This concept of a nuclear battery is really different due to the physical scale and power output of these machines, of about 10 megawatts. It is so small that the entire power plant is built in a factory and fits inside a standard container. Jacopo Buongiorno and others say factory-made microreactors transported by truck to use sites could be a safe and efficient option for decarbonizing electrical systems. We may be on the verge of a new paradigm for nuclear energy, a group of nuclear specialists recently suggested in The Bridge, the journal of the National Academy of Engineering.
Although large, expensive, centralized computers gave way to today's widely distributed PCs, a new generation of relatively small and inexpensive factory-manufactured reactors is in sight, designed for autonomous plug and play operation similar to connecting a large battery. they say. These proposed systems could provide industrial process heat or electricity for a military base or neighborhood, operate unattended for five to 10 years, and then be trucked back to the factory for renovation. Authors Jacopo Buongiorno, TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; Robert Frida, founder of GenH; Steven Aumeier of the Idaho National Laboratory; and Kevin Chilton, retired U.S.
The Strategic Command has called these small power plants “nuclear batteries”. Because of their simplicity of operation, they could play an important role in decarbonizing the world's electrical systems to prevent catastrophic climate change, researchers say. MIT News asked Buongiorno to describe his group's proposal. This concept of a nuclear battery is really different due to the physical scale of these machines, of about 10 megawatts.
The idea is to place the entire power plant, which comprises a microreactor and a turbine that converts heat into electricity, in the container. This provides several benefits from an economic point of view. It is completely decoupling its projects and technology from the construction site, which has been the source of all the potential scheduling delays and cost overruns of nuclear projects over the past 20 years. In this way, it becomes a kind of energy on demand.
If the customer wants heat or electricity, they can get it in a couple of months, or even weeks, and then it's plug and play. This machine arrives at the site and, just a few days later, starts to get its energy. So, it's a product, not a project. This is how I like to characterize it.
It also has a very robust containment structure that surrounds it to protect against any radiation release. Instead of the traditional large concrete dome, there are steel housings that basically encapsulate the entire system. And in terms of safety, in most sites, we anticipate that these would be located below ground level. This provides some protection and physical security against external attackers.
As for other safety issues, you know, if you think of the famous nuclear accidents, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, these three problems are mediated by the design of these nuclear batteries. Because they are so small, it's basically impossible to get that kind of result from any sequence of events. There are also different companies that develop their own designs, and each one is a little different. Westinghouse is already working on a version of such nuclear batteries (although they don't use that term), and they plan to run a demonstration unit in two years.
The next step will be to build a pilot plant in one of the national laboratories that has extensive equipment to test nuclear reactor systems, such as the Idaho National Laboratory. They have a number of installations that are being modified to accommodate these microreactors, and they have additional layers of safety. Because this is a demo project, you'll want to make sure that if something happens that you didn't anticipate, you don't have any releases for the environment. These nuclear batteries are ideal for building resilience in very different sectors of the economy, providing a stable and reliable source of energy to support the growing dependence on intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.
In addition, these highly distributed systems can also help ease network pressures by being located right where your production is needed. This can provide greater resilience against any network disruption and virtually eliminate the problem of transmission losses. If they are generalized as much as we imagine, they could make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the world. While they didn't mention the design of the heat engine itself, you would be wrong to assume that all small-scale turbines require regular maintenance.
An autonomous turbine, completely closed to outside pollution, with high-quality components could last for decades without the need for repair. Smaller turbines suffer much smaller stresses due to the nature of the torque that increases with the length of each blade. For your theory of water pollution, that's double wrong. The water inside the turbine channels only needs to be heated by fissile materials.
You don't need to contact them. It's no different than cooking in a frying pan instead of cooking directly on the stovetop. Heat will be conducted through a shared surface contact. Secondly, there is no need for an external water source to cool the reactor itself.
As has been said, due to its size this is unnecessary. The law of square cubes states that the volume of a container always increases at a faster rate than the surface area. By decreasing the volume significantly, the amount of surface área per unit of fissile material increases, eliminating the need for more cooling than simple convection through the air surrounding the reactor. It's no different than comparing how easy it is for the surrounding air to dissipate heat from a match in front of a campfire.
A match in my living room won't start a fire unless I'm an idiot, but a campfire will burn down my house. It's OK to have opinions about the viability and usefulness of technology, but don't hit it with a “scientific basis” when you don't understand the most basic principles involved. The Sun produces more energy in one second than the entire human race has ever consumed. With the current annual energy production of the United States, it would take just over nine million years to match 1 second of solar production.
None of these scientists ever say what they intend to do with nuclear waste that takes thousands of years to decompose and is so difficult to contain. There is a company that markets a nuclear reactor that will be powered by used light water reactor fuel. It also has many features that make it safer than any pressurized water reactor design. It actually retains higher lanthanides, such as plutonium until they fission.
