Personally I believe that the only realistic answer to our upcoming supply difficulties is to have some of that new clear electric.
I think NZ will manage without it, but only because we lack any significant industry. Our sole smelter uses something like 15% of the national electrical output on its own. If and when that becomes too uneconomic to survive, that's the EV grid capacity problem solved overnight.
But for countries with significant heavy industry, I think you're absolutely right. New reactors, with new, passive-safe designs.
Yes, shutting that smelter down would release a lot of generation but would be a massive hit to our export figures. Also, this is generation in the South Island, most of the consumption is in the north island and the H.V. D.C . Link doesn't have an infinite capacity.