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September 02, 2012

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 120

The Carnival of Nuclear Energy 120 is up at Hiroshima Syndrome

Atomic Power Review interviews Matt Miles about the B&W Small Medium sized nuclear reactor project , which (jointly with Bechtel) is marketed by Generation mPower.

The mPower is an integral PWR rated 180 MWe for each reactor, and which can be built either as a single unit or in multiples in one plant site. Right now, B&W seems to have two offers on the table for construction of mPower units; one with TVA at the Clinch River site, and another more generally with FirstEnergy.

In talking to potential customers, they think the most likely scenario is that a customer will initially deploy what we call a “twin-pack,” which is two reactor modules producing a total of 360MWe. At a later time, as their power generation needs increased, they would be able to scale up their capacity and add additional units.

Traditionally nuclear power plants have been used for base-load generation. Our plants are designed for more segmented or off-grid applications and are capable of load following to accommodate this type of deployment.


Yes Vermont Yankee reviews a book - Thorium Energy Cheaper than coal



This book consists of two fine books packed in one cover:

* a book on energy choices and energy policy
* a book on advanced reactors, especially the LFTR (Liquid fluoride thorium reactor)

Hargraves book reviews other types of advanced reactors: Integral Fast Reactors, pebble beds, etc.

The book includes almost 100 pages of "doing the numbers" on renewables, and showing they are not a solution for a modern society's energy needs.

There are over 100 pages about LFTRs. The information includes charts and illustrations, description of the different varieties of LFTR, information about the technical challenges that LFTRs have overcome, and about many of the technical challenges remaining.



There is a website for the book.

Energy is about 7% of the economy. We, and especially developing nations, can not afford to pay much more for energy. Many environmentalists advocate replacing fossil fuel energy with wind and solar energy sources, blind to the fact that these are 3-4 times more costly! Global economic prosperity requires lower energy costs, not higher costs from taxes or mandated costly wind and solar source


NextBigFuture - Holtec targets making 1000 modular reactors, Each 140 Megawatts at $800 million

Holtec is one of four finalists in the running for a $452 million grant from the U.S. DOE. The plan is to fund two small modular reactor designs that will become available for licensing and production by 2022. Holtec estimates it can build its new 140 MWe plant for about $800 million. The company’s most likely future market is outside the U.S. They will need to sell 1,000 units to make it a financial winner.

Nextbigfuture - Beryllium Oxide for Nuclear Fuel will enable 4% efficiency increase for uranium and 25% enhanced safety margin

IBC Advanced Alloys (working with MIT, Purdue and Texas A&M) is developing fuel pellets with Berrylium Oxide. At a given amount of U-235, can last longer, requiring less frequent refueling, or the amount of U-235 could actually be decreased, allowing the same refueling schedule to be used. It is currently estimated that these improvements could directly lead to a 4% reduction in fuel consumption.



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