Puerto Rico mayor explores nuclear energy solutions
SAN JUAN – The mayor of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico, Javier Jiménez, is exploring the possibility of using nuclear energy to supply the island’s energy needs.
While current law does not include nuclear energy as an option in the island’s energy portfolio, it did not stop local engineers backed by nuclear energy companies from meeting with Jiménez on Tuesday.
At the meeting, both sides discussed lessons learned from Hurricane Maria, the island’s energy needs and the vision of a small modular reactor, according to a statement issued by the municipal government.
The meeting was attended by five local engineers in the nuclear industry, identified as Ángel Reyes, Eddie M. Guerra, Jesús Núñez, Olgamarie Toledo and Thommy Santiago.
They were accompanied by David Sledzik, senior vice president, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Myrton M. Kaczmarsky, senior director of Government Services for Holtec International; José Reyes, chief technology officer at NuScale Power; Scott Singer, vice president and chief security information officer of PAR Systems; Abdul Dulloo, director of Plant Technologies & Product Development at Westinghouse; and Jeffrey Harper, vice president of Strategy and Business Development at X Energy.
After Hurricane Maria struck the island, Jiménez got into trouble with the central government for taking matters into his own hands to restore power to his town. He gathered public workers and retired Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority workers to restore electricity amid criticism that what he was doing was unsafe.