June 16, 2009
150 MW Nuclear Reactor To Fit On Rail Cars

A reactor small enough for factory production might slash nuclear power costs and cut 2 years off of construction time.

A new type of nuclear reactor that is designed to be manufactured in a factory rather than built at a power plant could cut construction times for nuclear power plants almost in half and make them cheaper to build. That, in turn, could make it possible for more utilities to build nuclear power plants, especially those in poor countries. The design comes from Babcock and Wilcox, a company based in Lynchburg, VA, that has made nuclear reactors for the United States Navy ships for about 50 years.

The company in question certainly knows how to build nuclear power plants. Other companies are pursuing development of small reactors as well. Click thru and read the details. Sounds promising.

With the Olkiluoto III nuclear reactor in Finland looking set to run at least 2 years late due to construction delays the nuclear industry certainly needs more predictability and speed in construction times.The Finnish reactor started construction in 2005 and might be done by 2012. French nuclear reactor builder Areva has struggled with lots of quality problems at Olkiluoto III. Though on the bright side they are improving their methods for making key reactor components. Reactors coming off an assembly line and going out on railroad cars to many destinations sound a lot more appealing.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 June 16 10:37 PM  Energy Nuclear

Engineer-Poet said at June 17, 2009 9:00 PM:

Molten-salt reactors can also be made that small, and can also be simplified to a radical degree (a two-fluid LFTR without a carbon moderator is essentially a tube within a tube).  If the power conversion machinery is switched from steam turbines to supercritical CO2 turbines, it will also fit on a rail car or even a flatbed semi.

The end of the site-built reactor may be at hand.

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