However, we have 50 startups each neading about a billion dollars to build and test a full size small modular advanced reactor. We need 5 to 10 of these companies to build and test their design so investorts can judge which to commercialize.
Test first then license! No one can say that one of these advanced reactors is safe before building one. The government could provide a secure, remote, tech advanced site, like Idaho, where prototypes could be tested while the regulator watches approved tests. Test — fail — retest-fail or succeed. Somewhere, between 50% and 100% of the construction costs covered by the innovator.
My view of lots-of-shots on goal includes a lot of government funds but does not pick a winner by providing a billion dollar loan. The government could pay for the environment site study, the security staff, the water supply, the roads to the sites, the central cafeteria:), and reduced the regulatory fee from $270/hour to say $100/hour. The goverment could guarantee the purchase of electricity generate by long running tests of the prototype reactors.
My view includes lots of private funds too. All staff costs. All design costs. Part or all of the construction costs.
I am fuzzy about who pays for the final regulatory approval and the factory construction. Anybody want to jump in here?