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Friday, September 03, 2004

Nuclear Energy to Go
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are designing a self-contained, tamper-resistant nuclear reactor that can be transported and installed anywhere in the world. In "US plans portable nuclear power plants," New Scientist writes that the sealed reactors would last 30 years and deliver between 10 and 100 megawatts. The largest version would be about 15 meters high and 3 meters wide, with a weight of about 500 tons, allowing for transportation by ships or very large trucks.

The DOE thinks that this kind of nuclear reactor -- named SSTAR for "small, sealed, transportable, autonomous reactor" -- would help to deliver nuclear energy to developing countries while significantly reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation associated with the use of nuclear power.

What do you think of this idea? Is it a good one or a crazy one? Leaving a nuclear reactor in a developing country which can potentially become unstable during the 30 years of service of the reactor doesn't seem to be terribly safe. Read more before deciding. Anyway, there will be no prototypes before 2015.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 7:25 AM Comments (0)
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