StasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3270 posts, RR: 6 Posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2416 times:
"Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.
The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.
The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. 'Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,' said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. 'They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.'"
I'm not sure that I'd want a mini-nuke plant in my neighborhood here in earthquake prone Southern California, but it's a great option for remote towns and villages throughout the world. The article states the developers are in talks to sell these plants to interested parties in the Bahamas, Panama, and the Cayman Islands.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
Connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3894 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2299 times:
Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter): 'Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,' said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion.
Does he mean 10 cents power installed watt of baseload power, or 10 cents per kWh ?
A 'fifty year old design' ? Hmmm...I'm wondering about some LEU-ised version of TRIGA.
We (Canada) had an R&D program for a 'nuclear battery' in the late 70s/early 80s which was intended to deliver some 10s of kW power to be used in remote locations, using like above a sealed system heating a working fluid that drove a turbine. Again 7 to 10 year lifetime.
Initial use was intended for the North Warning System of radar stations in the Arctic. But, when push came to shove, the politicos got cold feet and the program was shut down. Interestingly, I have seen a number of references to using nuclear batteries as powerplants for longer space missions such as a manned flight to Mars. Now NASA wouldn't be using our design, would they ?
JakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1818 times:
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7): The big problem is what you do with them once the fuel is spent.
Re-process it (recycle.) By doing this, you can cut the life of waste to decades or hundreds of years, instead of thousands. The more times you recycle it, the faster the waste will decay.
However, there is one major drawback to this; re-processed waste has a tendency to be highly more radioactive than "first waste", and continues to become more radioactive the more times you recycle it. But, under controlled conditions, and depending how many times you re-processed it, it could be decayed within a human lifetime.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
DXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1791 times:
Quoting Klaus (Reply 8): How do snowmobiles help people whose homes are sinking into the thawing soil or who have the softening ground under their coastal settlements slide into the sea?
Those homes where snowmobiles could come in handy are sitting on frozen soil. Yes, you're absolutely right, I had forgotten that the world is as it has been for millions and billions of years, the coast lines have never changed and would not have changed if it weren't for man.
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7): And then people want 100.0% safety and that's just not possible.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1755 times:
Was watching CNN the other day, and the story said they're very safe, but take up to 10 years to build. If they're very safe, why not start building them? It certainly will help with energy independence.
DXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1748 times:
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 14): If they're very safe, why not start building them? It certainly will help with energy independence.
From the linked story: "The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years."
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1746 times:
Quoting DXing (Reply 15): :
"The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years."
To START production within five years. I saw the story-it takes up to a decade to build them. I'll stand by that for now.
However, until now — until Hyperion, nuclear power and the many benefits it offers: clean, emission-free, affordable energy — was only available from large, expensive nuclear power plants that took 10 years or more to build.
Connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3894 posts, RR: 13 Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1595 times:
The problem I have with the Hyperion website is the factual errors:
-- no moving parts. Then they mention a turbine.
-- uranium hydride fuel. It is not clear to me what they are talking about here. TRIGA reactors are mentioned in the PR stuff, but TRIGA reactors in my experience (McMaster University) use _weapons grade_ fuel (Mc's is, anyway), what's called TRISO (a solid uranium-zirconium-hydride, IRRC), not in a molten/liquid form, but as a plate-type fuel, in a kind of web. I am fairly certain that if weapons grade U were involved, no one is going to approve this thing as a sort of off-the-shelf purchase.
I am quite dubious about this whole thing, but would be happy to be proved wrong.
Connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3894 posts, RR: 13 Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1476 times:
Quoting DXing (Reply 20): Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 19):
no moving parts. Then they mention a turbine.
No moving parts in the reactor buried below ground. You are going to have to have some sort of mechanical tranfer of energy to produce the electricty. That would be above ground.
Fair enough. If there are no moving parts below ground, then to generate electricity you either have to a) circulate coolant to an above ground steam generator/turbine setup or b) use direct energy conversion using the delta T across the circuit, in which case you'd likely never get past about 10% efficiency -- this is what the nuclear battery used as a reference point.
If a) then you have a more complex setup than what seems to be being advertised, especially if you need to pump the coolant, and if b) to get 25 MWe out, you'd need about 250 MTth heat generation -- that's a fairly big reactor to be running essentially unattended. I doubt a regulator would approve it. Even if a) is the path chosen, thermal efficiency is not going to be greater than 30%, esp. since this thing is likely to be running at or near atmospheric pressure plus whatever hydrostatic head there is, therefore temperatures will necessarily be low. So, even then, it's a 75 MWth or so unit.
They seem to mention TRIGA reactors as being similar (or other sites mention this, I forget). I know for a fact that the TRIGA at McMaster University in Hamilton is rated at 5 MWth -- and that's using weapons-grade U in the fuel.
I don't want to necessarily rain on anyone's parade here, but I think a dose of scepticism is probably a reasonable approach.
If I read it correctly its not a "coolant" per se, it's a heat transfer medium. The reactor does not need coolant as it does not generate enough heat to cause a runaway reaction, which is when coolant is required.
Yeah, its a nit pick, but its important for people who are uncomfortable with nuke power.
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 16940 posts, RR: 57 Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1366 times:
Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 9): Re-process it (recycle.) By doing this, you can cut the life of waste to decades or hundreds of years, instead of thousands. The more times you recycle it, the faster the waste will decay.
You still need to pick it up, transport it, process it, and then transport it back.
And all it takes is one accident, one flipped truck, and you have a full-sized mess on your hands.
25 Connies4ever: Potatoes, potahtoes. A coolant or "heat transfer medium" is merely some kind of mechanism through which one can take heat from a higher temp location
26 Francoflier: I think he meant to say that a coolant has the dual function of conveying thermal energy and help keepin the core at normal operating temperature. I'
27 DXing: If you look at the link in reply 18 you will see that the core is encased in concrete and stainless steel. I suppose if the truck flipped over into t
28 Klaus: We've already done that through the past decades to the tune of many billions of $/€/DM etc. with an outright embarrassing mess being all they've g