Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nuclear News and Views

South Korea is entering the small modular reactor (SMR) field with its new SMART line of mini-reactors. (via Energy Tribune)

Russia is driving ahead with its Gen-IV fast neutron reactors (FNRs). The FNRs are designed to burn fertile U238, which is available in nature in much higher quantities than naturally fissile U235.

Thorium cycle nuclear reactors are another unconventional approach to fission which hold a lot of promise. Thorium232 is fertile, and is converted to fissile U233 by neutron bombardment by a starter fuel, or perhaps eventually by a spallation neutron source -- in a sub-critical reactor.

Time magazine looks at Obama's NRC and the logjam it is putting in front of innovative nuclear companies such as Hyperion.

More on Obama's NRC bottleneck here

Brian Wang looks at several new developments in nuclear energy.

Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co. is planning a new 3 to 4 GW nuclear plant

French nuclear companies to collaborate in development of new SMRs

Advanced nuclear fission holds the promise for clean, sustainable power for many thousands of years. If humans cannot perfect unlimited fusion power over that time span, then it is clear that the destiny of humans was always to swing from trees like the monkeys.



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