November 11 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Energy Year: 2013 Rating: 2
If the 10-year timeline of building a nuclear reactor has got you worried about clean energy today, a smaller and simpler solution could be only a few years away. Hyperion Power Generation has a great website which professes the practicality and usefulness of their van-sized nuclear reactor.
Given that the population of some areas are too low to warrant a full-sized reactor, Hyperion mobile reactors are more fitted for rough terrain and smaller communities. “Hyperion produces only 25 MWe — enough to provide electricity for about 20,000 average American sized homes or its industrial equivalent.” Reactors can also be teamed together for larger communities or areas with higher energy usage. This could be very useful to third world countries where populations are growing but the availability of power is incredibly limited.
But is it dangerous?
Hyperion stresses on their website the safety of the units quite frequently. “Hyperion modules have no moving parts to wear down, and are delivered factory sealed. They are never opened on site. Even if one were compromised, the material inside would not be appropriate for proliferation purposes.” On top of this, they mention that a critical meltdown with their unit is impossible and the waste produced over five years is about the “size of a softball.” And for those of you worried about sending nuclear reactors to third world countries, they also mention the fuel inside the reactors isn’t appropriate for proliferation purposes.
What does this mean for me?
With the switch to green energy looming over our heads, some people are crying for more nuclear energy since they see wind, solar and other green technologies unable to fill the energy gap that coal and oil will leave. Because it can take over a decade to build a large nuclear plant, a small-sized reactor is a much more believable alternative in the near future. As for when we might see these? It really depends on funding. If it’s given the green light, we could see these popping up withing the next three years.
The real question is, would you live next to one?
Images courtesy Hyperion