Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mini nuclear power is going forward

Late last year I read that Toshiba was developing a micro-nulcear power plant. It looks like there is an increased interest in small nuclear power plants. Popular Mechanies reports that Mini Reactors Show Promise for Clean Nuclear Power's Future:

Higher fuel prices and increased carbon emissions have been giving nuclear energy a boost. So far this year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received licensing requests for 19 new nuclear power plants. That number could increase exponentially, along with the number of suitable sites for a plant, if the NRC approves a brand-new design for portable modular units developed at Oregon State University.

Growing up many science fiction stories had dazlling ideas about the promise of nuclear power. Nuclear power would make energy cheap and plentiful. Nuclear powered rocket ships would take us to the stars.

Nuclear power got put on hold for a couple decades due to fears. Maybe now we're recognizing that there are trade-offs and nuclear power is a reasonable option.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

Technorati tags: nuclear power


Susan said...

I'm biased about nuclear power, because that's my husband's livelihood. I hadn't heard about micro-nukes though. Interesting.

Three Mile Island really woke people up to nuclear safety. We have lived about 15 miles from the nuclear power plant, as do many who work there. I know it seems 'scary', but the nuclear power community does NOT want an accident and make sure there won't be an accident.
Clinton Nuclear had a huge hole ready for a second nuclear plant since its inception. The 'hole' now has a new service building in it with no apparent plans to build another.

It's very expensive construction and there is no long term location for nuclear waste. I guess that's the political piece of it. It will be interesting to see how nuclear power plays out, for sure.

Henry Cate said...

My analysis is nuclear power is a good option. Overall it is heathier for the environment. There are fewer deaths. It is more reliable.

A big reason for the expensive construction is all the political demands for regulation. If a company can mass produce simple basic micro nuclear power plants, then they can do the red tape once, and have a cheaper solution.