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(NPR)   The future of nuclear power is in a series of miniature reactors that are just so cute you'll want to cuddle with them   (npr.org) divider line 233
    More: Strange, nuclear reactors, reactor cores, office park  
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16640 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Feb 2013 at 1:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-04 10:49:26 AM  
Seems like a big safety and security risk.
 
2013-02-04 11:06:36 AM  
Thanks Asimov, I still don't need a nuclear knife.
 
2013-02-04 11:09:10 AM  

GAT_00: Thanks Asimov, I still don't need a nuclear knife.


OOOooo, but what about a nuclear powered laser gun?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-04 11:17:42 AM  

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


No, they would just be grouped onto large facilities.  It costs a lot less to get approval for one large site than ten, and it's the same for providing security and everything else.

Making them smaller just makes them easier to build and assemble and finance.  It's not like they are going to be on sale at Home Depot.
 
2013-02-04 11:31:21 AM  
Sweet...

i236.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-04 11:34:06 AM  

vpb: Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

No, they would just be grouped onto large facilities.  It costs a lot less to get approval for one large site than ten, and it's the same for providing security and everything else.

Making them smaller just makes them easier to build and assemble and finance.  It's not like they are going to be on sale at Home Depot.


I can see how a modular power system like this could be very useful. I would allow you to provide large-scale electrical power to remote areas relatively cheaply and without having to build a ton of supporting infrastructure. But in practical terms where do you deploy these? Africa, with it's chronic security issues(even in the more stable countries)?
 
2013-02-04 11:55:08 AM  

Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?


Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.
 
2013-02-04 12:14:28 PM  

costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.


Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).
 
2013-02-04 12:15:22 PM  

Voiceofreason01: costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.

Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


I want one of these for my doomsday prepper bunker!
 
2013-02-04 12:20:21 PM  
Will if fit on the back of my DeLorean??
 
2013-02-04 12:35:17 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


Who says they need to be remote? There's lots of old coal-fired power plants all over the world, and if you've got, say, an old 600mw plant that needs replacing, you need 3-4 of these to replace it. If the price is right to buy and install, that makes nuclear power a real choice in roles it never was before - nobody builds full scale nuclear plants for a load requirement that small.
 
2013-02-04 12:51:39 PM  
Whatever happened to the air cooled ceramic mini nuclear plants we were promised? It seems going with steam is just backward.
 
2013-02-04 12:52:26 PM  
I expect a lot of:

upload.wikimedia.org

"Not in my back yard!"
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-04 01:02:27 PM  

Voiceofreason01: costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.

Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


At the sites of existing reactors. They already have site licenses.
 
2013-02-04 01:09:21 PM  

Voiceofreason01: GAT_00: Thanks Asimov, I still don't need a nuclear knife.

OOOooo, but what about a nuclear powered laser gun?


It's our constitutional right to have nuclear-powered laser guns.
 
2013-02-04 01:11:42 PM  
The article is talking about micro nuclear reactors. There was a greenlight some time back about the town of Galena in Alaska wanting one of these since it was so expensive to import diesel fuel for their generators.


Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


Not really. The latest generation of reactors are fairly safe, including a number of passive cooling designs that make issues like we saw at Fukushima a non-issue. Keep in mind that the General Electric boiling water reactor at Fukushima was designed in the 1950s, and the RBMK reactor at Chernobyl was designed shortly after (and was a horrible design even for the time; they were illegal to build in the US).

The fuel is kept in sealed containers that can't really be tampered with onsite. When the fuel is exhausted, it is put on a truck and shipped back to the factory, so you don't have holding pools like we saw at Fukushima.

I'd consider coal power a greater health risk since we know that they are actively spewing heavy and radioactive metals into the air. More people have died from coal related illness in the US than from nuclear accidents.  That shiat really has got to go.

The nice thing about these micro facilities is that you can build them close to towns so you can avoid long-distance transmission losses. Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground, so this sorta side-skips the issue.
 
2013-02-04 01:13:58 PM  
These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.
 
