8. Autonomous Battery Reactors

8. Autonomous Battery Reactors - AUTONOMOUS BATTERY...

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M. Ragheb 9/8/2005 INTRODUCTION Nuclear energy provides 20 percent of the electricity produced in the USA and 16 percent throughout the world. Significant capital investment is needed to build the standard size 1,000 MWe light water cooled power plants. Most developing countries cannot add large increments of electricity to their electrical grids. They do not have large scale energy infrastructures that could accommodate conventional power plants. Systems that possess automated controls require less maintenance and provide reliable power for an extended period of time reaching 30 years before refueling or replacement could benefit them. Many of these countries are among the 187 countries that adhere to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) enacted in 1970. According to the terms of this treaty, the five nuclear weapons states: the USA, Russian Federation, UK, France and China, agreed to not transfer weapons technology to the non nuclear weapons states, and to eventually eliminate their nuclear weapons stockpiles. This is not being achieved due to the perceived strategic advantage of nuclear weapons of shielding a nation against both nuclear and conventional attack. Accordingly, many nations are attempting at building nuclear power programs with a peaceful façade but with a suspected nuclear weapons capability intention, leading to conflicts in Iraq, North Korea and Iran. The USA started an effort to control this problem through making available to developing countries an alternative that would reduce the proliferation concerns associated with the expected expanded use of nuclear energy worldwide. SELF CONTAINED REACTOR APPLICATIONS The Small Sealed, Transportable, Autonomous reactor or SSTAR reactor design would allow the USA to provide a tamper resistant reactor to non weapons states, while safeguarding sensitive nuclear technology. The nuclear fuel from the sealed reactor would be returned back to the USA for refueling or maintenance, all of this while providing a degree of dependence on the supplier nation for the vital electrical supply, providing economical and political leverage influence and leverage. Small autonomous or nuclear battery reactors providing 10-100 MWe of power are proposed for remote power applications, instead of the central power stations sizes of 1,000 MWe. An interesting application arose for the small town of Galena, Alaska. Energy to power electricity is important for the survival of Galena. Winter temperatures can dip below minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 51 degrees Celsius. Daylight is scarce because of the short days during the winter. The town is paying 28 cents/kwh for its electricity, about three times the national average. Galena is a 700 persons Athabascan Indian village on the Yukon River, located 275 miles west of Fairbanks and 550 miles northwest of Anchorage, Alaska, is powered
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8. Autonomous Battery Reactors - AUTONOMOUS BATTERY...

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