Washington task force will continue examining SMRs

In an effort to see where Washington state can decrease its carbon foot print and decrease its dependence on fossil fuels for household and business energy consumption, a task force met for discussion on the inclusion of more nuclear power production for the West Coast state.

By Heba Hashem

According to a report by Tri-City Herald, the Washington Joint Select Task Force on Nuclear Energy was given until December 15, 2014 to investigate whether increased nuclear power production was a cost-effective way of reducing Washington’s consumption of fossil fuels, but still has unfinished work according to its members, who met for their final meeting in Olympia in December.

“The task force is not prepared to make a solid recommendation”, Republican Jake Fey, D-Tacoma was cited as saying by Tri-City Herald.

Questions about the lifecycle costs of small reactors have not been answered, according to Senator John McCoy, D-Tulalip, who said he would be more comfortable about making a recommendation if the nation had a repository for used nuclear fuel.

Other issues the task force may examine next year include the potential for manufacturing reactors or components in the state. The nuclear-study group will continue to work informally, while seeking formal authorization of the extension during the upcoming session.