Saturday, August 06, 2011

Korea's 330 MW SMART Reactor Hoping for Commercial Approval in 2011

SMART is a 330MWth pressurized water reactor (PWR), designed to generate up to 100MWe for thermal applications such as seawater desalination.

MEST believes that SMARTs are more cost-effective and safer than the current generation of conventional reactors. _Nuclear Energy Insider
Korea's Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has developed a 330 MW modular reactor that it hopes to get approved for commercialisation this year. It hopes to begin exporting the reactor beginning next year.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has succeeded in developing a system-integrated modular advanced reactor (SMART) by investing 170 billion won ($160 million) since 1994. The reactor is likely to receive approval for commercialization this year, opening the way for exporting the model as early as next year.

SMART is a small-sized reactor with a generating capacity of 330 megawatts. Just as other modular reactors, SMART is manufactured at a plant and brought to the site fully built. This reactor can be constructed on smaller sites to provide stable power to towns with around 100,000 residents.

The ministry is making efforts to help export the SMART model to some 20 countries needing small-sized reactors. The model has already received a positive evaluation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). _KoreaTimes
The main threat to implementation of Korea's SMART reactor strategy is competition from another Korean ministry, the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, which wants to develop its own reactor design. Best not to dig too deeply into this governmental internecine competition to determine winners and losers in large industrial designs and contracts. They could tell you, but then they'd have to kill you. ;-)

Nuclear power is under siege on many fronts internationally, particularly since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami - caused nuclear meltdown. There are many ways to make nuclear power safer, cheaper, and potentially cleaner in terms of waste products. But as long as governments are making it difficult or impossible for new designs to be properly tested and developed, it will be difficult for nuclear to realise its potential.



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