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Obama's 2012 budget includes push for 'mini-nuke' reactor development

Joseph L. Flatley
February 14, 2011
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The President revealed his 2012 budget proposal today, including $853 million for nuclear energy research -- which includes development of "mini-nukes," or small, modular reactors that can be shipped and deployed relatively quickly, and built relatively cheaply (up to $2 billion, as opposed to the $10 billion price tag of your traditional reactor). But don't get excited -- you won't likely be able to get your own backyard reactor just yet. For the time being, they're to be placed in existing large-scale labs like the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It is hoped that the reactors will bring a 28 percent reduction of the Energy Department's carbon footprint by 2020.

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