16 June 2009

Nuclear Innovations ~ Factory-Made Reactors

Very interesting to read this Technology Review piece by Kevin Bullis -- A Preassembled Nuclear Reactor ~ A new modular design could make building nuclear reactors faster and cheaper...
"A new type of nuclear reactor that is designed to be manufactured in a factory rather than built at a power plant could cut construction times for nuclear power plants almost in half and make them cheaper to build. That, in turn, could make it possible for more utilities to build nuclear power plants, especially those in poor countries. [...] The reactors are much smaller, designed to generate 150 megawatts each, but could also be strung together to generate as much as a conventional nuclear power plant. They also integrate two separate components of a conventional power plant in a single package: the reactor itself and the equipment used to generate steam from the heat that the reactor produces. As a result, the entire system is small enough to be shipped on a railcar. And because the system can be shipped, it can be manufactured at a central facility and then delivered to the site of a future power plant."
This cuts costs, boosts quality, lowers time-to-build, reduces risk, and opens markets. Great!

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