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USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to weaken safety standards for smaller nuclear reactors

 Smaller Nuclear Plants May Come With Less Stringent Safety Rules, npr, August 1, 2020
The NRC is considering whether to shrink emergency planning and evacuation zones around these newer reactors — from a 10-mile radius to, in some cases, the boundary of the plant site.

Nuclear energy critics say that would be a mistake.

“When you’re talking about a reactor that’s never been built or operated, you have to take with a big grain of salt the claims that it’s actually safer or more secure,” says Edwin Lyman at Union of Concerned Scientists.

He says the industry also wants to use weaker reactor containment shells, and in some cases they don’t want to have to keep an operator at the site.

Lyman thinks companies should build plants under current rules first. “You have to work out the kinks of these new plants,” he says. “And then over time you might be able to adjust your requirements accordingly. But you don’t do that at the get-go.”

A National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) official recently echoed some of Lyman’s concerns in comments sent to the NRC. The NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the Department of Energy.

Deputy Under Secretary Jay Tilden called the proposed rule a major departure from “the successful 42-year-old practice of using a 10-mile plume exposure emergency planning zone.” That existing regulation, he wrote, provides “the last layer of a defense-in-depth for low-probability, high-consequence accidents.” ………

The NRC has extended a comment period on the proposed rule to September 25th. A final rule on whether to shrink evacuation zones around plants is expected next year.

August 3, 2020 Posted by | safety, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Examining NuScam’s deceptive claims about Small Nuclear Reactors

Derek Abbott shared a link. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, 30 July 20

The claim that SMRs can vary their output to meet the variability on today’s modern grid is disingenuous. The NuScale document below clearly shows the nuclear output is constant and what they do to modulate the output is dump the steam in a condenser.
In other words that will drive up the cost as the full power is not properly utilized.
They realize this issue, and so then go on to discuss desalinating water with the excess power.
However, that is not economically sound either. Much cheaper to desalinate with renewables if that’s what you really need!

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Looks as if 20 municipalities in Utah have been NuScammed for those not so small nuclear reactors

readers may wonder how UAMPS convinced some members to sign an “option” contract, which eventually converts to a “hell-or-high-water” contract, meaning that the buyer has no right, under any circumstances, to abandon the contract once construction, the Achilles heel of nuclear projects, is authorized.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, marketing of nuclear, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce Small Modular Nuclear Reactors: not small, not modular, not cheap, and not going to happen

100% Renewables 16th July 2020, The Government has just announced a £40 million research programme into so-called advanced modular reactor technology that is highly unlikely ever to see any practical use. That is because the so-called small modular reactors (SMRs) are much too expensive for civilian use.

In an important sense it is nonsense to talk about research to develop SMRs as a ‘new’ technology simply because they already exist. They power military submarines and also US aircraft carriers. Their design is simply a smaller
version of the Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) design that dominates the world nuclear power industry. Indeed PWRs began as small projects housed in submarines which were then developed up in scale so that they could produce electricity more cheaply.

At 450 MW for their proposed plant, the plant is not far off the same order of magnitude as conventional plant – for
example the AGR series that currently generates the bulk of British nuclear plant has units of around 600-660 MW. In fact, as Tom Burke points out, they are close to the size of Britain’s first generation of reactors, the ‘Magnox’ reactors.

Neither is the plant proposed by Rolls Royce modular in the sense that such plant can be rolled off a production line. What Rolls Royce claims is that some parts can be produced in a ‘modular’ fashion. This is not the same as producing whole units off a production line, and in fact the developers of the nuclear plant Vogtle in the USA also claim to produce parts in a ‘modular ‘fashion (although this plant is now hopelessly behind schedule with very large cost overruns).

https://100percentrenewableuk.org/blog

July 18, 2020 Posted by | Reference, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Alarm at USA plan to exempt NuScam etc new nuclear reactors from emergency planning

Proposed Emergency Plan Exemption for New Nuclear Designs Raises Concerns, https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2020-07-13/energy-policy/proposed-emergency-plan-exemption-for-new-nuclear-designs-raises-concerns/a70806-1  July 13, 2020  Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service – ID

BOISE, Idaho — A proposal from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission exempting emergency planning for new nuclear plant designs is raising alarms.

