nuclear power

An Oregon-based nuclear company presented a detailed timeline Thursday for the deployment of its first small modular nuclear power plant. An executive from NuScale Power presented the roadmap during a keynote address to the International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summit taking place this week in Atlanta.

At the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, a recent anonymous letter has spurred a $150,000 investigation so far into the plant’s performance. The letter was penned by an apparent insider.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Clean energy is a big part of the Chinese president’s agenda while he’s in Seattle. That includes a focus on nuclear power – an issue that Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been working on. 

In 2006, Gates helped launch a Bellevue-based company called TerraPower. He invested money in it and became chairman. TerraPower is working on what Gates calls a next-generation nuclear reactor.

The reactor that TerraPower is working on uses depleted uranium for fuel. Essentially, it would run on nuclear waste. Gates says that’s more fuel efficient and safer.

Jackie Johnston / AP

There's no end in sight to Japan's nuclear crisis. More radioactive water is leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex, and traces of plutonium have been detected in soil outside the plant. Tokyo Electric Power says the amount is small and isn't a danger to public health.

Our technology commentator, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson, is keeping a close eye on the situation in Japan. He tells KPLU's Dave Meyer it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion, and this crisis is a major setback for the future of nuclear power.