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Mini Nuclear Power Plants For Your Neighborhood In Five Years

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

 

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Written By

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.

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