CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Clean Power nucleartoy

Published on November 9th, 2008 | by Jerry James Stone

48

Mini Nuclear Power Plants For Your Neighborhood In Five Years

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

November 9th, 2008 by  

Scientists at the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb say nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power about 20,000 homes will be available within the next five years. The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, absent of any weapon-grade materials, and also have no moving parts.

Awesome. Call them Nükleer and we can sell them at Ikea!

[social_buttons] The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion. The company said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. ‘Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,’ said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. ‘They will cost approximately $25m each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.’

The company plans to set up three factories to produce 4,000 plants between 2013 and 2023. ‘We already have a pipeline for 100 reactors, and we are taking our time to tool up to mass-produce this reactor.’

The reactors must be refueled every seven to ten years. Because the reactor is based on a 50-year-old design that has proved safe for students to use, few countries are expected to object to plants on their territory. An application to build the plants will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission next year.

‘You could never have a Chernobyl-type event – there are no moving parts,’ said Deal. ‘You would need nation-state resources in order to enrich our uranium. Temperature-wise it’s too hot to handle. It would be like stealing a barbecue with your bare hands.’

Eh, I dunno…I wouldn’t want to be a beta tester, I’ll tell ya that.

Source: guardian.co.uk | Image: tico24 on Flickr under Creative Commons

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , ,


About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • ikki

    Nuclear is as green as it comes, much cleaner than either solar or wind. Yes, by whole orders of magnitude!

    • Bob_Wallace

      You forgot to list the other two. Here, I’ll help you -

      “Nuclear is as green as it comes, the check is in the mail, and some of my best friends are …..”

  • Patrice Boivin

    It’s been 5 years, where are they? I don’t see any.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Wheel broke on the unicorn drawn wagon that was delivering them.

      They’re waiting for a new tree to grow large enough to make replacement spokes.

  • Criss

    Humm, still undecided … So much so that as long as our government officials (fed, state, local) put these things in THEIR backyards first, under the white house, congress, senator & rep homes, etc and LIVE right there with them, children, pets and all, for the next 5 years – and no related lionesses occur, then I will go for it, back it and promote it.

    Until then, if the government isn’t willing to put these in their backyards and live with them, then I don’t want one in my backyard.

    Don’t get me wrong, we need more power sources for our electricity addiction and hopefully they will be clean, but I just don’t trust this in a spread out area across the U.S. – especially if we start releasing terrorists and other wack jobs into our streets.

    In my book, humans are just too error prone and nuclear energy just too dangerous (one mistake is one too many for decades) to make this trustworthy.

  • Criss

    Humm, still undecided … So much so that as long as our government officials (fed, state, local) put these things in THEIR backyards first, under the white house, congress, senator & rep homes, etc and LIVE right there with them, children, pets and all, for the next 5 years – and no related lionesses occur, then I will go for it, back it and promote it.

    Until then, if the government isn’t willing to put these in their backyards and live with them, then I don’t want one in my backyard.

    Don’t get me wrong, we need more power sources for our electricity addiction and hopefully they will be clean, but I just don’t trust this in a spread out area across the U.S. – especially if we start releasing terrorists and other wack jobs into our streets.

    In my book, humans are just too error prone and nuclear energy just too dangerous (one mistake is one too many for decades) to make this trustworthy.

  • Daniel

    I don’t think this would ever happen in the US. These reactors are actually very safe in the right hands. The only real danger is if someone gets a hold of the waste and wants to make a dirty bomb. I’m a strong proponent of nuclear power mainly because of the alternatives. Let’s face it, solar and wind can’t supply anywhere near the amount of power we need soon enough. Let’s stick with the large traditional nuclear power plants. We can learn a lesson from France; they actually generate more than they can use!

  • Daniel

    I don’t think this would ever happen in the US. These reactors are actually very safe in the right hands. The only real danger is if someone gets a hold of the waste and wants to make a dirty bomb. I’m a strong proponent of nuclear power mainly because of the alternatives. Let’s face it, solar and wind can’t supply anywhere near the amount of power we need soon enough. Let’s stick with the large traditional nuclear power plants. We can learn a lesson from France; they actually generate more than they can use!

  • mike

    who is doing your math?

  • Jerry James Stone

    re: Global Patriot

    I am with ya. I have to say the idea of living near one of these is more than unsettling.

  • Jerry James Stone

    re: Global Patriot

    I am with ya. I have to say the idea of living near one of these is more than unsettling.

  • Jerry James Stone

    re: Mr Smith

    Safer to buy solar panels too!

  • Jerry James Stone

    re: Mr Smith

    Safer to buy solar panels too!

  • rich s.

    One thimble of nuclear power equals a ton of coal and it does not emit greenhouse gases or add to global warming. These plants can be underground because of their size which minimizes security concerns.

    This fuel is stored safely now and can also be recycled. If viewed rationally and not radically it is needed now and will help our energy needs and lessen the US carbon footprint.

