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Directory:Toshiba's Micro Nuclear Reactor
4S (Super-safe, Small, and Simple) Nuclear Reactor
Toshiba and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) are jointly developing a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that are designed to power large apartment buildings or small city sections. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.
The 10 MW Toshiba-designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 30 years without refueling, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.
Toshiba expects to commercialize the reactor after the mid 2010's.
- http://criepi.denken.or.jp/en - Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI)
On Dec. 27, 2007, the following was received from Toshiba in response to an invitation to come on the Free Energy Now radio series:
Dear Mr. Allan,
Thank you for contacting Toshiba's Corporate Communications Office and for inviting us to your radio show interview program.
First of all, we came to know that there are a great number of references of "micro nuclear reactor" on google search, many of the which use Toshiba logo and 4S system image with unfamiliar name "micro nuclear", unfamiliar mark and unfamiliar information.
Toshiba have tried to trace where the confusing information comes from, but we have not been successful so far. (Actually, Toshiba is not the source of the information.)
In replying to your invitation for your radio program, we are afraid that we must cordially decline the opportunity this time.
Just for your reference, I hereby attach below the outline of the 4S syste, OUR next-generation, super-small nuclear reactor system, jointly developed by Toshiba and CRIEPI.
As you will see, Unfortunately, it is premature and we are not able to provide detail information about the 4S system at this stage since the expected date of commercialization of the systems is after the mid-2010s.
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The 4S (Super-safe, Small, and Simple), jointly developed by Toshiba and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), a Japanese electric power industry R&D institute, is a new-type of highly compact nuclear power generation system with a power output of about 10-megawatt (MWe). Due to its innovative design and concept, the 4S can operate without refueling for as long as 30 years, greatly alleviating operating and maintenance costs and enhancing operational safety. This feature positions 4S as a promising alternative power solution for distributed, relatively small-scale power requirements, in regions with limited or no transmission capacity.
In 2007, Toshiba initiated the process for preliminary review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the 4S system, a next-generation, super-small nuclear reactor system, with a view to securing commercialization of the system.
The targeted date of commercialization of the 4S system is after the mid-2010s.
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Thank you very much again for your invitation and understanding.
How it Works
Quoting (excerpt) from http://www.atomicinsights.com/AI_03-20-05.html
The Toshiba 4S has been described in some promotional articles as a nuclear battery, but as attractive as the plant is, that is too simplistic a description. The plant is a small, sodium cooled fast reactor with a rather technologically advanced, compact steam turbine secondary system.
The core heat source for this plant is quite compact; it is only about 0.7 meters in diameter and about 2 meters tall. This section of the plant would be at the bottom of the 30 meter deep excavation inside a sealed cylinder, a location that helps to provide the driving force needed for natural circulation cooling and that provides an impressive level of nuclear material security. The active core material is a metallic alloy of uranium, plutonium and zirconium. The material has been extensively tested but it has not been commercially produced and used as a reactor fuel.
The 30 year lifetime for the core is achieved through a variety of mechanisms. The core is a metallic alloy cooled by sodium and the overall reactivity is controlled through the use of a moveable reflector instead of neutron absorbing control rods. Because of these features, which differ from those of conventional water cooled reactor technology, more of the neutrons that are released by fission either cause a fission or are absorbed by fertile materials like uranium 238. When fertile materials absorb neutrons, they become fissile and useful as fuel the next time that they are struck by a neutron. It is unclear from available technical materials whether or not the 4S actually produces more fuel than it uses - that is, whether or not it is a breeder reactor - but it is clear that the efficient use of neutrons for converting non fuel materials into fuel materials helps to increase its projected lifetime.
Company: Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI)
In the News
- Toshiba Builds Ultra-Small Nuclear Reactor - Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs. (Slashdot; December 20, 2007)
- Toshiba's Home Nuclear Fusion Reactor - If we lived in a world where everyone was (a) smart and (b) trustworthy, Toshiba's micro-sized nuclear ... (Wired News; December 18, 2007)
- Toshiba Builds Houshold Nuclear Reactor - Toshiba has developed a new class of nuclear reactor 100 times smaller than a standard reactor. These micro sized nuclear reactors could be used to power ... (AZoBuild, Australia; Dec. 18, 2007)
- Toshiba Builds Micro Nuclear Reactor - An entirely new class of Nuclear Power Reactor has been designed to fill a niche that could power everything from small communities to businesses. ... (ShortNews.com, Germany; Dec. 18, 2007)
- Toshiba Builds 100x Smaller Micro Nuclear Reactor(NextEnergyNews; Dec. 17, 2007)
- Nuclear Power for Galena, Alaska - Technical description of Toshiba 4S; Challenges Faced by Toshiba 4S. (Atomic Insights; March 20, 2005)
This is actually a very very old story.
- Mini nuclear power plant proposals...(BBC news; Aug. 22, 2001)
- Mini nuclear reactor could power apartment blocks...(New Scientist technology; Aug 22 2001)
See Discussion page
Politics will Prevent US Introduction
On Dec. 28, 2007, Daniel Bowers wrote:
It is a fission reactor using uranium/ plutonium and it will never make it into the American market due to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission permitting process. I am pretty sure that fusion systems fall under the NRC regulations. This article talks about the financial constraints due to regulations which are figured around a 1Gw system. 46-60 months of processing.
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