The Atomic Show has a 38 minute podcast which has an interview with Forrest Rudin and TJ Trapp of Hyperion Power Generation.
* the shift to a lead bismuth cooled liquid metal reactor and the design decision were to enable a faster development and approval of the 75 MWth/25MWe reactor
* the reactor is being designed for a 10 year operating life. The first prototype reactors may only run for 5 years and at slightly lower power. There are regulatory rules where prototype reactors have a faster approval if they are designed with enough safety margins
* the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) may not approve reactors quickly but the DOE can approve its own nuclear reactors. The first reactors may also be outside the United States, but still with US controlled interests
* the lead bismuth cooled uranium nitride system will be shipped with the lead and bismuth in solid form and will be reheated onsite to get the system working
* the system will be designed to ship inside regular shipping containers.
* safety is a key part of the design with nearly conmplete passive safety being the goal
* the power and cooling connections for the system will have a dual setup so that you can drop in a second replacement unit and transfer the power and cooling connections to it while the first is still operating. Then switch on the replacement and allow the first to cooldown until you are ready to ship it back
* Hyperion Power Generation has been looking at and talking to parties interested in using the system for nuclear powered shipping
* the company is still targeting first units to be operational in 2012-2013.
* they have fifteen fulltime staff now
* the uranium hydride system is still a design that they want to come back to and they are still working on it as a followup to their uranium nitride system.