  • rich s.

    One thimble of nuclear power equals a ton of coal and it does not emit greenhouse gases or add to global warming. These plants can be underground because of their size which minimizes security concerns.

    This fuel is stored safely now and can also be recycled. If viewed rationally and not radically it is needed now and will help our energy needs and lessen the US carbon footprint.

  • Rich S.

    Small nuclear is a realistic solution to both our energy needs and carbon reduction. This power does not contibute to the global warming. It is my understanding that due to the small size the plants would be underground to help alleviate security/terrorism concerns.

    One thimble of nuclear fuel is equal to a ton on coal and has no emissions. This fuel can also be recycled after years of production.

  • Rich S.

    Small nuclear is a realistic solution to both our energy needs and carbon reduction. This power does not contibute to the global warming. It is my understanding that due to the small size the plants would be underground to help alleviate security/terrorism concerns.

    One thimble of nuclear fuel is equal to a ton on coal and has no emissions. This fuel can also be recycled after years of production.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    The concept is intriguing, but the reality of thousands of these devices stationed around the world is not reassuring. Even if the fuel is not weapons grade, it is poisonous to a degree that prevents widespread use.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    The concept is intriguing, but the reality of thousands of these devices stationed around the world is not reassuring. Even if the fuel is not weapons grade, it is poisonous to a degree that prevents widespread use.

  • Roald Baudoux

    The units might be clean when running, but what about the industrial process to build them ? The difference between traditional fossil fuels (oil, coal) and enriched uranium is that a ridiculous amount of uranium can cause cancer, even if you don’t ingest it but simply if you are in its immediate neighbourhood.

  • Roald Baudoux

    The units might be clean when running, but what about the industrial process to build them ? The difference between traditional fossil fuels (oil, coal) and enriched uranium is that a ridiculous amount of uranium can cause cancer, even if you don’t ingest it but simply if you are in its immediate neighbourhood.

  • DJD

    What about the cost of the fuel? With widespread adoption the fuel cost would skyrocket but advocates of nuclear power don’t like to include all the facts. Solar power is clean and safe and infinite so lets build more fossil fuel and nuclear plants!!! I forgot solar is not cost competitive. I guess we can’t do anything to reduce the cost so let’s give up and continue the same failed strategy!!

  • DJD

    What about the cost of the fuel? With widespread adoption the fuel cost would skyrocket but advocates of nuclear power don’t like to include all the facts. Solar power is clean and safe and infinite so lets build more fossil fuel and nuclear plants!!! I forgot solar is not cost competitive. I guess we can’t do anything to reduce the cost so let’s give up and continue the same failed strategy!!

  • Russ

    At $250 or even $2500 per household would be a bargain, but the $25 million is really just the tip of the iceberg. They are radioactive which implies a certain level of risk from any number of scenarios, then there is the long term storage of the waste. Proponents love to dismiss all of these issues, but just one Timmy MvVey parking his Ryder truck next to one could require the permanent evacuation of a small city. There are 110,000,000 householding in the U.S., so that would imply 11,000 of these things spread all over the country. That implies security at 11,000 site, 11,000 refueling operations every 7 years, 11,000 units of nuclear waste every 7 years and so forth. Even so, perhaps we might need to go this route for the immediate future to give us a little breathing room, offsetting as much of those 11,000 units with reneable as humanly possible. Check out my web site for a means to pay for this since the plan described there might work well for this sort of nuclear, but not for the large-scale nuclear plants.

  • Russ

    At $250 or even $2500 per household would be a bargain, but the $25 million is really just the tip of the iceberg. They are radioactive which implies a certain level of risk from any number of scenarios, then there is the long term storage of the waste. Proponents love to dismiss all of these issues, but just one Timmy MvVey parking his Ryder truck next to one could require the permanent evacuation of a small city. There are 110,000,000 householding in the U.S., so that would imply 11,000 of these things spread all over the country. That implies security at 11,000 site, 11,000 refueling operations every 7 years, 11,000 units of nuclear waste every 7 years and so forth. Even so, perhaps we might need to go this route for the immediate future to give us a little breathing room, offsetting as much of those 11,000 units with reneable as humanly possible. Check out my web site for a means to pay for this since the plan described there might work well for this sort of nuclear, but not for the large-scale nuclear plants.

  • Russ

    At $250 or even $2500 per household would be a bargain, but the $25 million is really just the tip of the iceberg. They are radioactive which implies a certain level of risk from any number of scenarios, then there is the long term storage of the waste. Proponents love to dismiss all of these issues, but just one Timmy MvVey parking his Ryder truck next to one could require the permanent evacuation of a small city. There are 110,000,000 householding in the U.S., so that would imply 11,000 of these things spread all over the country. That implies security at 11,000 site, 11,000 refueling operations every 7 years, 11,000 units of nuclear waste every 7 years and so forth. Even so, perhaps we might need to go this route for the immediate future to give us a little breathing room, offsetting as much of those 11,000 units with reneable as humanly possible. Check out my web site for a means to pay for this since the plan described there might work well for this sort of nuclear, but not for the large-scale nuclear plants.