By converting used fuel into a valuable product, these reactors would change used fuel from a waste product to a valuable resource. The solution to technological problems is technological, the company name is Elysium industries. There are many problems that require nuclear physicists and engineers to address. This is 15 years from now.
They will not work until all current laws are complied with. Radioactive materials DO NOT BELONG outside high-security facilities. What are these “geniuses” thinking? There are A LOT of “hazardous” materials in our modern life. I agree that they need to make their “safety story” clear as part of their sales pitch, but I think those problems fall into the category of “solvable”.
Different companies with different technologies will give rise to different inherent risks posed by the “bad” ones, and so there are always strategies to mitigate the remaining risks. Nuclear energy is like airplanes. People are so nervous about it that ANY incident becomes national news, resulting in increased government oversight. Keep in mind that NOW, planes are noticeably safer (aside from the health and sanity issues of being inside with all those people for hours) than most other forms of travel.
How is nuclear waste treated? You should do some research, you are clearly asking a lot of rhetorical questions to prove your point of view, but if you really did the research you would understand the possibilities behind nuclear hope, would you avoid a catastrophic event, such as people trying to destroy or break the housing, which could lead to melting if the fuel is a non-fissile material or prevent the leakage of radioactive contamination to the surrounding area. Are you talking about putting a nuclear reactor in the hands of the common man who is still fascinated by the attributes of explosions, personal gain and harm to others?. Something as great as this must be available, but also ensured to avoid a catastrophe, whether intentional or not, antifreeze in cars does not trap energy. The coolant, what we call antifreeze, transports heat from the engine to a radiator, where it is transferred to the environment.
Just to clarify, a car's coolant is mostly water with antifreeze added. Antifreeze is just that, a substance that prevents coolant (water) from freezing, often ethylene glycol. You still have to deal with all the radioactive guano when dismantling the plant. Calling it a “battery” is just eco-friendly white wash.
I wonder if the current engineers had already considered these things. What do you think? Jake, I wonder if the real engineers had already considered these things. What do you think? Oh great. I'm reading news from the future.
Mico reactor: fake maintenance team removes portable reactor, material suspected of being sold for the manufacture of dirty pumps. Didn't Canada develop one in the 70s or 80s that could fit in the half-ton rear and supply a small town? You didn't read the article. More nuclear waste accumulates and controlling heat will be the challenging part, finding safety issues is not economically viable either. There are already several similar designs in three markets, and completely autonomous.
The problem with most is that they are designed to be disposable, and given the cost and content, this is a rather undesirable idea, let alone the implicit purchase of future replacements. Mini-nuclear power plants based on the power units of nuclear ships are the obvious first step. The Rolls Royce are obviously investigating and I guess they're not the only ones. Naturally, these systems are steam generators for the production of electricity.
For small units, the goal is to direct heat to electricity. I'm not sure about the details, but the idea of plasma flowing acting like a magnet seems logical. Obviously, the ultimate goal is the fusion battery. Are there decades or centuries to go? Ahab, I don't have any proof, but I also interpreted it to mean shipping containers.
And you're right, those things fall off container ships with alarming regularity. If we could take advantage of only 1% of the sign of virtue that comes from people's mouths, there would be no need for other sources of energy. How are these different from the small reactors that power hundreds of ships and naval submarines and have been doing so for half a century? One is probably a liquid salt reactor. So there's no need for water or steam for that matter.
In addition, waste, since it is small, is also very small and, unlike large reactors, where there is waste every few months, as indicated, they work 5 to 10 years before needing service. Maybe read a little and understand the different types of nuclear reactors before you start talking nonsense. This was a typical promotional article in which the journalist made no effort to present contrasting points of view. These conceptual graphs are likely to impress many with almost no knowledge of nuclear power generation.
No technical details were presented here. Again, there was no effort to address the final or short-term disposal of the highly radioactive fission product waste stream, or why no country has a functioning deep geological deposit 78 years after the start of the nuclear age. Electricity generation has always been a priority. For most of the last half-century of the nuclear power industry, no effort has been made to address known threats.
It's only recently that long-time advocates of nuclear energy have tackled that topic, mainly as a tool to promote their love affair with the nuclear genius. Greta Thunberg, damn it, millennials through Gen Z are NOT going to reduce their energy consumption. They have no idea how much power their computers and appliances consume. They have no idea how much power it takes to provide them with Internet, YouTube, Netflix and cloud storage.
Most can't even calculate simple wattage mathematics. In fact, they will increase energy consumption several times through a much higher electrical consumption of the vehicle. Nuclear power is the only way out for them, and what used to be the “N” word is now being promoted by mainstream corporate media. Fortunately, there are many new developments that seem promising, such as SMRs, to reduce risks, which are currently quite low.
