20,000 Homes to be Powered by Mini Nuclear Plants

November 12, 2008 / 2 Comments

nuclear plant 20,000 Homes to be Powered by Mini Nuclear PlantsThe US government laboratory in Los Altos is saying they will have nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed that will be able to power 20,000 homes within five years. The mini reactors will

  1. be factory-sealed
  2. contain no weapons-grade material
  3. have no moving parts
  4. be nearly impossible to steal
  5. be encased in concrete and buried underground.

The technology is licensed to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which will start working on the first firm orders within five years. Hyperion says, “Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world for a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home.”

The first 100 firm orders have come from the oil and electricity industries for which they will set up three factories to produce 4,000 plants between 2013 and 2023. The first confirmed order is from TES, a Czech infrastructure company specializing in water plants and power plants. ‘

The reactors, only a few meters in diameter, will be delivered by truck and buried underground. They need refueling every 7 to 10 years. The 50-year-old design has proved safe even for students to use. No countries are expected to object to plants on their territory.

“You could never have a Chernobyl-type event – there are no moving parts.” Never! Wrong word.

Meanwhile, Toshiba has been testing 200KW reactors measuring roughly six metres by two meters to fuel smaller numbers of homes for longer or that could power a single building for up to 40 years.

Source: Guardian (Image courtesy of philippe leroyer)