Posts Tagged small reactors
A Special note from John Wheeler:
Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States – the day we stop to reflect about the men and women of our armed forces, to acknowledge their many sacrifices, and to thank them for their service to our country. The day holds special significance for me personally because of the many, many members of my family and close friends who are currently serving in the military or who have served in the past. I have close family members who have served during every armed conflict since World War II, and probably earlier ones too if I knew that history. So to the veterans in my family; Mark, Elizabeth, Jake, and Bill, if you happen to listen to this show – this is a shout out to you and to all of your fellow soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, coast guardsmen, and merchant mariners – THANK YOU for your service. The world is a safer place because of your hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. And to my father Johnny and step-father Charlie who are no longer with us, you’re in my thoughts today.
Because it’s Veteran’s Day, I thought it fitting for this show to focus on nuclear energy as it relates to potential uses in the military. At the Thorium Energy Alliance Conference in October I had the pleasure to meet Col. Paul Roege from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. He spoke about the military’s rising use of energy in combat and the problems this energy intensity creates for soldiers tasked with protecting the our supply chains. By using a more dense energy source the military can reduce the amount of material they need to transport, and that will in turn save lives, lots of lives! This is why the military is considering small mobile reactors.
I am about to head out on a little adventure that I’ll tell you more about in a few minutes. My bags are packed and I need to be out the door in 55 minutes.
We may be seeing the early beginnings of a fundamental shift in the commercial nuclear industry away from the one-size-fits-all approach where bigger is better. In the last few weeks there have been some interesting developments associated with small reactors and at the same time more large reactor projects are being put on hold. Read the rest of this entry »
The NRC is considering a change to their fee structure for small reactors, and invited public comment. Here is a copy of the letter I sent.
Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff
Subject: Comments on the Proposed Changes to Licensing Fees for Small Reactors
To Whom It May Concern:
I graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a Bachelors Degree in Marine Engineering with a concentration in Nuclear Engineering. I have more than 20 years of experience operating nuclear reactors for the US Navy and in the commercial power industry. I was Engineering Office of the Watch and Plant Engineer qualified at the S3G nuclear prototype, and I have held Senior Reactor Operator Licenses at the Turkey Point and Indian Point nuclear plants. Having operated both small and large reactors, I can speak from personal experience that small reactors can be designed, built, and operated with equal certainty and safety as large power reactors. In fact, small reactors have many advantages over large reactors that can be used to increase safety margins if the designer so chooses. Examples include natural circulation, air-cooled decay heat removal, and enhanced security features. From my informed point of view there is no technical basis for concern that small reactors pose excessive risk to public health and safety.