A terrorists dream come true?

  WhiteTruckMan 21:28 29 Dec 07

or the way foreward in reducing greenhouse gasses?

click here

I don't know whether to welcome the future or be afraid of it.


  PalaeoBill 21:59 29 Dec 07

Slow roast or one quick blast. Either way we get well done!

  Totally-braindead 22:06 29 Dec 07

Engineered to be fail-safe, totally automatic and will not overheat.

Thats a comfort, I was worried for a minute.

Since they say its fail-safe theres nothing to be concerned with is there?

  justme 23:15 29 Dec 07

I don't see any mention of the costs of getting rid of the reactor after its 40 years life span or where they will store the used fuel.

  Chegs ®™ 00:07 30 Dec 07

"... where they will store the used fuel."

Probably be just down the coast from me at sellafield.Its where it seems the rest of the worlds nuclear rubbish goes.

  Kemistri 00:14 30 Dec 07

200KW eh? So it should just about cope with next year's latest gaming PCs then....

You can just imagine estate agents' details now: two reception rooms, three bedrooms, en suite, double glazing, patio, reactor....

  Forum Editor 00:26 30 Dec 07

I'm not sure how one of these would be of much use to terrorists - you couldn't make any form of an explosive device from it because it contains nothing that would be of use. The Lithium-6 it contains is stable, and the quantity is very small.

There are easier ways for terroorists to do what they do.

I look forward to these reactors coming into use - half-price electricity sounds like a pretty attractive proposition, but I wonder how much the reactor costs in the first place.

  WhiteTruckMan 01:01 30 Dec 07

would be in the form of possibly the ultimate dirty bomb. I used to know some guys who had a talent for opening things up with minimal amounts of plastic explosives that had to be seen to be believed. Such skills, although hard to come by, are by no means a monopoly of the military.

But the cost has to be put into perspective. Actual energy production from them-like all nuclear plants-is completely carbon free. The (carbon)commissioning costs would probably be similar to a conventional power plant. (It should be born in mind that a reactor is a surprisingly small piece of equipment. The ones that run nuclear submarines, for instance, are about the size of a large dustbin). Presumably so many are being planned in an effort to bring financial costs down.

And maybe they will be designed for ease of a complete swapout at the end of their lifetimes.


  Forum Editor 01:37 30 Dec 07

that a reactor is a surprisingly small piece of equipment"

Except that this one measures 20 feet by six feet.

I'm not sure that even the cleverest terrorist could make a dirty bomb from one of these reactors - there wouldn't be enough radioactive material to make much of a show, would there?

I didn't realise that the reactor in a nuclear sub was as small as a dustbin - the reactor compartments are certainly pretty big. In a US Los Angeles class sumarine the reactor compartment is around 40 feet by 30 feet, and weighs 1680 tons. The reactor itself can put out 550 Megawatts, which is enough to power around half a million homes. A thing that size would certainly make a very dirty bomb.

  WhiteTruckMan 02:05 30 Dec 07

are a pretty old design, dating at least in concept back to the late 60's, with several variants. Things have come along considerably from those days. Eg: early american carriers had 8 reactors, now they have 2.

The large dustbin size figure I mentioned was told to me by a friend who is a chief on one of the trafalgars. But presumably thats without sheilding.


  laurie53 09:54 30 Dec 07

I seem to remember that when nuclear power stations were first proposed we were all going to get virtually free electricity.

Still waiting!

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