03 September 2009

Will Mini-Reactors Save the Day? New Nuclear Age

Sandia National Laboratories joined the race to license and build mini nuclear reactors -- small, modular, safe, and cheap in comparison to standard commercial reactors.
Sandia National Laboratories said it has designed a small nuclear reactor and is looking for partners to commercialize it and even sell it overseas. The reactor could provide 100 to 300 megawatts worth of heat. More importantly, the factory-built reactor could be completed in two years, far less than the seven years or more that large (3,000 megawatts), conventional reactors take.

Roughly 85 percent of the design is complete. The cost of the reactor could drop to $250 million once in production. _GreentechMedia
Already in the race are:

Hyperion Power Generation

Babcock and Wilcox

NuScale Power


TerraPower is unique in that it aims to produce fully scalable reactors that run on either natural or depleted uranium. That approach would eliminate the risk of weapons proliferation from its fuel, and would cut fuel costs significantly.

Previously published at Al Fin Energy

Be sure to read a more detailed report on this nuclear development from Brian Westenhaus

One of the biggest problems stopping progress in small reactors is the US Government's exorbitant $100 million up-front application fee for new reactor designs. On top of all the other obstacles against new energy from the Obama reich, it is simply a deal killer.

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Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

I have been doing a little (very little due to time constraints) on Thorium reactors. At least on paper, they would only need to be refueled every 9 years. A reactor could be basically a sealed vessel and then after 9 years, pulled up and recycled.

Thursday, 03 September, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. Breeder reactors can conceivably go a long time, once started.

Some of these mini-reactors could go for 10 or even 20 years without being refueled.

And being built in a factory allows for better quality control and economies of scale in production.

You might want to read about the Terrapower reactor design that uses non-enriched and depleted uranium as fuel.

Thursday, 03 September, 2009  

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