Personal nuclear generator

Toshiba has announced a 200 kilowatt nuclear generator that can power a small block or large apartment building. At 20*6 feet large it can fit in a basement.

It’s designed, like pebble bed reactors, to not need mechanical parts to keep it safe.

This is a potentially disruptive piece of engineering. For one, it decentralizes power generation. It will allow power generation to be installed in remote locations throughout the world.

[link via Jay Lake]

3 thoughts on “Personal nuclear generator”

  1. How much does all the wiring and switchingbetween energy factory and consumer cost? How more inefficient (or efficient) is a small toshiba energy battery (or hyperion) compared to buying energy off the grid. Once peak oil starts hitting hard (2015? 2020?) isolated consumers will opt for small power reactors. First it may happen on relatively prosperous islands, say off the UK coast. Next you’ll see “desperadizing” exburbclaves in the US switching to “power cellars”. For those people bills may drop sharply after a steep initial investment. I anticipate a sudden and rather silent acceptance of nuclear power when energy costs, say, five times it costs now. 2020?

    I hope by then nanotech will be able to pick up the slack. The conclusion should be that these minireactors will be a intermediate solution. By 2030 we should see ultracheap (growing?) solar cells everywhere. By 2040, assuming energy demand will keep growing, you could have a situation that natural plantlife will be pushed out by solar cell harvesting infrastructure. Maybe artificial solar cell fauna will literally displace natural fauna by growing over it by then.

  2. I have all the details from multiple sources about this small reactor. My sources also list about 50 other small reactor designs that are being considered and a dozen or so that in some kind of development.

    For a small nuclear reactor from Japan, I would prefer the Fuji MSR. It uses up to 400 times less fuel and produces 1000 times left over uranium and plutonium (long life waste.)

  3. Sounds good, in principle. But haven’t we long had proven and safe technology in the small reactors used in our nuclear submarine fleet? Might it be that indirect economic factors, such as the cost of maintaining security for the nuclear materials, are what prevent such small civilian reactors from becoming economically viable?

Comments are closed.