Not the best imagery
Polistra has been pushing
the Hyperion modular reactor system (the Silver Bullet) for a couple years.
In his latest Access to Energy newsletter, Art Robinson discusses Nuscale Power,
a competitor to Hyperion. Art knows the Nuscale people, and that's enough to make me look at their website.
Unfortunately the Nuscale folks make a bad impression from the start. They've chosen to use a Chinese Poison Pod as their main icon. The CFL is sitting on a surface, not plugged into a socket, and it's glowing!
As symbol, this has 4 separate problems:
(1) Worst of all, Poison Pods are dangerous. They explode
without warning, they leave ineradicable mercury when they break, and they emit various carcinogens
whenever they're on. If you're trying to say that your plant is safer than others, you shouldn't use an innately dangerous icon.
(2) Glowing without a socket raises thoughts of Evil Radiation illuminating the bulb directly. Oh no! We're all lit up!
(3) The main selling point for nuclear is quantity
of current. Nuke plants give lots of juice for very little material input, and do it steadily. The Poison Pod implies scarcity
of power by its very existence. (Not that it really saves any current, but that's the advertising.)
(4) The people who like Poison Pods don't like nukes and vice versa. My instant semi-conscious thought was: "Hey! Which side are you on? Are you a Gaian mole?" And Gaians would probably think: "Hey! Who you trying to fool, you Bushitler Nazi Bigoiler?"
= = = = =
Aside from symbolism, the NuScale plant appears
less intrinsically safe than the Hyperion, because the core is not deep underground. There may be mitigating factors, but that's an obvious difference in the design.