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The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.
The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet
Originally posted by Pilgrum
Ever seen what happens if pure lithium comes in contact with water?
Actually, I have, on a few occasions. Don't try that at home
I had the same reaction (pun intended) -- is something goes haywire, you have one nice little dirty bomb that goes "boom".
Compact reactors are old news. The real issues is failure modes, and it's debatable how this design made real improvements.
Originally posted by Nohup
Well, it's still not small enough to fit over the engine compartment of my DeLorean. So it looks like I'm not going back to Hill Valley anytime soon.
The NuScale reactor, based on technology developed by Oregon State University, is a light-water reactor that produces 45 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 35,000 homes, which is about 5 percent the output of a full-scale reactor.
At 60 feet in length, 40 feet across and about 300 tons, it will be larger than the Hyperion design, and it is intended for standard civilian use; the company says its reactors can be grouped to serve communities of different sizes, with up to 24 reactors at a location.
"They can be shipped to site by rail, by truck or by barge. They can all be fabricated within the United States," said spokesman Bruce Landry.