.za/articles/2010/09/17/hogan- ends-pebble-bed-reactor-project [bdlive.co.za]