The NRC proposal would allow facilities to end emergency preparedness zones at their boundaries.

That zone is currently set at a 10-mile radius around plants and a 50-mile ingestion zone to protect against contaminated food and water.

Timothy Judson, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, says emergency zones have been required since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

“Having the emergency evacuation plans and emergency response plans is part of the social contract with nuclear power and has been in the U.S. for over 40 years now,” he points out.

One NRC commissioner says it’s a radical departure from past practices.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has expressed concerns about the proposal to exempt the agency from evaluating evacuation plans.

In support of the proposal, the Nuclear Energy Institute says NRC is modernizing the rules for new nuclear power designs that don’t have the same risks as old designs.

The NuScale small modular reactor project at the Idaho National Laboratory could benefit from these new rules. But Judson says exempting this project from emergency planning regulations exposes why these rules are a bad idea.

“They’re designed to have 12 of these reactors all built in the same building and together, those 12 reactors would be larger than many commercially operating nuclear reactors in the country right now,” he points out.

Judson says the proposal would keep everyone, including utility companies to nearby communities, in the dark on nuclear safety plans.

“Whether you support nuclear power or don’t support nuclear power, everyone supports nuclear safety,” he stresses.

The NRC is accepting public comment on the proposal through July 27.

 

July 14, 2020 Posted by | safety, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

UK Ministers losing enthusiasm for small nuclear reactors developed with China

Ministers cool on Chinese nuclear reactors  John Collingridge

Sunday July 12 2020,, The Sunday Times A Chinese-backed plan to build small nuclear reactors in Britain has been snubbed, in the latest sign of the chill in Anglo-Sino relations.

DBD, a Cheshire-based engineering firm, was working with China’s Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology to build a fleet of gas-cooled small reactors, and had hoped to win government funds. However, ministers have awarded £10m each to three rival projects — including an experimental plan for a fusion reactor. A version of the DBD reactor has already been built in China. DBD declined to comment……. (subscribers only)  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ministers-cool-on-chinese-nuclear-reactors-k2m8j76qf

July 13, 2020 Posted by | China, politics international, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Small modular nuclear reactors fraught with problems

‘Many issues’ with modular nuclear reactors says environmental lawyer 
Jordan Gill
· CBC News ·Dec 03, 2019   Modular nuclear reactors may not be a cure for the nation’s carbon woes, an environmental lawyer said in reaction to an idea floated by three premiers.

Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, said the technology surrounding small reactors has numerous pitfalls, especially when compared with other renewable energy technology.

This comes after New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Ontario Premier Doug Ford agreed to work together to develop the technology……..

The premiers say the smaller reactors would help Canada reach its carbon reduction targets but McClenaghan, legal counsel for the environmental group, disagrees

“I don’t think it is the answer,” said McClenaghan. “I don’t think it’s a viable solution to climate change.”

McClenaghan said the technology behind modular reactors is still in the development stage and needs years of work before it can be used on a wide scale.

“There are many issues still with the technology,” said McClenaghan. “And for climate change, the risks are so pervasive and the time scale is so short that we need to deploy the solutions we already know about like renewables and conservation.”

Waste, security concerns: lawyer

While nuclear power is considered a low-carbon method of producing electricity, McClenaghan said the waste that it creates brings its own environmental concerns.

“You’re still creating radioactive waste,” said McClenaghan.

“We don’t even have a solution to nuclear fuel waste yet in Canada and the existing plans are not taking into account these possibilities.”

McClenanghan believes there are national security risks with the plan as well.

She said having more reactors, especially if they’re in rural areas, means there’s a greater chance that waste or fuel from the reactors could be stolen for nefarious purposes.

“You’d be scattering radioactive materials, potentially attractive to diversion, much further across the country,” said the environmental lawyer.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/many-issues-modular-nuclear-1.5381804

June 27, 2020 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

USA financing nuclear projects abroad – but what if Small Nuclear Reactors are a flop?