  • http://www.edsdrugs.com?ct Edward McCain

    To put it in perspective, all the nuclear waste ever created in the US -all of it- would fit in a football field and stack 50′ high.

    If you started stacking other waste types, like oil or coal, how many football fields do you think you would require?

  • http://www.edsdrugs.com?ct Edward McCain

    To put it in perspective, all the nuclear waste ever created in the US -all of it- would fit in a football field and stack 50′ high.

    If you started stacking other waste types, like oil or coal, how many football fields do you think you would require?

  • http://www.edsdrugs.com?ct Edward McCain

    To put it in perspective, all the nuclear waste ever created in the US -all of it- would fit in a football field and stack 50′ high.

    If you started stacking other waste types, like oil or coal, how many football fields do you think you would require?

  • JPeek

    A safer but more noisy alternative is the new over-unity magnetic generator. Runs with two diametrically opposed magnetic disks, it basically gets-off on the fact that it is running- and runs and runs.

    It’s available in Australia. Energy captains have been trying to introduce “over-unity” sources since the fact we can split an atom for years. It’s just that we still have huge areas of superstition still left in our unevolved brains that shut-out very real solutions to energy crisis.

  • jo

    that better be 10cents per kilowatt, and even that is high.

    so what happens when it wears out, ship it to China? I had to check this wasn’t from The Onion.

    I can see the real estate ads already, look, your moths glow in the dark! As Ray said, anyone can set up their own x-ray machine…

  • jo

    that better be 10cents per kilowatt, and even that is high.

    so what happens when it wears out, ship it to China? I had to check this wasn’t from The Onion.

    I can see the real estate ads already, look, your moths glow in the dark! As Ray said, anyone can set up their own x-ray machine…

  • jo

    that better be 10cents per kilowatt, and even that is high.

    so what happens when it wears out, ship it to China? I had to check this wasn’t from The Onion.

    I can see the real estate ads already, look, your moths glow in the dark! As Ray said, anyone can set up their own x-ray machine…

  • Just watching

    http://www.imdiversity.com/villages/Native/business_finance/pns_native_alaska_nukes.asp

    Check this link and see this is nothing new.

    It could be in service today but for the foot draging of our government. Other countries are using this today.

  • Just watching

    http://www.imdiversity.com/villages/Native/business_finance/pns_native_alaska_nukes.asp

    Check this link and see this is nothing new.

    It could be in service today but for the foot draging of our government. Other countries are using this today.

  • http://netsight.pbwiki.com Mr Smith

    Quote”

    $25m each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.” End Quote.

    Is this technology to cost 25 million per unit?

    lol, that’s 2,500$ per household in a community of 10,000. Cheaper to buy solar panels I think!

  • http://netsight.pbwiki.com Mr Smith

    Quote”

    $25m each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.” End Quote.

    Is this technology to cost 25 million per unit?

    lol, that’s 2,500$ per household in a community of 10,000. Cheaper to buy solar panels I think!

    • ikki

      You know you need to replace your solar panels about 8-10 times during the same period the nuclear plant runs?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Our oldest solar array is now 40 years old and still going strong. At 35 years of age it was producing 96% as much power as when new.

        Many of our reactors have failed/been shut down well before the age of 40. Our oldest reactor is scheduled to be closed the year it hits 50.

        BTW, solar is now about half the price of nuclear and heading to one third.

  • http://renewable-energy-tv.blogspot.com Ray The Money Man

    As some of you know, I have been begging for one of these in my garage! These will be safer then visiting a friend in the hospital. Talk about radiation! This would also combat centralization of electricity generation. I would be surprised if the government gets behind it just for that reason.

  • http://renewable-energy-tv.blogspot.com Ray The Money Man

    As some of you know, I have been begging for one of these in my garage! These will be safer then visiting a friend in the hospital. Talk about radiation! This would also combat centralization of electricity generation. I would be surprised if the government gets behind it just for that reason.

  • http://renewable-energy-tv.blogspot.com Ray The Money Man

    As some of you know, I have been begging for one of these in my garage! These will be safer then visiting a friend in the hospital. Talk about radiation! This would also combat centralization of electricity generation. I would be surprised if the government gets behind it just for that reason.

  • http://www.onechristbody.com tyler

    nuclear energy is actually pretty clean

  • http://www.onechristbody.com tyler

    nuclear energy is actually pretty clean

  • http://www.onechristbody.com tyler

    nuclear energy is actually pretty clean

  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    Oh God, No! But… what a hilarious image: had to laugh!

  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    Oh God, No! But… what a hilarious image: had to laugh!

  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    Oh God, No! But… what a hilarious image: had to laugh!

Back to Top ↑