Free State Project Forum

New Hampshire -- The "Live Free or Die" State => NH Jobs => Topic started by: Adam Selene on October 21, 2003, 10:06:28 pm

Title: Technology: Village Electric
Post by: Adam Selene on October 21, 2003, 10:06:28 pm
Too bad Alaska wasn't chosen as the Free State. However, maybe we can import a few of these into NH. Set up one of these, a local water supply, and broadband Internet WiFi, have everyone use Vonage IP telephones, and you have a town completely independent of the State utility monopolies.

Read the full article, very cool.

Anchorage Daily News

A Japanese corporation wants to thrust the Interior community of Galena into international limelight by donating a new, unconventional electricity-generating plant that would light and heat the Yukon River village pollution-free for 30 years.

There's a catch, of course. It's a nuclear reactor.

Not a huge, Three Mile Island-type power plant but a new generation of small nuclear reactor about the size of a big spruce tree. Designers say the technology is safe, simple and cheap enough to replace diesel-fired generators as the primary energy source for villages across rural Alaska.

Such a plant would also have enough excess power to create hydrogen gas, proponents say. They envision Galena as a demonstration center for the highly vaunted hydrogen economy, in which cars and trucks could run on the clean-burning gas.

Full Article: http://www.adn.com/front/story/4214182p-4226215c.html (http://www.adn.com/front/story/4214182p-4226215c.html)


Title: Re:Technology: Village Electric
Post by: NuclearDruid on October 22, 2003, 11:16:32 am
Too bad Alaska wasn't chosen as the Free State. However, maybe we can import a few of these into NH. Set up one of these, a local water supply, and broadband Internet WiFi, have everyone use Vonage IP telephones, and you have a town completely independent of the State utility monopolies.

Read the full article, very cool.

As with most Mass Media articles, I found it to be full of tripe. For a better understanding of the Toshiba 4S System try this site. http://www.iaea.or.at/inis/aws/fnss/fulltext/1172_12.pdf (http://www.iaea.or.at/inis/aws/fnss/fulltext/1172_12.pdf)

Turn key price of the system is expected to be about $30M USD. Over a 30 yr lifetime to can expect about 3x that price in maintenance and operations costs. Plant electrical capacity is 50 MW so this give you a per KW-hr price of $0.09. This is a reasonable ballpark number. Of course the thermal output of the Rx is 125 MW, so this gives you 75 MW in waste heat that's dumped to the environment. Probably a third of this is potentially capturable in some kind of co-gen application. Hot water for greenhouses and home radiant heat systems, etc, etc.

A couple of things that I don't like about the design are it's use of Pu-239 to enrich the U-238 fuel. U-238 is processed directly from UO2 ore but the Pu requires additional breeding and refinement. This in turn makes the fuel supply dependent on a complicated government-owned infrastructure.

The second thing is the use of Na metal in the primary coolant loop. This makes leaks in the primary-to-secondary heat exchanger a BIG deal. (Anyone who seen Na-H2O reactions will know what I mean.) On a positive note, Toshiba is addressing this problem in their L4S design by using a Pb-Bi primary coolant loop.

Some good features of the design are it's reliance on negative reactivity coeffs., a passive decay heat removal system, and it's use of fast fuels (minus th Pu issue above) which translates into greater availabilty of fuel and less reliance on refinement infrastructure.

ND
Title: Re:Technology: Village Electric
Post by: Justin on October 22, 2003, 05:08:42 pm
Smells like there's another "nuke" in the fourm.  ;)

IIRC a Na moderator is positive reactivity coefficient.  Nasty stuff.  Just look how the bad the Ruskies had it. And, not having a secondary shield really doesn't help matters.

I don't recall the power output of NR-1's reactor, but the size of the engine room plus reactor and control room would only be about 25x10x10 (hell, the reactor itself was only about the size of a garbage can).
Title: Re:Technology: Village Electric
Post by: pstudier on October 22, 2003, 06:27:27 pm
To pick a nit, this reactor is an unmoderated fast reactor.  The Na only cools it.  Because it is small, it does have a negative void coefficient.  

The US has had a couple meltdowns of NC cooled reactors without disaster, so the worst case is not that bad.

In this post 9/11 world, it probably would be better to build all reactors underground.

Thank you NuclearDruid for the interesting reference at http://www.iaea.or.at/inis/aws/fnss/fulltext/1172_12.pdf

Title: Re:Technology: Village Electric
Post by: Top Dollar on October 22, 2003, 08:44:53 pm
Seems like lithium would be a better moderator.  Neutrons are absorbed by lithium to yield tritium, which can eventually be used for fusion.  Same nasty reaction with water though.
Title: Re:Technology: Village Electric
Post by: CurtHowland on October 25, 2003, 01:54:15 pm
I don't recall the power output of NR-1's reactor, but the size of the engine room plus reactor and control room would only be about 25x10x10 (hell, the reactor itself was only about the size of a garbage can).

The only caviat I would add to the idea of using Navy style small reactors is the fact that they have effectively infinite cooling available at all times.

That said, I like the idea of small reactors quite a bit, except for the ones that the Soviet Union used. Nasty deposits of some seriously radioactive isotopes randomly spotting the cold regions of Siberia... Wish I could remember where I read the article about them...

Another possibility is small-scale water power. New Hampshire has an abundance of water, and micro-hydro is effective and can be very cheap.

www.HomePower.com Home Power magazine has lots of articles on the subject.