2013-02-04 01:15:16 PM  

violentsalvation: I expect a lot of:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 395x269]

"Not in my back yard!"


Screw distributed power generation
Screw progress
NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY DERPDERPDERP
 
2013-02-04 01:18:01 PM  
WAFTR or LFTR are okay, why doe the NRC keep trotting out the same tired shiat, I mean really how much energy could we extract, and how much do we extract are just sad questions.
 
2013-02-04 01:18:28 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


Whatever do you mean?  A nuclear reactor that's small enough to be loaded into a back of a simulated wood-panel van?

FTA: The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

What could possibly go wrong here?
 
2013-02-04 01:20:33 PM  

Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.


Yes but wait until the general public catches wind of any potential installations. Sense will immediately stop being made.
 
2013-02-04 01:20:49 PM  
Meh, I'm putting my chips on Fusion reactors that create plasma.

Plus:

www.ocmodshop.com

Who else gets seriously annoyed when these things blow up and irradiate you?  Is that what we want for our kids?
 
2013-02-04 01:22:10 PM  
They're building one of these next to my house, they've answered all of the community's concerns with "dont' worry, it's safe"....so now I feel much better about it.
 
2013-02-04 01:22:12 PM  
"Hey Bill?

"Yes Jeff?"

"We're gonna need about a 450 year detour from Elliot and Lake to exit 38 on the greenway, a semi flipped last night night and took out reactor 22. On the flip side, we' won't need any street lights in the area for a while, either."

"fark. And I suppose EVERYBODY around just has to get out of town right now and visit their aunt in Peoria, too. You get the containment grid turned on and I'll alert the sherriff's office. He's been looking for an excuse to get the boys some range time anyway. God damn it so much."
 
2013-02-04 01:22:15 PM  

A Shambling Mound: Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.

Yes but wait until the general public catches wind of any potential installations. Sense will immediately stop being made.


Wait for it:

SkunkWerks: Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

Whatever do you mean?  A nuclear reactor that's small enough to be loaded into a back of a simulated wood-panel van?

FTA: The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

What could possibly go wrong here?


Point proven.
 
2013-02-04 01:25:53 PM  
Seems just it was just a decade ago that Toshiba was talking about building mini reactors.

Oh, and Bill Gates was involved, too.
 
2013-02-04 01:25:59 PM  
Yep. Build them like house trailers.
Brilliant. I bet they are easy to keep safe and secure, too.
Nothing like having an ADT sticker on the glass window to keep someone away that wants your fuel grade stuff.
I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong.

We need about 30 years more research, or stop arresting every boyscout who tries this in his own back yard.

Nuke morans are the other end of the spectrum from the crunchy, hippie, Peta wack jobs.
 
2013-02-04 01:27:36 PM  
As a proponent of nuclear energy, there are reasons why developing countries can't have nice things.

I'm on the fence about it, but I could be swayed.
 
2013-02-04 01:27:49 PM  
pjmedia.com
 
2013-02-04 01:29:34 PM  
When can i buy one for my home and get rid of the damned electric utility's ever-expanding costs
 
2013-02-04 01:30:30 PM  

vudukungfu: Yep. Build them like house trailers.
Brilliant. I bet they are easy to keep safe and secure, too.
Nothing like having an ADT sticker on the glass window to keep someone away that wants your fuel grade stuff.
I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong.

We need about 30 years more research, or stop arresting every boyscout who tries this in his own back yard.

Nuke morans are the other end of the spectrum from the crunchy, hippie, Peta wack jobs.


encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com

Deep thoughts...
 
2013-02-04 01:30:32 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


What could the possible fallout be?
 
2013-02-04 01:30:42 PM  

SkunkWerks: Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

Whatever do you mean?  A nuclear reactor that's small enough to be loaded into a back of a simulated wood-panel van?

FTA: The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

What could possibly go wrong here?


