Would it be more eco friendly to build a bunch of small nuclear power plants or a few really large ones?



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    This is a difficult question, and I’m not sure it has a right or wrong answer because it depends on what you mean by “eco friendly.” Any large power generation facility, whether it’s nuclear or some other source generating the power, is going to have a larger ecological impact than a smaller one, mostly due to impacts such as the transportation infrastructure needed to support it, the number of people who work there and how many emissions it generates. In the case of nuclear power you must add to that the nuclear fuel and the problem of what to do with it after it’s spent. If that is your main concern, it’s probably better to build a few large plants that generate a lot of power centrally, because at least you’ll be dealing with a lot of spent fuel rods from, say, 3 big plants rather than 12 small ones, and the waste from the large plants can be consolidated and transported more safely and cheaply than a lot of smaller loads of waste from far-flung nuclear plants. Certainly the economics favor building a few large plants rather than smaller ones. Nuclear reactors are incredibly expensive to build, staff and regulate, and you’ll get much more economic return from one large plant than you would from several smaller ones. More eco-friendly? I’m not sure, but these are some of the considerations that would go into the equation.

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