SMR Nuclear Parrot

Topping Off Nuclear

Should the US support a new nuclear generation with Small Module Reactors (SMR)? Welcome to the Saturday Keynote. This article tops off our week’s reporting on this topic.

Why Care?

According to a recent poll, three-quarters of Americans believe the US should take a leadership role in global efforts to address climate change.

Heat records are being broken daily, insurance companies are pulling out of at-risk markets, crops, livestock, and fish stocks are dwindling, and productivity and wages are being lost due to heat, rain, and droughts.

So, what are we going
to do about it?

PUZZLE OF THE WEEK

Should the US support a new Nuclear Generation?

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved a new kind of nuclear reactor, the Small Modular Reactor (SMR).

The US can support the expansion with favorable laws the free market will like. Tax breaks that Party Favor Republicans will like. Subsidies that Party Favor Democrats will like. And grants and a green bank which municipalities will like.

Russia and China have operated the first SMRs, with a US firm involved in China’s project. Several other countries, including the US, have SMRs in development. Old nuclear is rapidly becoming obsolete at an awful time, causing an increased use of fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas.

ONE PARROT jolts that all nuclear weapons are dangerous. SMRs may be vulnerable to cyberattacks since they are digitally run. Solar, wind, and geothermal are better investments than building expensive SMRs.

THE OTHER PARROT shocks that new nuclear is highly efficient, safe, modular, the most dependable energy source, and is not prone to meltdown or terrorist attack.

Why Parrots?

Political parrots say the same thing over and over and over again. They’re talking at us, not with us.

They get paid to squawk with wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth. There are parrots on all four sides of the political table.

Are you marching to be the beat of political parrots or thinking for yourself?

POLI THE AI, has a Key in its beak. It’s the key reason the political parrots don’t want you to know because it ruins their argument.

PolicyKeys unlocks a better understanding of politics.

Four Ways
to Engage PolicyKeys

Here’s the PLAN: For you People-people you can enjoy the real-life political role-playing at PolicyKeys.com. Sit awhile in each role’s chair, and decide whether a majority of people in that role would be for or against the solution. Empathy is power. Excellent classroom engagement.

For you Letter-people we publish daily on this Super Nonpartisan Public Policy Blog. It’s like a color commentary on the big game. Or a juicy menu to order up your favorite solutions. Check out the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) update every Us People Sunday.

For you Abstract-people, we’ve invented a nonpartisan scoring system to include 128 roles, four laws of public policy formation, two levels of pattern-seeking AI, forecasting science, and a treasure hunt for the highest-rated solution to every public policy puzzle. We are open to public and/or private sector solutions.

Four you Numbers-people, all our solutions add up in the POL-ICYMI Key for each week’s puzzle. What stats are to baseball, PolicyKeys is to Public Policy.

Now back to this week’s puzzle.

SPOILER ALERT

This Week’s
Political Flap

Should the US support a new Nuclear Generation?

If you’d prefer to role-play this week’s puzzle before seeing the scores, swoop on over to PolicyKeys.com. This week’s political flap takes off with the Monday Puzzle Drop introduction. Here’s the BOX SCORE from Tuesday. You’ll be scandalized by the politically strange bedfellows from Wednesday. This Thursday, the editors broke the ties and called some fowls on POLI THE AI’s plays. Friday your Political Digital Twin’s got your back.

YOU CAN PLAY THIS WEEK’S PUZZLE AT POLICYKEYS.COM.

Bottom Line

We predict an 82% ±2 vast super-majority of roles in this country to support a New SMR Nuclear Generation, including a majority of each of the four sides of the political table, making this a US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) worthy idea. 

Congress’s approval rating is 21%, the Supreme Court’s is 40%, the media’s 27%, and the average score of the policies on the PolicyKeys™ Leaderboard is 73%, with many above 80%—Politics 4.0 is already 2x to 3x better model of US political sentiment and direction than Politics (as usual) 3.0.

NOISY GUESTS TIEBREAKER
(Recap)

Two types of noise make public policy difficult to understand. First, the literal is the constant chatter from political parrots – those who dominate conversations to promote their interests, often with hypocritical irrationality, muddying public discourse. We call this the First Law of Public Policy Formation: People with short-term focus naturally protect their wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth.

