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Small modular nuclear reactors for remote areas

Monday, April 07, 2014, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Jerry Peterson

Department of Physics


ARC room 620

The nuclear fission power plants under construction and contract around the world are large, able to supply the needs of nearly one million American costumers or far more customers in other nations. These vast facilities require huge upfront investments, years of construction, very special manufacturing methods, and large work forces. Many markets in developing nations, remote communities, or Arctic oil fields do not need that much power, or are not able to distribute so much from a central facility. The solution being pursued by many firms is the production of small reactors, suitable for small markets or to be ganged together to meet larger needs, as sealed units, shipped loaded with nuclear fuel from efficient factories, sealed to prevent access to the nuclear fuel, self-­operating for safety, and returnable for disposal of the used fuel at central facilities. Some decades ago many of these were built and operated, and it may be time to renew this activity.


Free and open to the public.