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Small Modular Reactor news

March 1, 2013

* [npp-US-newbuild-SMRs] U.S. offering $450 million to support fledgling nuclear technology, Erich Schwartzel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb 28 (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
NEI titled their description of this story as "SMR advocate defends government-private partnerships for projects". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "Proponents of small modular reactors defended the federal government's move to provide cost-sharing support for the projects. This comes after a budget watchdog group said that such technology is unproven and a waste of taxpayer money. 'Without government support, it would be a much slower proposition, and my concern is time,' said author Reese Palley."

* [npp-US-newbuild-Modular Fission Reactors] US teen designs compact nuclear reactor, Phys.Org (thanx Nevada state ANP)
* Eighteen-year-old Taylor Wilson has designed a compact nuclear reactor that could one day burn waste from old atomic weapons to power anything from homes and factories to space colonies.
* The American teen, who gained fame four years ago after designing a fusion reactor he planned to build in the garage of his family's home, shared his latest endeavor at a TED Conference in southern California on Thursday. "It's about bringing something old, fission, into the 21st Century," Wilson said. "I think this has huge potential to change the world." He has designed a small reactor capable of generating 50-100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power as many as 100,000 homes. The reactor can be made assembly-line style and powered by molten radioactive material from nuclear weapons, Wilson said. The relatively small, modular reactor can be shipped sealed with enough fuel to last for 30 years. "You can plop them down anywhere in the world and they work, buried under the ground for security reasons," he said, while detailing his design at TED.
* He sees his competition as nations, particularly China, and the roadblocks ahead as political instead of technical. Wilson planned to have a prototype ready in two years and a product to market in five years.
* "Imagine having a compact reactor in a rocket designed [for] those planning to habitat other planets. Not only would you have power for propulsion, but power once you get there."

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July 19, 2012

* [npp-newbuild-SMR-mPower] Babcock & Wilcox testing site in Bedford County is operational, Craig Davison, The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Va.) (via Nuclear Energy Institute email)
* B&W hopes to have its first mPower reactor built by 2022, said Christofer Mowry, president of Babcock & Wilcox mPower, in an interview last week.
*NEI titled their description of this story as "Babcock & Wilcox's mPower reactor reaches full-scale testing levels". Here's how NEI characterized the story: "The Generation mPower small modular reactor design from Babcock & Wilcox achieved full testing operations on July 12 at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Bedford County, Va. The facility's testing at lower power levels started in February, and last week marked the first time it could be tested at full pressure and temperature, comparable to that of an actual nuclear reactor, said Jud Simmons, company spokesman. Babcock & Wilcox expects to present mPower's design application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of 2013."
* Comment from reader Eric, posting as Young Tagalogon: NuScale has had operational, design-specific test facilities for small modular reactors for many years. The integral system test facility for the predecessor of the NuScale reactor was a design-specific SMR test facility, and it went operational in 2002 (10 years ago). The revised and updated NuScale facility went operational in 2008. So this is not even close to the first design-specific test facility for small modular reactors.

December 27, 2010

Russia and India teaming to provide small reactors to South Asian market

Power plants in the 200-250 MW range are thought to be an excellent match for the needs of energy-starved Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India has been helping them by linking their grids with its own. During the recent visit to India by Russian Oresident Medvedev, a framework for the two nations to work together in selling nuclear plants and services was established. Negotiators from New Delhi and Moscow said both sides are confident of executing projects jointly.

[Ref: Shubhajit Roy, "N-plants: India, Russia to counter China in South Asia",, December 27, 2010]

March 9, 2008

* Air Force considers n-plants for Cannon AFB (NM) and Mountain Home AFB (Idaho)

March 18, 2004

Alaskan village offered prototype "nuclear battery" by Toshiba

The village of Galena, Alaska, is considering switching from its 28 cents/kWh diesel generator electricity to a Toshiba 4S micronuclear power plant. On paper, the Toshiba proposal to build a prototype plant could lower the cost of energy by more than 75 percent with little capital cost to the city. The 4S is a sodium-cooled fast spectrum reactor -- a low-pressure, self-cooling reactor. Toshiba representatives say the system is nothing like the infamous sodium-cooled nuclear power plants of the past. Rather, they characterize it as a "nuclear battery" -- self-contained and automated without any moving parts. At the heart of the 4S system is a log-sized uranium core, which would generate power for 30 years before needing to be disposed of and replaced. The company hopes to have a 4S system operational by the end of the decade.

[Source: Eric Mack (freelance writer and weekly News-Miner columnist), "Galena eyes energy options", Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, March 18, 2004]


* Small modular reactor R&D support in House and Senate (Nov 2002)

* In post 9/11 world, the 'S' in STAR now stands for 'Secure'

* Small Modular Reactors - common design features

* Brief description of reactor design: Encapsulated Nuclear Heat Source

* Brief description of reactor design: STAR-H2

* Overview of STAR-LM design features

* Needs and design criteria for SMR use at isolated locales

* What "modular" means, in the phrase "Small Modular Reactor"

* Autonomous SMR operation, including monitoring by satellite

* SMR R&D - Livermore, Argonne, and Japan's CRIEPI

* Small reactors have been developed since 1950s: Army, Navy, AEC, and private industry

* Small Modular Reactors - NERI proposal abstract for STAR & ENHS

* STAR system's heat transfer design allows use of sealed "nuclear battery"

* Economic advantages of SMRs

* Safety advantages of SMRs

* Proliferation resistance advantages of SMRs

* Public acceptability advantages of SMRs

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