The next kind of noise, the figurative, is the overwhelming influx of information that obstructs discerning meaningful, practical signals to guide decision-making. Identifying reasons and ranking solutions for or against policies on a nonpartisan scale is our primary mission, embodying the Fourth Law of Public Policy Formation.

POLI THE AI looks at over 16 million variables to determine a general bias for change or status quo for each individual puzzle solution. We call these loose ties to beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. This results in ties with some roles not leaning either way and some where the editors specifically disagree with POLI.

This week, in the first half of the Tiebreaker, called Sudden Depth the editors broke the tie on 15 roles that ended up 13 YES and 2 NO for a net 11 YES.

In the second half, we Called a Fowl on POLI’s plays for 22 roles that ended up with 9 YES and 13 NO for a net of 4 NO.

TIEBREAKER SCORE:
Net 7 YES

When the puzzle went final POLI predicted an error margin on this puzzle of ± 2% of 128 roles or about 6 roles.

The error margin gets determined through 256 deadlocked supreme courts‘ with each role serving as the chief justice in a 5-4 and 4-5 court. Close ties to other ‘like’ roles for and against establish each ‘court’.

You can get more details on the Tiebreaker Round in this article.

STRANGE POLITICAL BEDFELLOWS

Four Odd Couples Leaning
 IN-FAVOR
of SMR Nuclear

Planet First Democrats &
Border and Order Republicans

Urban Part-Time & Billionaires

USA Made & Importers

Unions & Big Ag

Four Odd Couples
Leaning AGAINST
SMR Nuclear

Activists & Materials

Logistics & Civil Servants

Under-Represented Democrats &
Rural Investors

Party Favor Democrats &
Party Favor Republicans

You can read all the lurid details in this odd couple article.

YOUR POLITICAL DIGITAL TWIN

We’ve developed a political digital twin tool where you identify with as many of the 128 roles on the game board as you wish. Then, soon, with a click of an icon, you can get a Personal Public Policy Advisor Report like the one below.

Here’s an example from this week’s citizen profile developed with a random number generator and a roll of our humanizing dice.

A 50 year old single parent guides a college-aged Student with a competitive streak. Having worked previously in the Materials (lumber) sector, this skilled and dignified individual holds a Non-Union, Rural Full-Time job at an Auto-Maker. Off the clock, country music fills the air, and tinkering takes place at a home workbench. Romance blossoms with a Shopkeeper, an Importer, and a member of a regional Business Group.

Born and raised on a Family Farm in a Taker State, this person claims allegiance as a Border & Order Republican, setting the table for lively debates with a Planet First Democrat offspring and a Deep Reader Independent granduncle who was the Founder of an Investment Bank and has a significant IRA retirement fund

Drumroll Please

Wow, a whole lot is going on inside this person’s head, huh? When you add up these sixteen roles’ forecasted opinions for this random individual, the score is…

YES 12– NO 4 = net +8 YES

The possible scores here are +16 to -16, so +8 indicates that this citizen is strongly leaning in favor of SMR Nuclear, barring one or more of the NO reasons being way more important than all the YES reasons. Since this is a fictitious person, we’ll never know. 

But You Will

Are you making up your own mind or marching to the beat of a political parrot? While we finish testing our Political Digital Twin Tool for your Personal Public Policy Advisor Report, you can add your role’s scores from this week’s puzzle here and do your best impression of a public policy wonk. Amaze your family and friends with your super nonpartisan ways. 

You might be thinking, why would this individual care about what his family and friends feel about this topic? Here’s the thing: There are four kinds of love: self-sacrifice, nurture, tough-love, and self-love. Are you only ever just one of those? What percent of each are you on your best day? Caring about what the people you love care about is what families and democratic republics do.

You can check out the Political Digital Twin in this article.

PARROTS IN
THE WEEDS

Here’s more detail about SMR Nuclear that makes political parrots’ heads hurt, well, if they could actually understand the meaning of the words and not just mimic their puppet master’s lines.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) have roughly half the power output of traditional nuclear reactors. Factory construction reduces costs, allowing SMRs to scale efficiently.

Cooling System: SMRs primarily cool through water, producing steam to power turbines. Alternate designs involve gas and molten salt cooling.

