Skip to comments.Rick Perry's vision of hot tub-sized nuclear power plants isn't so far-fetched
Posted on 10/09/2017 5:38:11 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
Energy Secretary Rick Perry has a vision for developing fully mobile, hot tub-sized nuclear power plants that could become the latest piece in the Energy Department's innovation and grid resiliency push.
Perry brought up the idea while addressing a National Clean Energy Week conference late last month. He used it as an example of what the Trump administration means when it talks about energy "innovation" as part of its energy dominance agenda.
Perry called them "small modular reactors." But the version of the technology he described would function more like a nuclear battery than a conventional, water-cooled nuclear power plant.
He envisioned them being used for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. The nuclear batteries would be piled into the cargo hold of a C-130 military transport plane, the kind Perry used to fly in the Air Force, and flown to the disaster zone to re-energize the island's wiped-out grid, he explained.
The situation in Puerto Rico is "maybe one of the most tragic events in history," Perry said. "We are trying to get micro-generators down there," but if small modular reactors were available, they "could serve tens of thousands" and even more "very quickly."
When he delivered the speech, nearly all 1.6 million electricity customers in Puerto Rico were without electricity. Perry's agency is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on power restoration.
The idea of portable, small nuclear power plants is not new. It's an idea that came from the lobbying and consulting playbook of William C. Anderson, former President George W. Bush's assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations.
Anderson was a big proponent of making military bases self-sustaining, while looking for advanced power plant technology that would reduce the need for tactically vulnerable diesel supply chains in places such as Iraq.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
Nice to see it could happen on a smaller scale.
Using Pu239 and Submarine technology, you can probably do this.
Not sure Congress or the public would ever go for it.
“Hot” tubs, indeed.
there is a compay in Texas pioneering small reactors. Underground power, can power a small city for up to 20 years. For peanuts. Replace and Remove every 20 years. Great technology and would remove the grid from being a national issue.
There’s one for the nattering nabobs of negativity to sink their maws into.
We used small SNAP reactors for power during the moon landing missions.
Just for reference, an average home uses about 1 kW continuously, excluding air conditioning and electric heating, which can easily triple that number in hot/cold climates. But for other stuff, reefers, plasmas, lighting, etc., figure 1 kW average.
So a 25 MW unit can power 25,000 homes (with the above exception). One of them huge nuke reactors is close to 1 GW, so about 40 times these little dudes (and nuke power plants typically have 2 to 4 of the big reactors). Large conventional power plants also total several GW.
Still, to fly-in 25 MW of capability in a transport plane is pretty darn good, considering the decade or so it takes to build a conventional power plant, and the multiple decades it takes to build a nuke.
Yes, now time to get the Delorean and complete the set!!!
Finally, finally, finally someone is making sense about nuclear energy. You have to envision this as a new revolution as the power plants can be small to run planes, cruise ships, even cars and trucks. Used in rockets.
Finally, someone is talking about that makes sense instead of this stupid, and I mean stupid wind and solar BS.
There are several devices that could be used but the people behind the government could not be in control. There was a traveling wave design that could consume depleted uranium. The green people fight these development.
The Navy has been using nuke power for generations, since the 60's.
Nukes can power an aircraft carrier, with hundreds of planes, and thousands of people, why not use the same kind of approach for emergency electrical power?
Thorium-fueled Molten Salt reactors can be made MUCH smaller than Uranium-fueled Light Water reactors. And there is one HUGE advantage to the thorium MS reactors - they are not fissile, so there is no such thing as “runaway” core meltdown. But the thorium fuel is fertile, meaning that once reaction is started (by mixing in a small amount of “spent” uranium fuel rod material) to initiate the chain reaction, the thorium continues to produce power until depleted, at which time there are far fewer long-lived radioactive isotopes, than there are with “spent” uranium fuel rods.
The thorium fuel cycle has several potential advantages over a uranium fuel cycle, including thorium’s greater abundance, superior physical and nuclear properties, reduced plutonium and actinide production, and better resistance to nuclear weapons proliferation (very little plutonium is produced, most of which is “burned” in the breeder cycle).
Are any of these based on Thorium? I’ve watched a few promos on it.
Very interesting. No high pressure water cooling. No thermal runaway. Very cheap, highly efficient fuel.
5:05 video (very powerful): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK367T7h6ZY
36:02 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbyr7jZOllI
The only thing preventing us (US) today from having nuclear powered locomotives, ships, and possibly even Semis is irrational fear of radiation hazards. I can remember in the 50s when one of the first US nuclear power plants was being built in Elk River, Minnesota, people feared having that “nuclear electricity” pumped into their houses. It’s almost as bad today when discussing technology such as this that Perry is showcasing.