Daily on Energy, presented by API: Inside the new US policy on financing nuclear abroad, Washington Examiner, by Josh Siegel, Energy and Environment Reporter & Abby Smith, Energy and Environment Reporter | June 22, 2020 

INSIDE NEW POLICY ON FINANCING NUCLEAR ABROADThe U.S. International Development Finance Corporation mostly had small nuclear reactors in mind when it proposed this month lifting its ban on funding nuclear projects overseas. But a senior official from the DFC – a greatly expanded successor to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation – says the agency also envisions select situations for funding traditional large reactors, despite recent projects being delayed or canceled by cost overruns……..

The official cited a move by Congress a year after lawmakers passed the BUILD Act in 2018, which authorized the DFC, that called on the U.S. government to support energy diversification projects in Europe as a counter to Russia’s “energy dominance.”

It’s worth noting that some European Union member states, like Germany, are strongly anti-nuclear. Nuclear plant construction is currently underway in only three EU member states — Finland, France and Slovakia — according to the World Nuclear Association).
Opening the door for SMRs: Small modular nuclear reactors, meanwhile, are still under development and a decade or so from becoming widely operational. This has critics of the DFC’s move questioning the timing of it. The DFC official countered the new policy puts the U.S. in the game with China and Russia, which are already aggressively promoting their advanced nuclear technologies in developing countries……..
the policy shift commits DFC to nothing if small reactors end up being a flop. The DFC met with small reactor developers such as NuScale, an Oregon-based company seeking to be the first to have its license approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that were pushing for the agency to change its policy……

The DFC offers direct equity financing, loans, and political risk insurance, while Ex-Im can only offer credit or lending. The DFC has a total investment limit of $60 billion, amounting to about a $1 billion maximum per project, the official said.

He acknowledged the DFC does not have in-house expertise on nuclear power at the moment, but he said it’s not uncommon for the young agency to work with independent engineers and experts from other agencies to assess financing opportunities.

“I am not aware we have anyone on staff who has built a nuclear power plant,” the official said. “What we do have is very strong policies and procedures and frameworks to look at big complicated projects.”  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/daily-on-energy-presented-by-api-inside-the-new-us-policy-on-financing-nuclear-abroad

June 23, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

The claim that nuclear power is needed for national security is a masked money-grab

 that price won’t only be paid by emptying our wallets . It will also be paid in health and safety. State senators with dollar signs twinkling in their eyes are lining up for relief handouts that will do nothing to fix our healthcare crises — laid bare under the coronavirus crisis — nor our economy. But they are playing the Russia card to get the money.

Make Nuclear Great Again?   https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/05/31/make-nuclear-great-again/, May 31, 2020 by beyondnuclearinternational  By Linda Pentz Gunter

The claim that nuclear power is needed for national security is a masked money-grab

The US Department of Energy’s assertions about Russian and Chinese supremacy in the nuclear sector is reminiscent of the “Commie plot” rhetoric of the 1950s. But it’s a thinly disguised ploy to feed at the federal subsidies trough and revive a moribund industry.

A few years ago I attended two days of the Nuclear Deterrence Summit, held just outside Washington, DC. In my defense, I’ll say it was a necessity. I really wanted to get inside how these people think. There was plenty of talk about the need for nuclear weapons, their range and potency, all done with a calm equilibrium devoid of conscience. It was chilling.

But it was also the theatre of the absurd. At one point there was actually talk about a “missile gap.” The Russians were getting ahead. This must be stopped. Was I on the set of a remake of Dr. Strangelove? Was this General ‘Buck’ Turgidson railing about “commie plots” and “mineshaft gaps”?

