Nuclear Industry's attitude - Small Reactors

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HowardE
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Nuclear Industry's attitude - Small Reactors

Post by HowardE » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:15 pm

Caught a program on NPR today, discussing N-energy's effort to develop and market these new, small cheap reactors. The spokesperson for the company emphasized that their goal is to build not tens, but thousands of these small reactors and deploy them both here and in other development countries that might not be able to afford traditional multi-billion dollar nuclear plants. His words were, "why are not looking to build the Rolls-Royce, but the Ford of the nuclear industry". What arrogance!

I can see why the Union of Concerned Scientists' speaker, immediately following, stated that when it comes to nuclear power, "You want the Rolls Royce and NOT the Ford"! As he very eloquently explained, these units may be smaller, but have many (if not more) risks associated with them. One of the touted advantages has been that because they are small, they can be located closer to population centers, thus eliminating or reducing the need for a large, sophisticated distribution grid. But, the decision to locate them closer to people, actually increases the risk to those same people.

I am not in the nuclear industry and therefore I don;t claim to have any special insight to this matter, but I would appreciate if others here, who are in the industry and are familiar with these small reactors could provide some info here, in particular as to the safety of these units and the assertion of the UCS speaker that allowing them to be placed closer to population centers may be the worse thing one can do!
Anger is a good motivator!

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GradPhys
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Re: Nuclear Industry's attitude - Small Reactors

Post by GradPhys » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:46 pm

I hope this paragraph gives you some of the insight you are looking for.

"Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are getting a lot of attention in the nuclear industry because they offer great potential for lower initial capital investment, scalability, and they come in sizes more appropriate for locations unable to accommodate larger 1000+ MW units. However, there are some big potential advantages that have not been widely discussed that could make SMRs a game-changer. These advantages are the potential for enhanced safety and security."

It was taken from the link below:

http://thisweekinnuclear.com/?p=1193

There is a lot more detailed information there.

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