Christina Back, General Atomics vice president for nuclear technologies and materials, has said the U.S. needs to develop new nuclear reactor technologies rather update current platforms in order to meet cost, safety, proliferation and waste objectives.
General Atomics said May 5 Back wrote a testimony for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for a hearing on the status of advanced nuclear technologies.
“It is extremely important that the U.S. resist the temptation to rely almost solely on improving existing technologies that may be at hand and, instead, take the time to develop new leapfrog technologies that may make nuclear energy truly desirable,” Back wrote.
She also described General Atomics’ EM2 reactor concept that works to serve as a helium-cooled, convert-and-burn reactor with a net power of 265 megawatt electrical.
Back — the lead physicist for EM2 — added the reactor is designed to feature ceramic materials that could work in high radiation and high temperature environments.