Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Friendly Neighborhood Nuclear Reactor


5 Years. That is the amount of time that it will take miniature nuclear reactors to be ready for mass production say Los Alamos scientists. This is the same group that developed the first nuclear bomb so their claim carries a little more weight than your average mad scientist. I would say a few megatons more.

A company called Hyperion Power Generation has licensed the technology from the U.S. government. These $25,000,000 "personal" nuclear reactors have the power to supply energy to 10,000 homes and will only require fueling once every 7 to 10 years. The radioactive core is so weak, it would be very difficult to make a weapon out of it if that is your concern. This is why it has to be replaced so quickly.

These nuclear bomb shelters, so to speak, are encased in cement, buried deep underground and do not contain any moving parts. So by itself, it won't become a mini-Chernobyl. Though with motivation and a LOT of money and resources, this IS possible.

I don't quite know what to think about this. On the one hand it seems like an answer to many of our energy problems. Of course this will cause as many problems as it will solve. There will be leaks and there will be deaths. Is this avoidable? Will our ever growing hunger for electric power be quenched?

I must also consider the potential threat. Will tiny little bombs in every neighborhood be too much for a person with twisted intentions to resist? Bad people will stop and nothing and the previously considered impossible has been done.


Thoughts?

Story Links
Switched
The Guardian
ZD Net

5 comments:

Iris said...

Well the bible does say the earth will be destroyed by fire. Maybe a big explosion. Wonder what kind of security they will have available, if any, to protect.

Sarah Jane said...

I think it'll be just like The Simpsons: after a nuclear meltdown we'll all die but then in the next episode we'll live like nothing happened.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Sorry HL, off topic but:

You've been tagged. Check out this link to find out what that means:

http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/2008/11/tagged.html

Have fun ... and don't forget to let me know when you've completed your 8!

Argentum Vulgaris
http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/

HektikLyfe said...

>Iris: Perhaps this has already happened. The dinosaurs were possibly wiped out by a fiery meteor's climate change. I don't think they will be providing ANY security. Or as much security as your average fire hydrant. If someone notices someone digging around it they will start asking questions.

>Sarah Jane: Either that or too mentally retarded to notice the fact that we have six legs.

>Argentum: I will get right on it.

Douglas said...

I was unaware of this blog, or this particular piece, until I saw in mentioned in The Coffee Shop.
These would not be little bombs. Unless you define bomb as something that explodes in very slow motion. I would worry about the unintended consequences and the random failure of all things "secure", however.
Leakage of any sort might be a problem. Especially for groundwater. They also would not work in my neck of the woods because, well, we have a very high water table. We cannot even have cellars because of this.

Don't we have enough problems with radon?