Life, as it turns out, is routinely stranger than any fiction. Turgidson is still with us, and he has extended his brief to include “civilian” nuclear power plants in the competition with the “Ruskies” and now, the Chinese. Continue reading

June 1, 2020 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NuScam’s “small nuclear reactor” project runs into yet more trouble

Nuclear Intelligence Weekly 15th May 2020, The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said that NuScale has not “sufficiently validated” the design and performance of the steam generator in its 50 megawatt small modular reactor (SMR) currently under design certification review. The NRC is nevertheless still expected to certify the SMR design but without granting “finality” to the steam generator, touted by the Fluor subsidiary as one of the key innovations to its smaller”cost-competitive” design.
That will likely inhibit the company’s ability to attract further investment to the project, which Fluor itself is no longer investing in.  NuScale submitted its design certification applicationto the NRC in December 2016 and the NRC is expected to grant the certification later this year or early next year.
That, however, depends on the outcome of a staff review of unrelated changes to the SMR’s emergency
core cooling system that NuScale plans to submit to the NRC on May 20.  Instead of resolving the steam generator design issue ahead of design certification, the NRC is deferring to the plant operator Energy Northwest
to resolve the issue during the licensing process, after construction.http://www.energyintel.com/pages/eig_article.aspx?DocId=1072564

May 18, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Australian politician John Barilaro gets it so wrong about small nuclear reactors

Electrical Review 4 May 2020  I have to conclude that the Deputy Premier of New South Wales, John Barilaro, is a remarkable clairvoyant. He has announced unequivocally on Australian media that Rolls Royce is set to build up to 15 new small-size nuclear reactors in Britain over the next nine years.
Strange this. Just 18 months ago, according to the Financial Times, Rolls-Royce was preparing to shut down altogether its R&D project to develop small modular nuclear reactors, unless the British government agreed to an outrageous set of demands and subsidies. Granted the Johnson government has bunged them a few million to keep the R&D going.

But there is as yet no sign of anything being oven-ready to come to the marketplace, let alone 15 up and running. But there remain some rather disturbing connections between small reactor projects and nuclear weapons proliferation. And Rolls-Royce does offer up one of the most glaring examples. Part of the company’s current sales pitch to the British government includes the argument that a civil small-reactor industry in the UK “would relieve the Ministry of Defence of the burden of developing and retaining skills and capability” for its weapons programme. It may be true. But it is not really Atoms for Peace, , is it?

https://electricalreview.co.uk/features-mm/13082-mystic-meg-from-down-under

May 18, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster | Leave a comment

U.S. taxpayers might cough up for a private company’s new “Small Nuclear” space travel gimmick

Private companies find role in developing nuclear power for space travel, Space.com By JoAnna Wendel – Space.com contributor 6 Apr 20, 

Nuclear-powered spacecraft could cut our travel time to Mars in half. Space is abouto go nuclear — at least if private companies get their way.

At the 2 t3rd annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference (CST) in Washington, D.C., in January, a panel of nuclear technology experts and leaders in the commercial space industry spoke about developments of the technology that could propel future spacecraft faster and more efficiently than current systems can.

Nuclear technology has powered spacecraft such as NASA’s Mars rovers, the Cassini mission and the two Voyagers that are currently exploring the outer reaches of our solar system. But those fuel sources rely on the passive decay of radioactive plutonium, converting heat from that process into electricity to power the spacecraft.

Instead, the CST panelists discussed Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), a technology developed in the 1960s and ’70s that relies on the splitting, or fission, of hydrogen atoms. Although fission is associated with more warlike images, the panel’s experts emphasized the safety of nuclear thermal propulsion, which would use low-enriched uranium.

An NTP-powered spacecraft would pump hydrogen propellant through a miniature nuclear reactor core. Inside this reactor core, high energy neutrons would split uranium atoms in fission reactions; those freed neutrons would smack into other atoms and trigger more fission. The heat from these reactions would convert the hydrogen propellent into gas, which would produce thrust when forced through a nozzle.

This chain reaction is the key to NTP’s power, panelist Venessa Clark, CEO of Atomos Space, a company that’s developing thermonuclear propulsion powered spacecraft to provide in-space transportation options to satellite operators, told Space.com. A soda-can-size fission reactor could propel humans to Mars in just three to four months, she said, about twice as fast as the currently estimated time it could take a chemically propelled ship to carry humans to the Red Planet. …..

But the government still has to play some role, both Clark and Thornburg said. Government agencies like NASA and the military branches may be the first clients for these commercial companies. Clark noted NASA’s recent pushes to partner with the private sector, such as its commercial lunar payload services program and its commercial crew program.

