Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

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Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:37 am

I find good stuff when I can't sleep!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/nov/09/miniature-nuclear-reactors-los-alamos

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 $2,500 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.

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by SheikBen on Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:23 am

Isn't it time that we demand something tangible from the government for all the money it spends on research and development of energy sources?

I love the mini plants idea. Why will it take five years to get them going? Perhaps the Obama administration can add regulations enough to make it take 10 years.

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by SamCogar on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:53 am

Now Mike, ...... hold your horses, ..... 20, ... maybe 30 years might not be too long before one should expect anything to come of this on a local level.

Now 3rd world countries, .... "YES", ...... in probably 5 years or less ..... because the US and/or the World Bank will finance the cost of said through grants, loans and/or outright gifts.

But here in the US and Canada, .... the major producers of electriciity: hydro, coal, wind, etc., ..... the suppliers of said electricity to the public, ..... the companies involved in the building and maintenence of electrical transmission lines and grids ...... and all the companies manufacturing components necessary for the long distance transmission of said electrical power ....... must be considered, consulted with and appeased ...... before any rash decisions are made that affect the general populace.

And I can tell you right up front, Mike, ..... all those companies have plenty of money and are quite capable of funding powerful lobbyists in Washington, DC ..... and anywhere else they are needed. Even to bias/persuade local news medias to "support their cause".

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by TerryRC on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:55 am

I love the mini plants idea. Why will it take five years to get them going? Perhaps the Obama administration can add regulations enough to make it take 10 years.

Eight years of Bush hasn't put one in my backyard.

It isn't as if he took great strides to deregulate the nuclear power industry.

Keep blaming it in the "liburls" when the "conservatives" have allowed themselves to be lobbied into ineffectualness by the gas and coal industries.

Fix the problem, not the blame.

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by SamCogar on Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:15 am

TerryRC wrote:I love the mini plants idea. Why will it take five years to get them going? Perhaps the Obama administration can add regulations enough to make it take 10 years.

Eight years of Bush hasn't put one in my backyard.

It isn't as if he took great strides to deregulate the nuclear power industry.

Keep blaming it in the "liburls" when the "conservatives" have allowed themselves to be lobbied into ineffectualness by the gas and coal industries.

Fix the problem, not the blame.

Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years,

Only a numbnut or an idiot would expect someone who was only in charge for providing something during the past 8 years ...... to be providing him something that won't be available until 5 years from now.



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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:52 am

Well look, I love the idea.

It seems that some of you do too. I think we should seek to find others who think these could be a valuable contribution to solving our energy/environmental issues.

So....maybe for the good of Old Glory, we could work together and see to it that all those special interest groups, including the NIMBY crowd, don't but the brakes on this in the USA.

I've decided I'm going to use the phrase, "Old Glory" with some regularity. LOL

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by sodbuster on Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:28 am

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery... Embarassed

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:22 pm

Indeed.....from now on I'm also going to refer to WV as being "infested" with Democrats.

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Aaron on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:33 pm

The problem I have when people throw around stuff like "old glory" is that it's usually in a nationalistic sense, not a patriotic one and the speaker is often using the flag for a pre determined agenda.

As for the topic of the thread, think about it. Two to 3 of mini plants could power Charleston with a few more powering the entire Kanawha Valley at a cost of $2500.00 per family. Considering I pay on average $900.00 for electricy alone each year, I think it would be a bargain.
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by sodbuster on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:41 pm

Anyhow to get back on topic don't you think you are maybe jumping the gun just a little on these mini-nukes?

I tried my hand at sales for awhile and I would still be doing it if there were more people as easy to convince stuff as you appear to be on these things.

Why not check it out first before making it a project to educate others about it?

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:50 pm

How much checking out do you figure we'd need to do?

No weapons grade material, no moving parts, nearly impossible to steal and the reactor is based on a 50-year-old design that has proved safe for students to use. Yeah, sounds like we need to study this for another 50 years so the oil & coal barons can continue to bleed us dry and "scorch the earth". Right?

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Aaron on Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:15 pm

No, Stephanie, we only need to study it in West Virginia until the democrats can find a way to make a buck on it.
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by SamCogar on Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:47 am

Now if old Bobby Byrd would just appropiate one of those nuclear subs from the Navy, have it "sailed" up the Mississippi to the Ohio, then to the Kanawha and finally docking it there in Charleston ...... and running a big extension cord from its nuclear reactor to all the top Democrat's houses and offices, providing them with "free-for-life" electrical power ........ then and only then would ole Shermmy be in favor of "selective installation" of electricity generating nuclear reactors.




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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by TerryRC on Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:39 pm


Only a numbnut or an idiot would expect someone who was only in charge for providing something during the past 8 years ...... to be providing him something that won't be available until 5 years from now.


Sam, only an idiot or numbnuts would ignore the fact that there has been NO loosening of nuclear regulation under Bush.

