Monday, November 16, 2009

Hyperion to Announce Design of 25MWe Modular Reactor

On Wednesday in Washington DC, and on Thursday in London, Hyperion Power Generation will unveil the design of its small modular 25 MWe portable nuclear reactor. Brian Wang reports on Hyperion's plans, and provides other details on the remarkable safety and portability of the small modular reactor.

Hyperion's 25 MWe reactor is factory built and factory fueled and re-fueled. It can be shipped by truck, train, or ship. It provides enough power for 20,000 modern homes. A single fueling is good for 5+ years. They are designed for burial underground, for additional safety. All for a mere $25 million -- or about $1,250 per household in a 20,000 home community. For over 5 years of baseload power and heat, a $1,250 investment is minimal.

Perhaps you think a 20,000 home community is too large for a survival refuge? It depends on the emergency. If you are living through a situation where the minimum viable population (MVP) comes into consideration, a 20,000 household community is very close to the proper size. Particularly when the community members are selected for their ability to contribute to the long term survival not only of the community, but of the science, technology, skill set, and cultural and philosophical wealth of the modern western world.

Every community built for survival, should have the skill and knowledge set to re-create a small modern university and a small advanced industrial town. These communities will need reliable baseload power for routine heat and electricity, as well as to power small industrial projects to promote survivability and sustainability.

Some extreme catastrophes may be resolved within a 5 year time period. A successful EMP attack, for example, would require between a year and 5 years for the central authority to re-assert control and to re-establish supply lines, power, transportation, and broadband communication to remote parts of a country. For such extended emergencies, the Hyperion reactor would see the community through the worst.

Other catastrophes would extend far beyond the Hyperion's designed lifetime. While the community might continue to extract heat and power from the reactor for several years beyond the designed re-fueling date, the output would decay rapidly after a certain point.

That is why a community containing relatively large numbers (thousands) of competent individuals is so important for long-term survival. And it is why it is so important that the community be provided a solid 5+ years of reliable baseload power and heat in the early stages of adjustment away from the former established order. Thousands of isolated and distressed individuals need reassurance and stability provided in as many ways as possible.

Under the current leadership of the large western nations, hard-won resources are being squandered at record rates. The earned leadership of the west is being abdicated by incompetent governments. Power abhors a vacuum. With the surrender of western power, other powers will rise.

The new powers will not be so squeamish about human rights, of course, but the new powers will be fragmented and at war between themselves. Large scale breakdown of order should be expected.

In the case of broad-scale anarchy and war, isolated nuclei of civilisation that can provide the nuclei of a re-coalescence of western liberalism may make all the difference in the course of the next thousand years of human history.



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