Puerto Rico is favourably positioned for the introduction of advanced micro and small modular reactors, according to the latest study by Puerto Rican-led not-for-profit organisation the Nuclear Alternative Project (NAP). The 52-page report, “Advanced Small Nuclear in Puerto Rico – Economic Study” said dependence on fuel imports totalling $1.5bn in 2021 were a considerable challenge for Puerto Rico and advanced nuclear reactors could play a pivotal role in diversifying the energy mix.

It concluded: “While micro and small nuclear reactors may not always appear as the most cost-effective solution in the short term, a value-based approach prompts us to consider their broader benefits. By focusing on the flexibility, reliability, and environmental advantages they bring, we recognise that their worth extends far beyond initial construction costs. Embracing a value-based perspective allows to see these reactors not as expensive burdens, but as valuable assets in the transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.”

A May 2020 feasibility study by NAP, founded in 2016 by Puerto Rican engineers in the US nuclear industry concluded that advanced nuclear reactors could meet Puerto Rico’s energy needs by complementing renewable sources. The study was funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). In November 2021, DOE awarded $1.6m in funding to NAP to study the potential siting of small reactors in Puerto Rico. Two possible sites have been identified based on US Nuclear Regulatory Commission criteria.