Monday, May 17, 2010

Nuclear Notes, Monday 17 May 2010

Toshiba intends to apply for federal approval to test its 4S nuclear reactor in Galena, Alaska.
The Japanese company is planning reactors known as “4S,” meaing “super-safe, small and simple,” with hopes of starting construction in 2014.

“We aim to get 4S orders in remote areas where it is more cost-efficient to generate power on a local basis than use power grids,” spokesman Keisuke Ohmori told Business Week. “A great many people are interested.”

Toshiba and TerraPower, a company controlled by Bill Gates, have been in talks about engineering and research issues related to what is known as a “traveling wave reactor” that would use depleted uranium.

“Toshiba expects that about 80 percent of the technologies used in the 4S reactor can be applied” to the traveling wave reactor, Reuters said in a March article. _NewsMiner
Toshiba's 4S is said to provide 10 MW power for 30 years on initial fuel load.

Bloomberg/Newsweek took a look at "Fridge-Sized Nuclear Reactors..." today:
The chief executive officer of Hyperion Power Generation Inc. is developing miniature atomic-energy plants that would supply a small factory or town too remote for connection to a traditional utility transmission grid.
The Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company and Japan’s Toshiba Corp. are vying for a head start over reactor makers General Electric Co. and Areva SA in downsizing nuclear technology and aim to submit license applications in the next year to U.S. regulators. They’re seeking to tap a market that has generated about $135 billion in pending orders for large nuclear plants.

...While utility-scale reactors cost about $2.3 billion apiece and produce 1.2 gigawatts of power, Hyperion’s price tag is $50 million for a 25-megawatt reactor more comparable to a diesel generators or wind farms.

...Transportable by truck, the units would come in a sealed box and work around the clock, requiring less maintenance than a fossil fuel plant, the developers say. They’d cost 15 percent less per megawatt of capacity than the average full-scale atomic reactors now in on the drawing board, according to World Nuclear Association data.
“A 25-megawatt plant would put electricity into 20,000 homes, and it would fit inside this room,” James Kohlhaas, vice president at a Lockheed Martin Corp. unit that builds power systems for remote military bases, said in an interview. “It’s a pretty elegant micro-grid solution.” _Bloomberg/Newsweekvia_RodAdams
Faux environmentalists inside and outside of the Obama - Pelosi regime intend to stonewall all new reactor designs and new reactor construction for as long as possible -- consistent with the O - P regime's unspoken policy of "energy starvation" for US industry and the US economy. In fact 8 Nuclear Regulatory Commission executives are receiving presidential awards -- presumably for foot-dragging and budget-inflating.

Meanwhile in Europe, the "nuclear renaissance" on the sub-continent is enjoying a rocky start, with political obstacles cropping up in Germany and the UK, and some uncertainty in Italy regarding prior plans for nuclear expansion. Only Turkey appears to be going ahead -- with a new deal with Russia for construction of 4 new reactors by Russian contractors.



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