Also, Sam, only an idiot or a numbnuts would ignore the fact that reactors almost that small have been around for decades. Some of the nuclear powered naval vehicles have reactors not much bigger than a corner office.

Are there any idiots or numbnuts here?

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by bmd on Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:43 pm

Only an idiot or numbnuts would advocate putting hundreds or thousands of potential Superfund sites across the country. This whole scheme sounds like something out of the LaRouche camp.
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:02 pm

bmd wrote:Only an idiot or numbnuts would advocate putting hundreds or thousands of potential Superfund sites across the country. This whole scheme sounds like something out of the LaRouche camp.

Only a fearmongering twit would use the phrase "potential Superfund site" to describe safe, clean, affordable, nuclear power.

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by ziggy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:30 pm

Stephanie wrote:Only a fearmongering twit would use the phrase "potential Superfund site" to describe safe, clean, affordable, nuclear power.

Elmer Fike couldn't have said it any better.
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Aaron on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Elmer Fike didn't run a nuclear power plant. He ran a chemical company that adhered to 1950's to 70's political environmental laws. To compare that to today's environment nationally is a just a tad dishonest, don't you think Frank???
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by ziggy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:41 pm

So what is wrong with giving Elmer credit for saying something well- almost as well as Stephanie?
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by ziggy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:56 pm

At the Elmer Fike operated Superfund contamination site at Nitro, WV:

Federal officials, concerned that leaking chemicals might mix and produce ''an uncontrollable situation,'' began to stabilize the site. But in late August, workers stumbled upon something far more unstable, and thus far more dangerous, than the chemicals that had been discovered initially: It was the cylinder of hydrogen cyanide, leaning against a crumbling concrete wall in a roofless storage shed. After building a curtain of sandbags around the cylinder, Federal managers sought help from experts.

Manufactured for Two Decadesv

The cylinder and its contents were manufactured from 1948 to 1968 by the American Cyanamid Company, one of the nation's largest chemical manufacturers. Hydrogen cyanide was generally used as an insecticide by exterminators, grain elevators and furriers. But it was also useful in various chemical processes, and Elmer A. Fike, from whom Artel acquired controlling interest in the plant two years ago, said in an interview today that he bought the cylinder of hydrogen cyanide to conduct laboratory experiments there in the 1960's.

American Cyanamid was aware that hydrogen cyanide was unstable and, during the two decades when the chemical was on the market, required customers to return cylinders every 90 days so that they could be cleaned and refilled.

Mr. Fike, who from November 1980 to February 1987 was cited 14 times by state and Federal inspectors for numerous violations of environmental laws, described himself in the interview as ''not a good housekeeper.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE3DC1E3CF933A0575AC0A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:03 pm

I wonder how many small nuclear reactors already exist in this state that you're all simply unaware of.

Let me give you an example. About a decade or so ago a friend of mine who worked for Millstone in CT told me that URI had a nuclear reactor. I didn't believe him. Sure enough, they did!

They exist in many places already and you aren't even aware of it.

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by ziggy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:11 pm

Stephanie wrote:I wonder how many small nuclear reactors already exist in this state that you're all simply unaware of.

Let me give you an example. About a decade or so ago a friend of mine who worked for Millstone in CT told me that URI had a nuclear reactor. I didn't believe him. Sure enough, they did!

They exist in many places already and you aren't even aware of it.

And how many people in this place "weren't even aware of it"?

The Bhopal disaster was an industrial disaster that occurred in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, resulting in the immediate deaths of more than 3,000 people, according to the Indian Supreme Court. A more probable figure is that 8,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that an additional 8,000 have since died from gas related diseases[1][2].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:14 pm

Was that caused by a nuclear reactor with no moving parts?

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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by ziggy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:18 pm

No. But it was apparently a tank with 42 tonnes of MIC chemical, with "no moving parts".

It was another one of those things left up to the chemical company "experts" to take care of.

And the people paid with their lives.

How can we depend on a corporation whose driving force is the bottom line on a quarterly report to make safety first?

The 1985 reports[10][11][12] give a quite clear picture of what led to the disaster and how it developed, although they differ in details.

Factors leading to this mega-gas leak include:

* The use of hazardous chemicals (MIC) instead of less dangerous ones
* Storing these chemicals in large tanks instead of several smaller ones
* Possible corroding material in pipelines
* Poor maintenance after the plant ceased production in the early 1980's
* Failure of several safety systems (due to poor maintenance and regulations)

Plant design and economic pressures to reduce expenses contributed most to the actual leak. The problem was then made worse by the plant's location near a densely populated area, non-existant catastrophe plans, shortcomings in health care and socio-economic rehabilitation, etc.


Last edited by ziggy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Post by Stephanie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:23 pm

ziggy wrote:No. But it was one of those things left up to the chemical company "experts" to take care of.

And the people paid with their lives.

Perhaps we should return to the stone age.

We're talking about technology that has existed for decades. Technology that has been used by students for decades. Technology that is clean, affordable, and can help eliminate our dependency on foreign oil.

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