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#307016 - 06/18/18 08:01 PM small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
A couple of years ago I think I posted something about SMR's They are, in theory, small and impossible to melt down (VERY safe). They can be buried and are utterly safe. I was under the impression that there were a couple being tested at one of the fed power places but, now, one has passed most of the testing and is foraging ahead. Then there are the very small nuclear reactors being developed by the military too. I remain convinced this will be the major source for power going forward. They can be produced in factories and delivered to sites. Canada, for instance, is planning to distribute them to isolated communities and there are those, in Alaska with the same thoughts.

While not mentioned in any of the sites below its also interesting that there are actually plans for these that utilized the nuclear waste that we now plan to bury in the earth (a REALLY bad idea! (I think))

Here are some sites to take a look at (there are a LOT of these)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gradsoflife...s/#5c9cf6c92e7b

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/small-modular-nuclear-reactors-moment-of-reckoning

http://www.cnl.ca/site/media/Parent/Moore_ICCE14.pdf

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/07/ve...plications.html

http://www.smartbrief.com/s/2017/02/no-major-problems-envisaged-defense-dept-vsmr-program

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#307049 - 06/22/18 05:45 AM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13201
Loc: Whittier, California
I am all for it but I really would like for us to also explore THORIUM as well.
The links are very interesting.
Many thanks...I wish my father was still alive.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#307050 - 06/22/18 08:13 AM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
The main thing Uranium/Plutonium reactors have going for them is you can make bombs with the waste products. That's why the AEC stopped all Thorium research.

If you just want a clean energy source, the US has about 1000 years worth of Thorium. It is buried as a waste product of rare earth mining.

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#307054 - 06/22/18 07:40 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
here are a couple other sites. I think that China and India have already begun to build factories for these things and Canada is getting close. We too are working on it. These things are, in theory (and probably in reality) SAFE! Once they get factories built they will be able, again in theory, to compete against any other sources of electricity.

I remember a scifi story about somebody building diesel engine nuclear replacements. That allowed trucks to run forever and they had a setup that would mimic the sound of an engine so the truckers wouldn't get caught using them. Some of these design are claimed to be so small they would actually fit into a big truck!

I think that Hyperion is one of the oldest (now has a different name and still active)

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/07/ve...plications.html
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information...r-reactors.aspx
https://analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.com/canada-edges-closer-smr-build-after-vc-funding-deal
http://www.uxc.com/smr/Library%5CDesign%20Specific/G4M%20(HPM)/Other%20Documents/Brochure%20Hyperion%20Module.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen4_Energy
https://www.google.com/search?q=smallest...HTpvBKAQsAQItgE

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#307069 - 06/23/18 07:46 AM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
Some of these design are claimed to be so small they would actually fit into a big truck!


But you could never run that truck on the highway, because of all the radiation it would leak. These things are very safe but they are going to leak gamma rays and neutrons. You need to put them a dozen feet underground and a 100 feet from anyone's living or working area. What they do have is some failsafe designs so in the event of runaway because of several failures at once, the hot fuel melts a plug and all the fuel ends up in a safe reservoir under the reactor. For THAT to fail, gravity would have to fail.

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#307070 - 06/23/18 03:25 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14039
Loc: Florida
Quote:
These things are, in theory (and probably in reality) SAFE!

So perhaps they are safe. But are they necessary? Is there something they can do better and cheaper than wind or solar power?
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde

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#307073 - 06/23/18 06:33 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7692
Loc: North San Diego County
They can supply baseline power when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. But probably geothermal could do that too, in some areas.

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#307074 - 06/23/18 07:34 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
They can provide power irregardless of weather, etc. I just spent a couple of hours reading about safety and radiation. It seems as if radiation is not even considered a problem. Even the union of concerned scientists seem to give it a pass. Canada seems to have decided that a 1000 foot buffer is good enough and is, as far as I can tell, there just to make people feel better.

Our own military, it seems, is going all out to develop vsmr's as are other countries. Russia, for instance, is very active in this stuff.

As far as I can tell nuscale will be building a 12 unit in Idaho in the near future. It will be interesting how that works out. I also noticed that nuclear is mentioned being used to smooth out the power generated by wind (wind power, a couple of years ago, came very close to destroying the entire grand coulee power grid due to the unevenness of supply for which it had never been designed to deal with).

If this stuff works out then the high tension lines from grand coulee to the rest of Washington, will, over time, become a thing of the past?

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#307076 - 06/23/18 11:22 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: pondering_it_all]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14039
Loc: Florida
For the price of these reactors they can build storage facilities to even out the load. Scaling batteries up might be better than scaling nuclear reactors down...

I'm just not a big fan of nuclear energy.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde

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#307098 - 06/25/18 07:17 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2033
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Nobody actually knows how much these things are going to cost as nobody has, as far as I know, build a manufacturing facility to produce them. Apparently the costs will reduce dramatically once they are in production. Before that happens, of course, everything will need to be tested. Nuscale is now passed the major test and they say whilst there are several others to get through that process will actually take less time for all the rest as for the first one that is passed.

I think the plan is for nuscale to complete all tests, build a manufacturing facility and produce 12 of these units for a facility in Idaho. This also seems to be coming quickly so we might be able to see how they work and what the true costs are. The current speculations is that the costs are going to be competitive with current natural gas generation facilities. The real benefits are that these things can be put virtually anywhere and are delivered by truck. They last between 10 and 20 years, can be buried underground, and can be refueled without turning them off and there is minimum waste.

http://smrstart.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SMR-Start-Economic-Analysis-APPROVED-2017-09-14.pdf

I should add that Canadam Russia, China, and India are also working pretty hard on these things.

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