Safety: SMRs use minimal nuclear material. Their automated and self-contained processes disengage during emergencies, which reduces the risk of severe accidents like Fukushima.

Essential Operations: Certain facilities, like military bases, hospitals, and populated areas, need consistent power. SMRs ensure power isn’t intermittent.

Fission vs. Fusion: Nuclear fission splits atomic nuclei, releasing energy for power since the mid-20th century. Hoped for commercialization in coming decades, nuclear fusion combines nuclei to generate power.

Benefits

Cost Comparison: Short-Term: SMRs may be less cost-effective than solar and wind. Long-Term: SMRs might have lower system costs over their lifespan than solar and wind.

Carbon Footprint: Almost as green as solar or wind power.

Electricity Pricing: SMRs can generate electricity cheaper than coal or gas, but their initial costs might be higher than wind or solar. 

Infrastructure Reuse: Existing coal and gas-fired plants get converted for SMR use, repurposing present infrastructure and retraining staff.

Eco-friendliness: As a Plan B backup option or parallel system, SMRs are nearly as environmentally friendly as solar and wind.

Three Risks

National Defense: Weapon construction potentially uses fissionable SMR material, although less than in a typical nuclear plant.

Decommissioning: Some parts will need geological storage after removing an SMR plant.

Nuclear Waste: There are options on what to do with the spent nuclear fuel.

No Fuel Left Behind
Recycling vs Burying

Somehow, not recycling nuclear waste seems like planetary malpractice. Nuclear waste has 300 years of energy left in it.

Reprocessing. China, France, and Russia employ a method known as reprocessing. Usable materials (like plutonium and unused uranium) can be separated from the waste and processed to make new nuclear fuel.

Fast Reactors. Some SMR designs might be compatible with “fast reactors,” which can utilize recycled fuel more efficiently than conventional “thermal reactors.”

Policy and Economics. It’s worth noting that the decision to recycle spent nuclear fuel isn’t just a technical one. For instance, while France actively reprocesses its spent fuel, the U.S. does not, primarily due to nonproliferation, economic, and emotional concerns. Emotions drive politics.

Advanced SMR Designs. Some newer SMR designs propose using recycled nuclear fuel or functioning as “burners” of existing nuclear waste. However, these designs are still in developmental or conceptual stages.

SMR Recap

Various types of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are being developed globally, each with unique designs and features. Some of these include:

  1. 4S (Super Safe, Small, and Simple): Developed in Japan, it is in the detailed design phase and offers a power range of 10-50 MW.
  2. ABV-6: A Russian design with a power range of 6-9 MW, also in the detailed design stage.
  3. ACP100 (Linglong One): A 125 MW Chinese design currently under construction.
  4. TMSR-LF1: Another Chinese design under construction with a power output of 10 MW.
  5. ARC-100: A 100 MW Canadian design currently under vendor design review.
  6. MMR (Micro Modular Reactor): Developed jointly by the United States and Canada, this design is in the licensing stage and has a power range of 5-15 MW.
  7. BREST-OD-300: A 300 MW Russian design under construction.
  8. CAREM: An Argentine design with a power output of 27-30 MW, currently under construction.
  9. Copenhagen Atomics Waste Burner: A Danish design in the conceptual phase with a power output of 50 MW.

These represent just a few examples of the diverse range of SMR technologies being explored globally.

Politics 4.0 Primer

Four Sides
of the
Political Table

Our ground truth is,
“There’s a time to save and a time to spend, a time for freedom and a time for laws. Where can we agree?”

This gives us four conditions, Abundance v Thrift and Commerce v Governance. The four sides of the political table and the base pairs are…

Abundance Governance (AG), Large Governments and NGOs.
 
Abundance Commerce (AC), Technology and New Businesses.

Thrift Governance (TG) Local Governments, Guilds, and Consumers, and

Thrift Commerce (TC) Established Supply Chains and Jobs.

Each has a bias for change and a bias for status quo

The PolicyKeys model looks at the US as a democratic republic of 128 societal roles, equally balanced for a bias for change and a bias for the status quo. Our left vs. right. 

This yields eight Information Walls from which to pull ideas. Do you read the writing on all eight walls? Political parrots have just one news silo maybe two. It’s easier to learn their lines that way.

