Last month a lot of blogs posted about a "micro nuclear reactor" supposedly developed by Toshiba. It promised to provide dirt-cheap energy, and was also small enough to fit in a basement. The story was first posted on nextenergynews.com
Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.
The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.
The idea of everyone putting a nuclear reactor in their basement sounded a bit dicey, and a lot of people were suspicious. Sure enough, the story has turned out to be a hoax
. Rod Adams, of the Atomic Insights Blog
, contacted Toshiba, who confirmed that they're not building an apartment-sized nuclear reactor. However, it's not clear who was the source of the hoax. Next Energy News perhaps?
Mo in NJ
About forty feet in length and thirty in diameter on the smaller ones, if I remember right (though the NR-1 might have a smaller one than that). Considerably larger than the supposed Toshiba model. Also they're somewhere over a thousand tons, with about a hundred tons of lead shielding.
On a related note. Idi Amin was reputed to have said that he proposed eliminating conventional weapons and giving everyone a cheap atomic weapon. I don't remember if it was just nations or if he wanted the issue to go to lower governmental levels as well. Imagine (insert your "bad guy" here) with cheap atomic weapons.
Christopher, did you read a letter in TIME magazine soem years back when the US and other s first objected to North Korea's nuclear wepaons program from a guy in IIRC Beunos Aires? he concluded that it was a case of big countries trying to keep a useful monopoly to themselves, and he hoped that eventually every country would be able to afford atomic wepaons of their own.
I knew about some of the required plumbing on submarines - The reason why a conventional boat is so much more stealthy than a nuke is the conventionals actually run on batteries underwater and the pumps of the liquid metal coolant run constantly and create a sonar 'beacon'.