Neighbors Growing Together | May 16, 2022

Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Win the Golden Fleece Award

By Thomas Clements | Feb 27, 2013

As management at the Savannah River Site (SRS) has been pushing the idea that speculative “small modular reactors” (SMRs) will be the salvation of the site, here’s some SMR news to ponder.  Recently, SRS and associated SMR vendors lost out on a giant taxpayer subsidy, dealing a blow to the “Enterprise SRS” scheme that is based on imaginary SMRs being subsidized at SRS.


from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE):


Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, Director of Policy & Communications, 865.235.1448,

Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Win the Golden Fleece Award

Knoxville, Tenn. -- Today, the non-profit, non-partisan taxpayer watchdog organization, Taxpayers for Common Sense, presented “The Golden Fleece” award to Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). “The Golden Fleece” is awarded when a project so exemplifies wasted taxpayer dollars – instead of investments worthy of those limited resources – that this independent taxpayer protection group feels compelled to focus extra public attention on an issue.

Here in the Southeast, SMRs are unfortunately being pursued by utilities already mired in a complex mix of costly, risky nuclear endeavors, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority’s formerly abandoned Clinch River breeder reactor located in Tennessee, and by the nuclear industry and their proponents at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

SACE Executive Director Dr. Stephen Smith issued this statement in response to today's Golden Fleece award:

"This award should be a wake up call to those who champion such ill-defined projects. Small modular reactors represent a “Jetsons-like” cartoon projection of nuclear power’s future, as it is highly unlikely that these reactors will be cost effective and, as indicated by this award, we are already seeing large amounts of taxpayers’ money being unwisely spent on wildly speculative projects.

"Senators Corker and Alexander and the rest of our Congressional delegation should be consistent in their stated responsibility to manage taxpayers’ money wisely. If anything should be sequestered, it should be the pursuit of SMRs at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

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Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at

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