Smaller nuclear power plants

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Re: Smaller nuclear power plants

Postby Michael » 21 Oct 2009, 09:11

myatom wrote:So, can you specify more carefully what do you think is the market for the small reactor?
Or - how to build this market?


I quite frankly have no idea about the business and politics behind all this. But... going on what I have seen above in the thread, much of the obstacles seems to revolve around stiff, inefficient and expensive beurocratics. No matter here you are in the world, you need to get a permit to build. You need to have your design certified and approved. It seems that some of the biggest obstacles in getting a reactor in place is this: certification and getting the permits you need.

So if you want to build a market... streamline this process. Make it effective.

/Michael
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Re: Smaller nuclear power plants

Postby myatom » 22 Oct 2009, 18:11

Michael wrote: No matter here you are in the world, you need to get a permit to build. You need to have your design certified and approved. It seems that some of the biggest obstacles in getting a reactor in place is this: certification and getting the permits you need.

So if you want to build a market... streamline this process. Make it effective.


Yes, Michael, I know about the problem of licensing and approval. It's now the biggest obstacle and it seems is not going to change.
But, as it goes in other areas of people activity, if there is a real need in technology, if the technology can gives significant advantage to the users that users force it to overcome all obstacles.
In case of small-medium reactors I can see only the efforts of designers and manufacturers who put pressure on regulatory bodies. But no much end users pulling it from other side. Does it mean small-medium reactors are not really needed?

Who do you think could be that end users of small-medium reactors? I can mention only some big mining companies with distant mines and governments that interesting in electric supply of far region (Russian Siberia, Northern Canada, Indonesian islands, maybe Brasil?), and desalination, of course! Now neither companies nor governments do not act intensively. Maybe they still not consider this option or existing projects do not fit their needs, I don't know.
As far as I understand the idea to move small reactor to some developing countries appears because of less regulation in it.

But, except of permit, there are a number of problems with small reactors. Including technological and mostly economical uncertainties. So, to start this market somebody have to venture. And I'm trying to understand who?

My muddle thoughts about the absence of the real needs come from the real situation here in Russia. We got the project of medium size floating NPP (2 reactors) KLT-40, built on proven submarine and icebreaker technology. They got a license! Now the first vessel is under construction in a shipyard. But it happen quit expensive. And even in a big country of Russia they found only 2 sites where it can be based. And for both that sites there are alternative electricity supply option that can compete this floating reactor. But this reactor project was design to have at least 12 sites to be economically reasonable....

Of course, it can be a problem of particular project. But anyway, as we promote small reactors as a solution for wide areas of needs we need to understand the market. I asked that question cause hope somebody understand it already.
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