The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will start leasing land to corporations that need a place to run experiments. “There is no limit on the length of these leases,” said Katherine Huff, assistant secretary with the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

That might sound benign, but some of those experiments could leave a bunch of radioactive waste that Idahoans will need to clean up for generations to come. 

DOE, several corporations, and their partners are peddling nonexistent, so-called “advanced” reactors (aka Unicorns) nationwide. These tech bro fantasies only waste time and money that could be spent on cleaner, faster, cheaper, safer solutions. Recently, NuScale blew about $1 billion in taxpayer money before being forced to end its Idaho project. The corporation could file for bankruptcy.

The Biden Administration recently designated a tech hub in Idaho and Wyoming to advance nuclear manufacturing and promote “clean energy.”

The Intermountain-West Nuclear Energy Corridor (INEC) Tech Hub, a consortium led by Idaho Advanced Energy Consortium, will position Idaho and Wyoming as global leaders in small modular reactors (SMR) and advance nuclear energy to build a cleaner energy future. The INEC Tech Hub will build on the region’s existing nuclear manufacturing and service sectors to capture an increasing share of the global SMR market by developing collaboration hubs, incubators, and testbeds for nuclear start-ups and creating nuclear industry workforce development programs.

The number of jobs created is uncertain, but it’s doubtful many jobs will be created in Idaho. After all, the industry touts that these nonexistent reactors will practically run themselves. When asked how many jobs the corporate/federal partnerships would bring to Idaho and Wyoming, Katherine Huff said, “Gosh, how many jobs could it bring? I would love to know that.”

If jobs were being created, wouldn’t they be crowing about it from the highest rooftop? It seems to me more like a gold rush for nukers, and the unicorn stampede is heading West.