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Old 12-22-2007, 05:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What do you think?

Personally, I would love to have one of these babys in the basement.

Quote:
Toshiba Builds 100x Smaller Micro Nuclear Reactor

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.

Toshiba expects to install the first reactor in Japan in 2008 and to begin marketing the new system in Europe and America in 2009.
http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/....17b.html?fark
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm game! maybe I'll buy a couple of them, and start selling bootleg electricity to my neighbors I'm gonna be rich!!!!
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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any idea what they go for tec?
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Although the technology is amazing (if it actually works), I think I'd rather stick with a combination of solar, wind, and geothermal on top of a greatly reduced energy requirement. (i.e. When it comes to the future of energy for daily living.)

For example, I think the Passivhaus and the ZEB are the direction in which we should be heading. It isn't about how much energy we can generate; its about generation - (consumption/efficiency) = energy surplus/shortfall. Why rely entirely on a single (possibly dangerous) material for generation when there is energy all around us?

Anyway, you asked what I think, and this is it.


Edit: I think these small units might have applications for a transitional stage when we move from our old model to a new one. I think it would be good if we can learn more about its safety issues in addition to the overall cost of disposing them.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 12-22-2007 at 07:17 AM..
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That's pretty darn cool. Liquid lithium is unexpected. I was thinking some sort of small scale pebble bed implementation (also a workaround on control rods). Don't know as I want that in my basement, but I might be interested in building a separate basement on the edge of my property to install one of those in.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tophat665
Don't know as I want that in my basement, but I might be interested in building a separate basement on the edge of my property to install one of those in.
Yeah... and like 20 feet down so you can put 4' concrete walls all around it.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
Yeah... and like 20 feet down so you can put 4' concrete walls all around it.
Precisely. I don't have an unreasoning fear of nuclear power, but even a sub-critical mass is worthy of great respect.

By the way, think of what it would do to property values to have, 40 years hence, a played out reactor on the back 40.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdolGirl
I'm game! maybe I'll buy a couple of them, and start selling bootleg electricity to my neighbors I'm gonna be rich!!!!
Lets be honest here, Idol. Dont forget that I know you pretty well. You'd use that to power your vibrator, and dont deny it
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe if utilities are required to buy the excess power put back on the grid at their going rate then you could install one of these on your property and get all your power for free.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
Maybe if utilities are required to buy the excess power put back on the grid at their going rate then you could install one of these on your property and get all your power for free.
I'm wondering how long the break-even point would take.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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These would be great for unlimited backup power to hospitals, though they may need to use more than 1 to supply the amount of power they'd draw.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That mini reactor is pretty cool. Unless I missed reading about it, I wonder how you handle the spent fuel. It seems to me that the cost of getting rid of that fuel and the cost of storing it until it is no longer excessively radioactive ...many many years... is part of the economics that is not often played into the equation of most nuclear power economics analyses.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Apparently the removal of the whole reactor is included in the price, as is maintenance. Toshiba gives you cradle to grave on this one, now pony up your 3.5 million dollars.
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That is pretty nifty. But I have to agree with Baraka_Guru about utilizing solar and wind energy, but for different reasons. We are developing technology that can potentially yield solar power with 50% efficiency, and the best part is the new technology would be cheaper than roofing shingles. I wish I had my sources, as I am recalling information researched over two years ago in a proposal for my university to invest in solar energy.

3.5-million-US$? PFFT---got that in my money clip. Definitely economic for building projects, though.
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sounds good to me. Nuclear power is about 40 years overdue for a comeback. Throw one of these in the basement of each new apartment building under the basement with a good amount of shielding, put one of these on the top of every other utility pole, and we could make some serious inroads toward eliminating fossil fuel dependence.
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You have a good idea there MrSelfDestruct. Where I'm at across the pond you see all kinds of free energy sources on top of nearly every building.
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Does it only exist in 2 dimensions? 20 x 6 x ?
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Aside from a break-even point that would make this unfeasible for many, there is also this problem:

lithium-6 + deuterium = hydrogen bomb

Will there be security measures in place? How much of this stuff is in each core, and how difficult would it be to get at it? Just how well will small-town America be able to look after their shiny new mini-reactor?


EDIT: Terrorist paranoia aside, there is the cost issue that keeps nagging me. This doesn't seem like a personal reactor.

If the average household energy consumption is 4,500 kilowatt-hours per annum, and this reactor produces it at $0.05, how much is the break-even point? Even if the unit costs at little as $250,000, it would require around 5,000,000 kilowatt-hours of use to break even (i.e. to match the cost savings over the grid). That would take over 1,000 years for a single home....or, 100 years for 10 homes. So it would take around 20 homes to make it worth while. That is, if it costs as little as $250,000, which I sincerely doubt. It could easily cost over four times that amount, which would mean it might even take over 100 homes to make it worth it.

*Please let me know if my math is wrong; math is my weakness.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 12-22-2007 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: on the back, bitch
I have teenagers that have an aversion to shutting off lights and tvs...that thing would pay for itself by next Halloween.

Personally, I would love a windmill in my backyard to offset my electric bill, but they're not allowed in these parts.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i wonder if that will fit under the hood and what kind of numbers it would get....
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngdawg
Personally, I would love a windmill in my backyard to offset my electric bill, but they're not allowed in these parts.
Why? Offhand I can think of three reasons in order of likelihood, but I'm still curious:

1. zoning laws

2. you live in an apartment

3. Your neighbor is this guy
<img src="http://www.zeamaysprintmaking.com/image%20credit%20images/B.Moser-Don-Quixote-web.jpg" width=300 height=400 >

I really hope it's number 3.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru

*Please let me know if my math is wrong; math is my weakness.
The price I came up with was based on:

$0.05 per kWh times 200 kWh for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for 40 years.

Which comes to $3,504,000 for the reactor. Not cheap, but not bad for your own nuke plant...

Toshiba has already stated that the price of the completed unit will include installation, maintenance, and removal.
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