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Old 11-08-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
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Default Mini nuclear plants to power homes

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Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

£13m shed-size reactors will be delivered by lorry



  • John Vidal and Nick Rosen
  • guardian.co.uk, Sunday November 9 2008 00.01 GMT
  • The Observer, Sunday November 9 2008
  • Article history
Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.
The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.
The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. 'Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,' said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. 'They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.'
Deal claims to have more than 100 firm orders, largely from the oil and electricity industries, but says the company is also targeting developing countries and isolated communities. 'It's leapfrog technology,' he said.
The company plans to set up three factories to produce 4,000 plants between 2013 and 2023. 'We already have a pipeline for 100 reactors, and we are taking our time to tool up to mass-produce this reactor.'
The first confirmed order came from TES, a Czech infrastructure company specialising in water plants and power plants. 'They ordered six units and optioned a further 12. We are very sure of their capability to purchase,' said Deal. The first one, he said, would be installed in Romania. 'We now have a six-year waiting list. We are in talks with developers in the Cayman Islands, Panama and the Bahamas.'
The reactors, only a few metres in diameter, will be delivered on the back of a lorry to be buried underground. They must be refuelled every 7 to 10 years. Because the reactor is based on a 50-year-old design that has proved safe for students to use, few countries are expected to object to plants on their territory. An application to build the plants will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission next year.
'You could never have a Chernobyl-type event - there are no moving parts,' said Deal. 'You would need nation-state resources in order to enrich our uranium. Temperature-wise it's too hot to handle. It would be like stealing a barbecue with your bare hands.'
Other companies are known to be designing micro-reactors. Toshiba has been testing 200KW reactors measuring roughly six metres by two metres. Designed to fuel smaller numbers of homes for longer, they could power a single building for up to 40 years.

I've been wondering and waiting for this. In essence, nuclear power went for the bigger is better idea a few decades ago, and led to a couple catastrophic happenings.

THis makes a HECK of a lot more sense. After all, our military does it in all their nuclear powered ships.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

This is a great idea!
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

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This is a great idea!
Yep.

Think about it. 5 of them could power a 100,000 families, that is a nice size city... AND put a lot of x-mlitary to work running the plants!


The only thing I would be worried about is a bomb planted there to create a dirty bomb.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

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Yep.

Think about it. 5 of them could power a 100,000 families, that is a nice size city... AND put a lot of x-mlitary to work running the plants!


The only thing I would be worried about is a bomb planted there to create a dirty bomb.
Or potential technological screw ups.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

Sign me up! At $250 per home and 10 cents a watt it IS a great idea.

As for the dirty bomb. well I imagine the unit incased in concrete and buried 10 to 15 feet would be enough to stop a surface explosion. You would essentially need to bury it under a busy street or somewhere else with high traffic so anyone digging to plant a bomb closer to the unit would be caught.

Preach, Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

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Or potential technological screw ups.
nope.

the technology is too old and too stable for that.

As the article says, no moving parts. Heck, they use these things in colleges to train students in nuclear technology.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

i'll take two of em ......
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

Are you going to allow it built in your back yard?????
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mini nuclear plants to power homes

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Are you going to allow it built in your back yard?????
Sure....I'll rent them the space.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:23 PM   #10
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Are you going to allow it built in your back yard?????
Absolutely I would.
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