February 02, 2012

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 89

The Carnival of Nuclear energy 89 is up at Idaho Samizdat

ANS Nuclear Cafe - The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a long-term strategy to embrace and implement these directives for military installations that includes small modular reactors (SMRs) in the mix of clean energy technologies.
Dept of Defense wants power systems located within the boundaries of a military installation (or possibly on federal land to service a number of agencies within a region) for providing secure and uninterruptable power supplies for mission-critical base facility energy requirements.

Eighty installations were considered with peak power ranging from 0.6 to 132 MWe (the majority in the 1 to 75 MWe range).

With a yearly cost escalation of 3-5 percent for electricity, the allowable overnight costs for breakeven increased to $3000-4000 per KWe. These preliminary analyses led to the conclusion that the DOD requires an energy business model that reconciles operational importance with cost. In other words, the principle of a “secure energy premium” will be required to balance energy-assurance-with-affordability.

Flibe Energy is one of several companies that are trying to develop reactors to supply the military bases.

Neutron Economy - To explain it briefly - ionizing radiation (i.e., the kind that can cause health problems) doesn't just blow around like dust in the wind - it comes from a source: like the atoms decaying inside nuclear fuel, or the sun for instance. For gamma radiation, (i.e., energy emitted from nuclear transitions, ranging from ultraviolet rays to x-rays to gamma rays), this travels in a straight line, just like visible light - because it is light; it doesn't simply scatter to the wind. Further, it attenuates strongly as a function of both distance and shielding; fuel transport casks are designed such that a person standing directly next to the cask would have to stand there for any awfully long time to get anything approaching a dangerous level of radiation exposure, but further, gamma radiation attenuates as the square of the distance. In other words, for every factor of 10 one moves away from a radiation source, the exposure drops by a factor of 100.

Radiation counter applications for smartphones

Articles from Nextbigfuture

Nextbigfuture - Accelerator driven nuclear reactor in Europe. A first-of-a-kind reactor system has been set up in Belgium by coupling a subcritical assembly with a particle accelerator. The equipment, known as Guinevere, is a demonstration model that supports the project for a larger version that will be called Myrrha (Multipurpose Hybrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications). MYRRHA, a flexible fast spectrum research reactor (50-100 MWth) is conceived as an accelerator driven system (ADS), able to operate in sub-critical and critical modes. It contains a proton accelerator of 600 MeV, a spallation target and a multiplying core with MOX fuel, cooled by liquid lead-bismuth (Pb-Bi).

MYRRHA will be operational at full power around 2023.

Nextbigfuture - The DOE is funding up to two small modular reactors by 2022 and has grants for $452 million over the next 5 years. There is also an overview of the small modular reactors that are under development.

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