About the size of a Refrigerator, easily transportable, cheap to make and maintain and can produce 25 megawatts of Electricity, about 2.5% the output of a large Atomic Power-plant Reactor. They can provide electricity to towns of less than 20000 homes, production operations and even ships, including Cruise Ships. Commercially they are known as the Hyperion Power Modules, named from the company that has designed them. Small modular reactors are the “New Nuclear Option” and are made by several companies.
Atomic Energy to produce Electricity can definitely contribute to the reduction of Global Warming .Last year President Obama said that to meet growing energy needs and to prevent climate change the supply of nuclear power must be increased. Environmentalists are split on this. Some agree and some worry that aside from the possibility of another Chernobyl the nuclear waste remains radioactive for thousands of years and requires deep burial, raising another problem given that no one wants such a burial ground in one’s vicinity. On the other hand nuclear batteries produce only 2.5% of the toxic waste that a traditional nuclear power plant produces,
Nuclear Batteries can fill niches in the energy markets by providing electricity in self contained sites like hospitals, universities, military facilities. Nuclear Batteries could operate in clusters with modules added when needs increase. They are, thus, an alternative to expensive nuclear power plats and substantially help in reducing carbon emissions. Furthermore they can complement the energy production from renewable sources, wind and solar farms, by stabilizing the provision of energy when winds fall and when the sun is not always shinning.
A Nuclear Battery is so small that it can be transported in the back of a truck. This is the main fear of Green Peace International which sees an opportunity for Terrorists to hijack one and cause a meltdown. The Nuclear batteries can be shielded with heavy concrete and be buried underground so they are not vulnerable to a Terrorist attack, but when they power ships, they are.
Countries need Energy from nuclear power plants to ensure security and sustainability of supply, but the proliferation of nuclear facilities to enrich uranium, or, to reprocess plutonium, poses another danger, not of a climatic concern but of security … the creation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear Batteries can help prevent this by obviating the needs for uranium enrichment because they are ready made, turn key devices. To assure their reliability the makers of Nuclear Batteries will provide enriched uranium and arrange for the spent fuel to be collected and sold to countries that have commercial reprocessing operations for used fuel. Additionally, the reactor cores of the Nuclear Batteries will be remotely monitored. Any attempt to steal, or, divert any uranium, or, plutonium will thus be noticed and become known. Countries who want nuclear power generated energy, but also entertain thoughts of nuclear warfare capabilities, can be challenged to prove the sincerity of their desires by opting for Nuclear Batteries and letting their suppliers handle their fuel.
One thought. If World War III will be fought over water, desalination plants powered by Nuclear Batteries in every “troubled” area may help prevent it.