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Setback For Small Nuclear Reactors: B&W Cuts mPower Funding 165

mdsolar (1045926) writes with news that funding for the mPower, a Small Modular [Nuclear] Reactor, has been cut due to the inability to find investors interested in building a prototype. From the article: "The pullback represents a major blow to the development of SMRs, which have been hailed as the next step forward for the nuclear power industry. ... All told, B&W, the DOE, and partners have spent around $400 million on the mPower program. Another $600 million was needed just to get the technology ready for application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for licensing. ... B&W plans to continue low-level R&D on the mPower technology with a view to commercial deployment in the mid-2020s, said CEO James Ferland. But without a major shift in the business environment and in investor perceptions of the risks and rewards associated with nuclear power, that seems fanciful."
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Setback For Small Nuclear Reactors: B&W Cuts mPower Funding

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  • by macpacheco ( 1764378 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:18AM (#46865305)

    Still insisting on the same basic concept that gave us reactors that use just 0,5% to 1% of mined uranium and have the concept of a meltdown.
    Even the most advanced water cooled reactor today still does that.
    B&W mPower reactor is just a smalled version of the same.
    When will this people learn ?
    We need a breeder / near breeder reactor that is able to use bare minimum 10% of uranium mined, or much more.
    liquid fuel instead of solid fuel, with the fuel molten in the coolant means meltdowns are impossible and heavy neutron poisons (noble gas fission products) can be collected from the reactor quickly, resulting in minimal neutron losses, the lower the neutron losses are, the better the fuel burnup can be (increasing that 0,5% to 1% utilization to much higher levels), plus the less neutron poisons are kept in the reactor, the less excess reactivity exists on the reactor, minimizing the risk of prompt neutron criticality scenarios.
    That's why I don't support any reactor except for molten salt or molten metal coolant designs.
    The AP1000 and similar Gen III+ are plenty safe enough for my taste, but if you honestly discuss even the most remote risks a gen iii+ reactor with non technical people, they will still be against nuclear power. Plus water cooled reactors demand lots of expensive active safety systems like hydrogen+oxygen recombinants, pressurizer, emergency spray, emergency water injection, the list goes on, making the reactor far more expensive than necessary. Perhaps with the mPower being a much lower power reactor, it can do away without some of those systems, but they can't all be eliminated unless the reactor has low pressure operation (only possible with molten salt or molten metal cores).

  • by virtualXTC ( 609488 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:35AM (#46865367) Homepage
    That's because investors don't want to develop a product to compete with something that already exists [] (and is very well funded) but is having regulatory issues:
  • Re:I have a project (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:37AM (#46865377)

    "megawatts of xrays"

    You're a useless fucking toolbox with so little knowledge of anything the very best thing you can do for humanity is to hang yourself from the nearest load-capable tree branch. I mean it. Useless shitsacks like you have no business speaking, let alone breeding. You lower the mean IQ of the planet substantially. If branch is not available, smashing yourself in the head with the nearest acceptably massive object will also do.

    Thank you for making Earth a better place.

  • Re:I have a project (Score:5, Informative)

    by G-forze ( 1169271 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:17AM (#46865501)

    There is no such thing as a non-radiactive tritium reactor. That is a fact and a law of physics.

    There is also no such thing as a non-radioactive sandwich, that's a fact and law of physics. (C-14 [] for instance.) What has that got to do with anything? That you use scare words like "unbelievably dangerous", "terrorists" and "suicidally stupid" only makes you seem less informed. You are just a greenpeace troll. Nothing to see here.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @05:15AM (#46866113)
    "Using historical production data, we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent (GtCO2-eq) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning. On the basis of global projection data that take into account the effects of the Fukushima accident, we find that nuclear power could additionally prevent an average of 420,000-7.04 million deaths and 80-240 GtCO2-eq emissions due to fossil fuels by midcentury, depending on which fuel it replaces." []
  • Re:KickStarter? (Score:3, Informative)

    by imikem ( 767509 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @08:56AM (#46866985) Homepage

    What? A Ponzi scheme bilks successive waves of investors to enrich the originator and hide the malfeasance from earlier investors. How is that remotely like Kickstarter?

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger