The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, south of Los Osos, in Avila Beach, Calif., on June 20, 2010. (Joe Johnston/The Tribune via AP)

The Feb. 26 Business article “Smaller, Safer, Cheaper?” was a welcome exploration of current thoughts on a nuclear-powered future based on small modular nuclear power reactors.

But traditional, large reactor power plants are safe and reliable. Operating plants are in locations selected to protect against physical disruption by seismic or human action, provide sufficient water access for alternative cooling and to support demand for large amounts of electrical power from urban centers and industrial complexes.

They use nuclear fuel efficiently and are manned by ample teams of trained professionals. Not all of this can be said with a future solely based on small modular reactors (SMRs). As the article pointed out, wide use of SMRs implies hundreds of such plants in many communities.

For an environmentally sound future, the government should clear the way to a nuclear-powered future and revisit bad decisions made long ago in failing to clear the way for nuclear fuel recycling capacities and well-designed operating nuclear waste storage facilities. This way private industry can confidently build and maintain nuclear power plants — both traditional large plants and SMRs.

John J. Kohout III, Williamsburg