“Government players, NASA and also now the Air Force are looking at procuring services rather than funding the development of technology, which is really exciting for us,” Clark said…. https://www.space.com/commercial-nuclear-power-for-faster-space-travel.

COMMENT.  newtons_laws 06 April 2020 14:47

Quote from article”Instead, the CST panelists discussed Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), a technology developed in the 1960s and ’70s that relies on the splitting, or fission, of hydrogen atoms” Whoever wrote that needs to learn some basic nuclear physics. In nuclear thermal propulsion the atoms of a fissile heavy element (such as Uranium 235 in the designs mentioned) are split, hydrogen is the simplest and lightest of the elements and cannot be split (hydrogen atoms can however be joined together in the process of nuclear fusion, but that is a different process). Where hydrogen comes in is that in the NTP designs it is the propellant gas that is heated by the nuclear fission reactor to provide propulsion, hydrogen is chosen because being the lightest element it achieves the highest exhaust velocities.

 

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

British small nuclear reactors to help Turkey to get nuclear weapons?

Fears over nuclear Turkey after Rolls Royce reactor deal, Morning Star, 

 MARCH 25, 2020   ENGINEERING firm Rolls-Royce has struck a deal with Turkey for the production of nuclear mini-reactors, sparking fears that the British company and its international consortium partners are helping pave the way for Ankara to develop a nuclear bomb…..

It is part of a consortium including BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Atkins and others. They will work together on designing the new power plant. ….

the plans have raised fears that Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could use the development as a step towards the country becoming a nuclear-armed power.

As previously reported in the Morning Star, Turkey’s secret nuclear programme includes plans to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including nuclear missiles.

The plans have been given the green light by Mr Erdogan’s religious adviser Hayreddin Karaman, who provided not only his blessing for the government to acquire WMDs but also encouraged its leadership to do so.

Writing in a pro-government newspaper in 2017, Mr Karaman said: “We need to consider producing these weapons, rather than purchasing them, without losing any time and with no regard to words of hindrance from the West.”

There are already some 70 US-owned nuclear warheads said to be based at Incirlik airbase near the southern of Adana.

About 40 of these are thought to be under Turkish control, though details are patchy due to a lack of openness and transparency.

In previous deals with Russia and a Japanese-French consortium, the door was left open for the development of nuclear weapons after Turkey rejected offers to include the provision of uranium and the return of the spent fuel rods used in the reactors.

Ankara would be able to use its own low-enriched uranium and reprocess the fuel rods, producing its own enriched uranium for the development of nuclear weapons.

The development has parallels with the Indian missile capability developed after the testing of plutonium produced in the Canadian-supplied Cirus reactor, which first raised the issue that nuclear technology supplied for peaceful purposes could be diverted to weapons production. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/fears-over-nuclear-turkey-after-rolls-royce-reactor-deal

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, Turkey, UK | Leave a comment

How will the IAEA spin the mind-boggling costs of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)?

IAEA launches project to examine economics of SMRs   https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-launches-project-to-examine-economics-of-SMRs  26 March 2020,  he International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is launching a three-year Coordinated Research Project focused on the economics of small modular reactors (SMRs). The project will provide Member States with an economic appraisal framework for the development and deployment of such reactors.
The IAEA said it had launched the project in response to increased interest in SMRs, noting that multiple SMR projects are currently under development (involving about 50 designs and concepts) and at varying technology readiness levels. Their costs and delivery times need to be adequately estimated, analysed and optimised, it said. Specific business models have to be developed to address the market’s needs and expectations. The market itself should be large enough to sustain demand for components and industrial support services. However, the economic impact of SMR development and deployment must be quantified and communicated to gain societal support, it said.

Participants in the research project will cover: market research; analysis of the competitive landscape (SMR vs non-nuclear alternatives); value proposition and strategic positioning; project planning cost forecasting and analysis; project structuring, risk allocation and financial valuation; business planning and business case demonstration; and economic cost-benefit analysis.

