NRC Chat Considers A Possible “Small” Future

Scott Burnell
Public Affairs Officer

smrThe NRC’s first few Chats have focused on the present or past, but this week we’re going to look ahead a couple years by talking about Small Modular Reactors, or SMRs.

These reactor concepts are much smaller than today’s nuclear power plants. The small designs currently being discussed would generate less than 200 megawatts of electricity per reactor, compared to the 1,000 megawatts or more coming from many current reactors. These compact designs could be grouped at a single site, with each reactor a “module” in the overall power plant. SMRs would be built at a factory and could be transported to their final location by truck or train.

Join us on Chat today at 2 p.m. Eastern with your questions for Anna Bradford, a senior manager for SMR activities in the agency’s Office of New Reactors. Anna will spend an hour answering your questions about the basics of SMRs, as well as the NRC’s plans for reviewing both reactor designs and possible locations for SMR-based nuclear power plants.

Note: The archive of this Chat is available here.

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

15 thoughts on “NRC Chat Considers A Possible “Small” Future”

  1. Thourium flouride gas reactor: My idea is to use a zirconium ceramic containment vesel, inside are balls of graphite or rods of graphite. The fuel is uranium hexaflouride gas or fissile gas flouride. The fission is regulated by gas pressure in the reactor. To prevent a run away reaction gas pressure is lowered. Emergency pressure valves automaticly vent the gas into gas tanks at a vacuum. hydrogen gas might be added to make tritium for nuclear batteries and regulate nutrons or adding a nutron absorbant gas or decaborene gas to breed boron 11 for a proton reactor.

    The zirconium containment vessel is surounded by graphite blanket or rods that has a thorium flouride blanket for breeding. Promethium 233 either out gases or decays into uranium 233 flouride and out gases by flourination into uranium hexaflouride. Then the gas is collected and stored to be used in the zirconium core for later.

    Waste fall out of the reactor by turning into salt to be sucked up or washed out or removed by a bag or eletrostatic process. The hod gas fuel either drives a tubine directly or a oil boils wat to run a turbine or helium gas is used to cool the reactor and run a turbine.

    The radioactive waste are loaded into beta cells or nuclear deacy is used in a nuclear resonante cell or some other apha or beta or gamma converter to make electricity from ionizing radioisotopes. Protons from a particle beam may also transmute waste to make energy and turn some waste into less radioactive materials.

  2. It seems that these plants are just a ticking time bomb. They should really think about doing more to make these plants safer.

  3. How many fatalities resulted from TMI? How many fatalities resulted from Fukushima? Compare the fatalities from Chornobil (really a weapons production redactor design, not an LWR like we use here) to the fatalities from natural gas, aviation, chemicals, medical errors, etc.? How many more fatalities are we going to have to suffer from use of coal and natural gas before we all have to live underground? How much more fossil fuel burning are we going to have to endure before the oceans are acidified to the point of being unable to sustain life? How much more atmospheric degradation are we going to have to suffer before we are forced to relocate to another planet? How can anyone with more than a 4th grade education not realize the dangers we face from NOT using nuclear energy to produce electricity in economical quantities with high reliability?

  4. .How many TMI, Cher…, Fuku.., etc over the next 200 years can we handle till we have to live under ground. How many plants are needed to power the world, every new plant has owners scrimping on safety to make a profit to the point of lying like O… with the manufacture and designers supporting their actions, NRC was fooled or turned a blind eye to what they where doing. NRC must have given the OK or did not see that the like for like was going to produce more power, how in the hell can that be! anyone with a gradec12 education would ask how is this possible? And these groups you claim are telling the truth, they are a JOKE now.

  5. No, gas pipelines don’t do anything other than kill thousands of people in a most horrible manner. Nuclear plants in this country and other western countries that make use of LWR technology have not harmed a single person. Not a single one. Windmills cover thousands of square miles of territory and despoil the environment for a lousy few percent of electrical demand. Likewise solar. Wind and solar are dinosaurs that would not exist without massive subsidies and feed-in tariffs and product purchases demanded by law, something no other energy source has. Yet the prices and unreliability are so high that countries like Spain and Germany are being bankrupted by them.

  6. Furthermore, God knows exactly the number of people, men, women and children, including children in the womb, who have died as a result of nuclear industry pollution and catastrophes, and exactly where in every person’s DNA damage has been done, and every case of disease. There is no getting around that kind of accounting. The very hairs of the head are numbered, and not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him knowing. One can claim zero deaths. God knows the truth. And God is just.

  7. A pipeline catastrophe generally does not require government and media wide censorship and coverup operations, thus corrupting both even more. It also does not result in chocolate bars which give you bone cancer, heart disease, or yttrium diabetes.

  8. Ha ha. When a pipeline catastrophe occurs, it does not contaminate an area the size of a couple large western states. It does not cause damage to the genomes of all affected living organisms. It does not have an attic stuffed full of enough spent fuel to endanger half the globe.

  9. I know the nuclear plants can withstand those kinds of events. My point was that there are a lot more natural gas pipelines around than there are nuclear plants. And many of those pipelines run under places where there are people around all the time, every day, constantly exposed to the danger those pipelines pose. So the earlier poster’s mention of nuclear plants being a “time bomb”, well, heck, if those are, then the natural gas pipelines he makes no mention of are multiple level time bombs, basically time bombs in spades. Yet the agitators go after the nuclear plants because they are “time bombs” but whisper nary a word of protest about gas pipelines, which have demonstrably caused hundreds of deaths among the general public, compared to zero for nuclear plants.

  10. The NRC only has authority over nuclear power plants, and we ensure that any plant near a pipeline is capable of safely withstanding an accident involving the pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state agencies are responsible for the rules and regulations governing natural gas pipelines.
    Scott Burnell

  11. So are natural gas pipelines, of which there are many, many more than nuclear plants. Those pipelines pass directly under people’s homes and the streets you walk and drive every day, and pose a much greater and more likely hazard than any nuclear plant. Did you know any of that? If so, why don’t you go after those before you go after a nuclear plant? Hundreds, if not thousands of people in this country have been killed by natural gas accidents, not one has ever been harmed by a nuclear plant.

  12. Are these plants fail safe , walk away when any problems occur. If not they are a time bomb.

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