Project Report:
Good Energy Collective
- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


We will analyze the national potential for a coal-to-small modular reactor (SMR) transition, and develop guidelines for a pilot program to engage potential host communities. An estimated 25 GWe of coal power will close in the next five years across the U.S., which is good for the climate but devastating for local communities. Direct replacement of coal plants with small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) could be an attractive option for these communities, ensuring the jobs stay local and supporting the local economy. We will first make a map of these retiring coal plants, identify those communities most amenable to a potential SMR replacement, and quantify the total market size. Our final report will also include analysis of how much re-training is involved for the different types of jobs at a new nuclear power plant, along with the thousands of temporary jobs created during the construction of the nuclear plant and decommissioning of the coal plant.


Coal plants are retiring across the U.S. mainly because of cheap natural gas prices. It was federal investment in hydraulic fracturing that led to this boom of natural gas production. Similarly, federal and state governments should make smart investments to spur the commercial SMR market as a way to demonstrate this new technology, support struggling communities in coal country, and eliminate local air and water pollution. Coal communities are worried that they will be left behind by a Green New Deal, but a Coal-to-SMR program could address the market failure of an unequal distribution of benefits from a clean energy transition.


Broadly, this project will have a national scope as we evaluate the market size of a potential Coal-to-SMR program, but we will also be identifying communities that will be a good fit for the first SMR demonstrations. We will study these communities in more detail and look to local policies and economic needs to understand how to develop a successful pilot program.

Amount Approved
$50,000.00 on 10/5/2020 (Check sent: 10/29/2020)

Laurel Walk
Goleta, CA 93117

(510) 8534792


Jessica Lovering
Executive Director, Good Energy Collective

Posted 8/31/2020 5:00 PM
Updated   10/29/2020 5:15 PM

  • Nonprofit

  © 2021 Alex C. Walker Foundation       Search   Sign In