Four Sharp Corners Summary

The US can support SMR expansion through free market-oriented laws that appeal to the Strong Status Quo Bias on the right. Tax breaks attractive to the Center Right Status Quo Bias can also be utilized. While the Center Left Change Bias may prefer subsidies and a publicly-backed green bank. The Strong Change Bias on the left would likely advocate for direct grants to municipalities as a proactive government approach.

Ruffling Feathers Finale

We predict an 82% ±2 vast super-majority of roles in this country to support a New SMR Nuclear Generation, including a majority of each of the four sides of the political table, making this a US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) worthy idea. 

Congress’s approval rating is 21%, the Supreme Court’s is 40%, the media’s 27%, and the average score of the policies on the PolicyKeys™ Leaderboard is 73%, with many above 80%—Politics 4.0 is already 2x to 3x better model of US political sentiment and direction than Politics (as usual) 3.0. Here’s more info on Politics 4.0.

Politics 4.0 Primer (excerpt)

There are
Four Laws of Public Policy Formation

The First is that people with short-term focus naturally protect their wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth.

The Second is that people with longer-term focus place bets to make life better, longer, easier, or different. 

The Third is that the clash of the short-term and long-term folks causes noise, angst, and conflict.

The Fourth is that public policies can be scored with a nonpartisan rating, ranked on leaderboards, and subjected to verification by informed polling

We hope we’ll become your trusted source for
public policy leadership. 

Methodology

When we call a role’s leanings, we present arguments from both sides of the aisle, change bias vs. status quo bias, and look at sixteen key YES and sixteen key NO reasons. No cherry-picking.

We analyzed patterns of close ties to other roles and loose ties to beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. Then, we scored the puzzle on all four sides of the Political Table: eight Information Walls, sixteen Subcultural Windows, sixteen Bias Columns, and sixteen Influence Rows.

You can read more about PolicyKeys™ in the upcoming book, Politics 4.0: How Gamification, AI, and National Idea Leaderboards Can Help You Depolarize America. The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recognized PolicyKeys™ for digital engagement.

The Weekly Puzzle

new PolicyKeys™ Where Can We Agree?® puzzle drops every Monday at 7 a.m. Eastern at PolicyKeys.com.

PolicyKeys™ Where Can We Agree? is a real-life role-playing game. Each week, there are sixteen sets of eight ‘rival’ roles. Sit awhile in each of their eight chairs and predict whether a majority of people in those roles would say Yes or No to the week’s question.

POLI* The AI and our editors parse through over 4000 variables—so you don’t have to. The best ideas land on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) if a majority of each of the four sides of the political table agree. You can play this week’s puzzle at PolicyKeys.com. *Political Omnibus Leadership Initiative

Anthem

Where Can We Agree? (Why Don’t You Want To Know?)

You can play this week’s puzzle at PolicyKeys.com.

Fly Higher

Three-quarters of Americans Want the US to Take Global Leadership Role in Climate Change
PEW

What are Small Nuclear Reactors
International Atomic Energy Commission

What’s a Small Modular Nuclear Reactor
Cosmos

Five of the World’s Leading SMR Companies
C3News

Nuclear Power is the Most Reliable Energy 
Energy.gov

Rolls Royce working on a $300M transportable micro nuclear reactor
business-live.co.uk

Advanced Nuclear Energy Solutions
Nuclear Energy Institute

Bill Gate’s Pilot Natrium Plant
World Nuclear News

Remarkable Heat and Dryness
NOAA

Nuclear Energy Has Appeal as Climate Pressures Mount
Governing

New Nuclear Reactors Finally Get the Regulators Nod
Fast Company

The Real Obstacle to Nuclear Power
The Atlantic

How Small Nuclear Reactors Fit Into My Pro-Progress Up Wing Vision
American Enterprise Institute

Cost Escalation and Delays for Small Modular Reactors Suggest Caution about Nuclear Power Renaissance
CATO

Six Reason why nuclear energy is not the way to a green and peaceful world
Greenpeace

Smaller, safer, cheaper? Modular nuclear plants could reshape coal country
Washington Post

It takes guts to see things from all four sides of the political table [::]


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