[ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Mar 16 14:40:06 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 02:04:02PM +0000, BillK wrote:

> This is one of the obvious problems to be included in the risk analysis.

Here is 5 GW worth of building-integrated solar PV distributed
across a city. Show me how a terrorist is going to make use of that.

Now show me how a massive earthquake will destroy it, and show
me the risk analysis for that.

Look, there's a screwdriver lying there. You can use it to screw
in screws, or poke your eyes out. You can do both. It's up to you.
Do what make sense.
> Quote:
> Hyperion’s Mr Deal insists that neither a rocket-propelled grenade nor
> a tank round could smash a small reactor. Small reactors can be

I insist that I can create more mayhem with either a delivered new
or old reactor that Mr Deal can think of in his worst nightmares.

> shielded by a heavy layer of concrete and buried, in effect making
> them safer than big ones, whose protective concrete domes can only be
> so thick, lest they collapse under their own weight.
> ----------
> I think it might also be considered a rather risky activity to smash
> into a nuclear reactor. :)

That will make a fine epitaph for the half a million of dead
people in Manhattan, no doubt. 

Just because you're gullible and/or unable to use your imagination
it doesn't mean other people have such issues.
> There is also a proposed design which (if it works) avoids the nucleara

That's just the problem with the kooks of any color: they have solutions
for everything. If it works, maybe, eventually. Are you feeling lucky?
Can you afford to?

> proliferation problem.
> Quote:
> TerraPower, an American firm backed by Bill Gates, thinks it has the
> solution. It is working with Toshiba to design a small reactor based
> on a “travelling wave” design. Once kick-started with a tiny amount of
> enriched uranium, it would run for decades on non-enriched, depleted
> uranium, a widely available material. This will be possible because
> the nuclear reaction, eating its way through the core at the rate of
> about one centimetre a year, would gradually convert the depleted
> uranium into fissionable plutonium—in effect “breeding” high-grade
> fuel and then consuming it.
> --------------------
> BillK
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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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