August 15, 2008

Hyperion uranium hydride nuclear reactor gets eastern european customer

Hyperion Power Generation's CEO, John R. 'Grizz" Deal has announced that the company has received its first Letter of Intent to purchase the Hyperion Power Module (HPM), a small, compact, transportable, nuclear power reactor. (H/T Energy from Thorium forum)

The intention to purchase up to six units for various projects, at approximately $25 million each, was placed by TES Group, an investment company focusing on the energy sector in Central Eastern Europe.
TES Group could potentially be in the market for up to 50 HPMs.

Hyperion Power Generation, the developers of the uranium hydride reactor, have completed another development phase and are on target for 2013 commercialization

John R. "Grizz" Deal, the company’s CEO has announced the completion of another development phase and that the company has now begun discussing installation commitments with interested parties, for commercial deployment starting in 2013.

The Hyperion Power Module (HPM) was conceived at Los Alamos National Laboratory and licensed to New Mexico-based Hyperion for commercialization under the laboratory’s technology transfer program. Inherently safe and proliferation-resistant, the HPM utilizes the energy of low-enriched uranium fuel in a technology unlike any other currently in use or in development. Approximately 4,000 units of the same design, each offering 70 megawatts of thermal (heat) energy, or 27 megawatts of electricity via steam turbine, will be produced and sealed at manufacturing sites. That amount of electricity can power 20,000 average American-style homes or the industrial equivalent for $20 to $30 million each.

This site has provided extensive past coverage of the uranium hydride reactor

Uranium hydride reactor update April 2008

Uranium hydride reactor could blunt peak oil

Generating heat to extract oil from the oilsands.

Powering Vasimr rocket engines for fast travel inside the solar system

Are disposable reactors a safe option

In the link, uranium hydride could blunt peak oil, this site has reviewed the patent for this reactor.

They use 4.9% enriched uranium.
Fissile fuel burnup of at least 50% should be achievable with adequate design. This about 450 gigawatt days per ton of uranium or thorium.
This is about ten times more efficient than current nuclear reactors. There would half as much left over uranium (unburned fuel)

The present invention is based on and takes advantage of the physical properties of a fissile metal hydride, such as uranium hydride, which serves as a combination fuel and moderator. The invention is self-stabilizing and requires no moving mechanical components to control nuclear criticality. In contrast with customary designs, the control of the nuclear activity is achieved through the temperature driven mobility of the hydrogen isotope contained in the hydride. If the core temperature increases above a set point, the hydrogen isotope dissociates from the hydride and escapes out of the core, the moderation drops and the power production decreases. If the temperature drops, the hydrogen isotope is again associated by the fissile metal hydride and the process is reversed.

It's fuel lasts for about 5 years. Other reactors also have re-fueling. In this case, refueling is done by digging up the reactor if needed and then having the manufacturer perform the refueling. In between there are no people operating the reactor because it is self-regulating.

It's parts

is basically a hot tub full of uranium hydride with some hydrogen and some heat exchange rods.

The right tub of materials regulates itself while generating electricity

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