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Washington Post article: miniature nuclear reactors

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:58 am
by Rick Kwan
There's an article in the on-line Washington Post titled: Miniature nuclear reactors might be a safe, efficient source of power by Brian Palmer, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. It's all about fission reactors making a comeback. ... 04026.html

In the comments section, there were 2 or 3 comments about fusion, and no fusion mentioned other than ITER. Naturally, I had to add a comment. I cited work at EMC2, Lawrenceville, and Tri-Alpha; and suggested that increased funding in this area might help us evaluate viability sooner rather than later.

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:38 am
by WizWom
It takes just as many people to man a 2000 MW core as a 200 kW core. The only difference is how quick you use up your core elements, and the physical size of the core.

The South Koreans are currently in development of a 20MW standard plant; the only problem with such plants ifs the number of people you need to man them.

Thorium energy-multiplier subcritical plants could easily be made in the 10MW range; that would require ~100kW proton beams, easily reached with fairly cheap cyclotrons.

Fusion using the ITER model is not likely in the range below 20 GW; The polywell will multiply better the larger the machine; a 500 MW polywell might need 20MW startup power - but a 50 MW polywell might need 10 MW.