The framework they establish will be applied, in particular, to assess the economics of multiples (serial production of reactors in a factory setting), factory fabrication (conditions to be met for a factory to exist), and supply chain localisation (opportunities and impacts).

The deadline for proposals to participate in the research project is 30 April.

In early 2018, the IAEA announced it was forming a Technical Working Group to guide its activities on SMRs and provide a forum for Member States to share information and knowledge. The group, comprising some 20 IAEA Member States and international organisations, held its first meeting in April that year.

March 28, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Military use: that is clearly the reason for developing Small Nuclear Reactors

If the testing goes well, a commercially developed, Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed reactor will be demonstrated on a “permanent domestic military installation.
Pentagon awards contracts to design mobile nuclear reactor Defense News 
By: Aaron Mehta    March 9  WASHINGTON— The Pentagon on Monday issued three contracts to start design work on mobile, small nuclear reactors, as part of a two-step plan towards achieving nuclear power for American forces at home and abroad.

The department awarded contracts to BWX Technologies, Inc. of Virginia, for $13.5 million; Westinghouse Government Services of Washington, D.C. for $11.9 million; and X-energy, LLC of Maryland, for $14.3 million, to begin a two-year engineering design competition for a small nuclear microreactor designed to potentially be forward deployed with forces outside the continental United States.

The combined $39.7 million in contracts are from “Project Pele,” a project run through the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), located within the department’s research and engineering side. The prototype is looking at a 1-5 megawatt (MWe) power range. The Department of Energy has been supporting the project at its Idaho National Laboratory.

Pele “involves the development of a safe, mobile and advanced nuclear microreactor to support a variety of Department of Defense missions such as generating power for remote operating bases,” said Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a department spokesman. “After a two-year design-maturation period, one of the companies funded to begin design work may be selected to build and demonstrate a prototype.”…….

A second effort is being run through the office of the undersecretary of acquisition and sustainment. That effort, ordered in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, involves a pilot program aiming to demonstrate the efficacy of a small nuclear reactor, in the 2-10 MWe range, with initial testing at a Department of Energy site in roughly the 2023 timeframe.

If the testing goes well, a commercially developed, Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed reactor will be demonstrated on a “permanent domestic military installation by 2027,” according to DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews. “If the full demonstration proves to be a cost effective energy resilience alternative, NRC-licensed [reactors] will provide an additional option for generating power provided to DoD through power purchase agreements.”…….

According to Dr. Jonathan Cobb, a spokesman for the World Nuclear Association, small nuclear reactors come in three flavors. The first, small modular reactors, sit in the 20-300 MWe range and are approaching the point they will appear on market.

The second category sits from 10-100 megawatts, and have been used in transports such as icebreakers. According to Cobb, a pair of 32 MWe reactors, based on icebreaker technology, are being used aboard the Akademik Lomonosov, a Russian “floating power plant.”

The third category, covering what the Pentagon appears most interested in, is a category known as microreactors. The challenge, Cobb said, is that this group is the furthest behind technologically, with demonstrations of commercial systems targeted for “the second half of the 2020s,” putting them in the “ballpark” of what DoD is looking for with its A&S effort……

Edwin Lyman, director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, has concerns about the availability of fuel to power a proliferation of small nuclear reactors. He noted, “there are no clear plans for manufacturing the quantity of high-assay low enriched uranium, much less the production of high-quality TRISO [TRi-structural ISOtropic particle] fuel, that would be able to meet timelines this decade.”……

Lord, for her part, would not rule out working with foreign allies on the nuclear program in some way, saying “We always talk with our partners and allies about collaboration. We have many umbrella vehicles, if you will, to do that, particularly with [National Technology and Industrial Base] countries — U.K., Canada, Australia. We have a little bit of an easy button there for working back and forth with technical information.”…    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nuclear-arsenal/2020/03/09/pentagon-to-award-mobile-nuclear-reactor-contracts-this-week/?fbclid=IwAR2MTkRUDqIkruQHY0RivblBzoSY6gubpl8gkWDUDhedVwZEGstJhHYLb6U#.XmawxEl-aJ0.facebook

 

March 19, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment