The NRC approved a small nuclear reactor for certification on Friday, making it the first of its kind to be approved in the United States.

It has been a long time since it happened. Two years ago, the NRC approved the design of the certification process.

The small modular reactor, designed by Oregon-based nuclear reactor company NuScale Power, can be mass produced in a central factory and shipped to wherever they are needed.

The reactor is only nine feet in diameter and 65 feet tall, but it's capable of generating 77 megawatt electrical units of power.

The World Nuclear Association says that up to 12 of these bad boys can be chained together in a standard power plant configuration to produce a total of 924 MWe.

Fission Future

This isn't the first one. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, China has SMRs in advanced stages of construction.

According to a 2020 report by Scientific American, there has been almost no new nuclear construction in the US in the last 30 years.

The Department of Energy calls SMRs a key part of its goal to develop safe, clean, and affordable nuclear power, and this latest development seems to bode well for the future.

Concerns have been raised over the safety of the design. A July 2020 report discussed the possibility of "boron dilution" preventing the reactor from shutting down in an emergency.

It will be at least 2029 before a NuScale power plant is up and running, according to the company's own timelines.

Musk says we need more nuclear energy after Russia targets power plants.