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Mini Nuclear Power Plants Now On Sale!  
User currently offlineStasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2904 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.'"

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...iature-nuclear-reactors-los-alamos

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
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3574 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2850 times:

Too bad we will once again be exporting the best nuclear technology in the world, and unable to use it ourselves.

User currently offlineHowSwedeitis From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2787 times:
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Uh, why do I get the feeling that we may have numerous "Mini-3 mile islands" proping up?!?!  scared 

-HSII



Heja Sverige!!
User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2787 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 ?  Big grin



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21415 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2783 times:

Yeah, and those nuclear-powered flying cars are "now on sale" too!  crazy 

User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7943 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2758 times:

Do they come in cardboard boxes?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsH31cHT4_w

00:08 - 01:22



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2368 times:



Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
'They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.'"

The article has been ammended since they go their math wrong. It would $2500 a year which works out to approximately $208 dollars per month. That's a deal for electricty here in Texas.

Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
I'm not sure that I'd want a mini-nuke plant in my neighborhood here in earthquake prone Southern California

If it's encased in concrete......

Quoting HowSwedeitis (Reply 2):
Uh, why do I get the feeling that we may have numerous "Mini-3 mile islands" proping up?!?!

Three mile island was the result of a loss of coolant. Since there are no moving parts it would seem that the heat output is defined instead of variable. Big difference.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
Yeah, and those nuclear-powered flying cars are "now on sale" too!

Maybe they can produce some nuclear powered snow mobiles for the folks up north that are already digging out of several inches of Global Warming this year.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19415 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2326 times:

The big problem is what you do with them once the fuel is spent.

That is the big problem with fission power in general. It's all well and good until you have to put the waste somewhere. And then people want 100.0% safety and that's just not possible.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21415 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2312 times:



Quoting DXing (Reply 6):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
Yeah, and those nuclear-powered flying cars are "now on sale" too!

Maybe they can produce some nuclear powered snow mobiles for the folks up north that are already digging out of several inches of Global Warming this year.

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?


User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1253 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2306 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.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19415 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2306 times:



Quoting DXing (Reply 6):

Maybe they can produce some nuclear powered snow mobiles for the folks up north that are already digging out of several inches of Global Warming this year.

DXer, one day you are actually going to not parrot a lie.

And on that day, so help me god, I will eat a whole zucchini raw (I *HATE* zucchini).


User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2279 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.

It's not possible in anything.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
DXer, one day you are actually going to not parrot a lie.

Whatever, I had forgotten how original you are.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2270 times:

Don´t hold your breath, I kind of doubt it... Wink

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3521 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

Great, the ideal tool to tell all those green idiots to f.ck off... I'd buy one if I could afford it!

User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2243 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.

User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2236 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."


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2234 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.


User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2228 times:



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
To START production within five years

Mass production. Name a product that takes decades to build in mass production and is profitable. BTW perhaps you weren't paying quite as close attention to the TV as you thought.

http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com/

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.


User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2121 times:

A relevant link I did not see mentioned:

http://pearl1.lanl.gov/external/Research/peterson_FLC.html


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2083 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.

A fairly good link on Hyperion's proposal can be found here:
http://asianenergy.blogspot.com/2008...-on-hyperion-power-generation.html

These guys appear to be cheerleaders, but there you go.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2029 times:



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.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1964 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.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineDXing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1942 times:



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 21):
I don't want to necessarily rain on anyone's parade here, but I think a dose of scepticism is probably a reasonable approach

I don't want to question your obvious expertise in the area but the article you link in reply 19 mentions a TRIGA reactor plan for 25MW. In addition the fuel used has already been approved by the DOE.

http://triga.ga.com/fuel.html

Further, if the reactor is buried and has guards, stealing the fissle material would require time and equipment that would most likely be noticable.


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1921 times:



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 21):
circulate coolant



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 21):
the coolant,

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.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19415 posts, RR: 58
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1854 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
29 Francoflier : What outright embarrassing mess?
30 DXing : My question as well.
31 Connies4ever : I not only 2nd Francoflier, but I 3rd DXing.....one of the reasons the air is cleaner in Germany these days is due to massive imports of clean nuclea
32 DXing : Interestingly enough T Boone Pickens was on TV the other night and said that due to falling oil prices and the credit crunch he was going to have to
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