2 Aug 2010

Northern Marianas considers fridge sized nuclear reactors

1:44 pm on 2 August 2010

The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is considering bringing in nuclear power technology from New Mexico.

The CNMI Goverment passed legislation last week allowing the territory to use nuclear power because it's seen as cheaper and environmentally safer.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says the focus will be on what are called Small Modular Reactors, which are considered much safer than older nuclear technology.

He says there's been a largely positive public reaction with people anticipating cheaper power with the SMRs easy to install.

"They say it's refrigerator size, so it's pretty small and it's modular which means that they could just ship it over here and just plug it in. It says its applications could also be used for hospitals, emergency facilities, industrial parks, factories, military bases or even for small towns. They say it's tailormade for the CNMI."

Mark Rabago says geothermal power is another option being explored.