Reactor designs are nowhere near what they were when Chernobyl, Fukushimi, or even the dozens of swimming-pool reactors scattered around the USA. Modern technology and engineers has essentially removed the risk of melt-down and the transportation of radioactive waste is an existing issue. We already ship all kinds of radioactive material to hospitals every day. The risk the same using these small reactors. The article doesn't specify, but these should include Thorium-based reactors as well. No reason to limit ourselves to moderately enriched Uranium. I am also curious about down-time for refueling. Large reactors actually have planned outages for refueling and maintenance. Having lots of little cores allows staged refueling - which simplifies the process and evens-out maintenance scheduling.
 
2013-02-04 01:31:02 PM  
 
2013-02-04 01:31:16 PM  
They didn't say if they were liquid or solid fuel types. Liquid then they make sense but not the solid fuel type.
 
2013-02-04 01:31:45 PM  
If these become popular, how will we be able to continue ruining our air and contaminating our water with mercury?
 
2013-02-04 01:32:59 PM  
My dad worked at that facility 30 years ago.
 
2013-02-04 01:33:24 PM  
There is no mention of it in the article but I read that the military is interested in small portable reactors.  Instead of shipping diesel fuel through let's say Pakistan to run generators at bases in Afghanistan you could bring in a portable nuclear power plant that would run for years without refueling.  They also want them to power bases in the US so those bases are relying on vulnerable local power grids.  My guess is that the DOE money for this is mostly for the purpose of supplying the military.
 
2013-02-04 01:33:28 PM  
<i>"It's a developing country that doesn't have a substantial electrical grid that is precisely the kind of country I would not want to see have any kind of nuclear power plant," he says.</i>

Because burning the local forests for fuel or relying on the warlord's oil fields is so much better for people in developing countries.

I suppose the one saving grace about Western environmentalists hating humanity is that they want the impoverished foreigners to die off first.
 
2013-02-04 01:33:46 PM  
I'll wait for the arc reactor
 
2013-02-04 01:34:26 PM  
As someone who lives within the fallout zones of two nuke plants, I'm not concerned.

Actually, having a nuclear power plant eight miles from my home is kind of exciting, if anything.
 
2013-02-04 01:34:31 PM  

Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,


What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?
 
2013-02-04 01:35:39 PM  

A Shambling Mound: Point proven.


Really?  I'm actually one of the folks here who would normally weight in against alarmist notions about nuclear power.  In fact, I firmly believe it's the way forward, and still do.

That said, when you alter one of the fundamental properties of nuclear power plants, and dramatically so- in this case, their size- there are certain logistics considerations that should probably be carefully examined at that point.

And it's entirely possible they're being examined, I admit.

It's just that, well, my faith in humanity is a rather dim sort of faith, and with folks all up and gushing about how "neat" this is, it's not exactly uncommon for such glaring issues to be glossed over, or else, entirely ignored.
 
2013-02-04 01:36:14 PM  

rwfan: US so those bases are

NOT relying

ftfm
 
2013-02-04 01:36:20 PM  
What size of turbine facility would be needed to utilize the output from one of these, I wonder?
 
2013-02-04 01:36:24 PM  

doczoidberg: As someone who lives within the fallout zones of two nuke plants, I'm not concerned.

Actually, having a nuclear power plant eight miles from my home is kind of exciting, if anything.


i212.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-04 01:36:54 PM  

Thisbymaster: They didn't say if they were liquid or solid fuel types. Liquid then they make sense but not the solid fuel type.


It's a pressurized water reactor.
 
2013-02-04 01:37:18 PM  
Knew it all along.
 
2013-02-04 01:37:42 PM  
Sounds pretty rad.
 
2013-02-04 01:38:27 PM  

willfullyobscure: "We're gonna need about a 450 year detour from Elliot and Lake to exit 38 on the greenway, a semi flipped last night night and took out reactor 22. On the flip side, we' won't need any street lights in the area for a while, either."


Yeah it's a shame nobody knows how to build hardened structures with layers of passive defenses against objects with lots of kinetic energy.

Yeah it's also a shame nobody knows how to build in plain sight without drawing attention.  There's no way to build bland buildings that nobody pays attention to.
 
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