These technologies will provide a stopgap solution until fusion scientists make great strides. A nice piece of wind, without information. Using steam turbines seems like “old technology, isn't there a way to produce electricity directly from nuclear radiation, like solar panels do with the sun? For example, technologies like this could literally mean the difference between life and death if implemented quickly after natural disasters that cause the destruction or failure of a local power grid (recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, fires in the Pacific Northwest, and the recent ice storm in Texas). it comes to mind).
Frankly, after reading this, I am convinced that it could be the best use for this technology. Cities, states, and military installations with long-term energy needs can (and should) invest in power plants that make the best use of available resources without harming the environment. In some places that will be solar, wind, hydroelectric or geothermal. In places where such resources are not available or cost prohibitively expensive, a modern nuclear installation with robust safety protocols is a good alternative to, for example, a coal-fired power plant.
In fact, some form of nuclear energy is our only way of saying it. So-called “sustainable energy” will never sustain our growing need for energy. Electric vehicles are useless if you can't charge them. Small nuclear power plants have been used with great success in submarines and other military vessels.
I'm at least involved when it comes to the concept. Each and every “solution” to global warming is too scarce and too late. Global Warming is a Symptom, Not a Problem. The root cause is TOO MANY PEOPLE.
My carbon footprint isn't the problem, it's how many people have some kind of carbon footprint. But no politician will accept a decline in population, or even a stabilization of the population, because all economic systems are based on growth, the great god that all politicians worship. Even now, the prospect of population stabilization causes politicians to offer incentives for more people to come (West Virginia) and the investment of incentives to reduce the rate of population growth (China). Anyone who thinks that global warming can be stopped or even controlled should think that each and every cancer can be cured with a band-aid.
This would be great in California for isolated communities with a local nuclear battery, there would be no need for high-power transmission lines that continue to ignite wildfires. The insurmountable problem will be public opinion. What is the expected fuel cycle for this machine? What happens to spent fuel? (Right now, in larger nuclear power plants, spent fuel is stored on site, because no one wants to store it or allow it to be transported through their state). Would you allow a nuclear waste site in your subdivision? Where would the “battery” go when it is beyond its useful life? I think it's a great idea, really, but I need to see the bottom of the plan.
Nobody seems to care about all the tritium that is created by any pressurized light water reactor or not. While the half-life of tritium is only 12.5 years, and it is a weak beta emitter, since it is hydrogen chemically it cannot be contained. Our current nuclear reactors dump that tritium into air and water, where it enters people's bodies and breaks down molecules such as DNA. Managing the ranks and ignoring this biologically dangerous by-product is essential if the amount of nuclear energy increases dramatically.
I think we would be much better off with microreactors that are not moderated with water. If provided, your email will not be published or shared. California-based startup NDB has unveiled a battery that uses nuclear waste and lasts up to 28,000 years. Best known for its role in radiocarbon dating, which allows archaeologists to estimate the age of ancient artifacts, it can provide a boost to nuclear batteries because it can function as both a radioactive source and as a semiconductor.
Unlike batteries in most modern electronic devices, which generate electricity from chemical reactions, the Bristol battery collects particles ejected by radioactive diamonds that can be manufactured from refurbished nuclear waste. These blocks act as neutron moderators, whose purpose is to reduce the speed of fast-moving neutrons so that nuclear chain reactions can occur with thermal neutrons. You should do some research, clearly you are asking a lot of rhetorical questions to prove your point of view, but if you really did the research you would understand the possibilities behind nuclear energy. These nuclear batteries are ideal for building resilience in all sectors of the economy, providing a stable and reliable source of carbon-free electricity and heat that can be located right where their production is needed, thus reducing the need for costly and delicate energy transmission and storage.
infrastructure. Previous proposals have analyzed reactors in the range of 100 to 300 megawatts of electrical power, which are a factor of 10 smaller than traditional big beasts, large nuclear reactors on a gigawatt scale. I envisioned a nuclear system for cars that would create steam to move the vehicle about forty years ago. For example, Westinghouse is working on a nuclear battery that uses heat pipe technology for cooling and plans to run a demonstration unit in three years.
Boardman also sees applications that are closer to home, such as using the company's nuclear batteries for pacemakers or portable devices. Carbon 14 naturally forms when cosmic rays hit nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere, but it is also produced as a by-product in graphite blocks that contain the control rods of a nuclear reactor. It was orders of magnitude smaller than traditional large nuclear power plants, which easily cost more than a billion and took a decade or more to build. Managing the ranks and ignoring this biologically dangerous by-product is essential if the amount of nuclear energy is drastically increased.