Using Marketing and Language to sell More DOOM. Oh, small must equal safer. How quaint and folksy “niche markets” sounds when referring to a future reactor site. And, “right-sized reactors“, please they sound absolutely adorable. And this, “The facilities could also be used to create drinkable water supplies in those countries where such a resource is in short supply.” Oh Goodie!! Yay!!
After Fukushima, U.S. Seeks to Advance Small Nuclear Reactors
Smaller reactors, though, have a place: They might not only serve niche markets but they could also replace at least some of those bigger and more centralized nuclear generation.
The right-sized reactors are expected to operate at high efficiencies and to have built-in advantages, ultimately giving those investments a respectable return. Such units, for example, generally come with a nuclear waste storage containment device. The facilities could also be used to create drinkable water supplies in those countries where such a resource is in short supply.
According to the Sandia National Laboratory, these smaller reactors would be factory built and mass-assembled, with potential production of 50 a year. They would all have the exact same design, allowing for easier licensing and deployment than large-scale facilities. Mass production will keep the costs down to between $250 million and $500 million per unit.
“This small reactor … could supply energy to remote areas and developing countries at lower costs and with a manufacturing turnaround period of two years as opposed to seven for its larger relatives,” says Tom Sanders, who has been working with Sandia. “It could also be a more practical means to implement nuclear base-load capacity comparable to natural gas-fired generating stations and with more manageable financial demands than a conventional power plant.”
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