Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Going nuclear -- in a small way

Date:
March 6, 2014
Source:
University of Lincoln
Summary:
New research has provided a comprehensive overview of new small-scale nuclear reactors, which could be suitable candidates to cope with the world’s ever growing demand for energy. According to official estimates world energy consumption in 2035 will be more than double that of 1995. A substantial challenge for engineers and scientists over the coming decades is to develop and deploy power plants with sufficient capacity and flexibility to meet this increasing need while simultaneously reducing emissions. The new article aims to show to what extent a new type of nuclear reactor, termed the 'Small Modular Reactor' (SMR), might provide a solution to fulfil these energy needs.

New research has provided a comprehensive overview of new small-scale nuclear reactors, which could be suitable candidates to cope with the world's ever growing demand for energy.

Related Articles


A detailed assessment of a new, smaller type of nuclear reactor has been published to help policymakers decide on the best way to meet the growing demand for energy.

According to official estimates world energy consumption in 2035 will be more than double that of 1995. A substantial challenge for engineers and scientists over the coming decades is to develop and deploy power plants with sufficient capacity and flexibility to meet this increasing need while simultaneously reducing emissions.

The new research paper, published in the academic journal Progress in Nuclear Energy, aims to show to what extent a new type of nuclear reactor, termed the 'Small Modular Reactor' (SMR), might provide a solution to fulfil these energy needs.

Modern SMRs are a relatively 'new product' in the nuclear industry, being of a smaller size making it easier to implement new technical solutions and for construction purposes.

Lead author Dr Giorgio Locatelli, from the School of Engineering, University of Lincoln, UK, provides a state-of-the-art appraisal of SMRs, particularly focussing on the Light Water Reactor (LWR), detailing the economic and social limitations for their viable deployment.

Dr Locatelli said: "With fusion-based power plants not currently being considered viable for large-scale deployment for at least 40 years, other technologies must to be considered. Renewable and high efficiency combined gas-fired plants, along with nuclear power plants, are regarded as the most suitable candidates, with Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) developing as a favoured choice.

"Given the extreme relevance and complexity of the field, this paper aimed to bring together the contributions of scholars and practitioners with state-of-the-art papers and reports."

One of the main issues surrounding nuclear power is safety, particularly following the Fukushima accident.

The simplification, standardisation and compactness of SMRs allows for certain improvements on reactor safety and physical protection, although these are design specific. These improvements are primarily due to SMRs being "passive systems" that dramatically reduce the effects of human error and perform well and predictably in extreme circumstances.

Their small size makes them a good option for locations that cannot accommodate large-scale plants and they also require limited upfront capital investment.

Dr Locatelli concludes that SMRs are a suitable choice when the power to be installed is in the range of 1-3 Gigawatt Electrical (GWe). The gigawatt is equal to one billion (109) watts and is used for large power plants or power grids.

This range is mainly for newcomers to the nuclear market (such as Kenya) or private utilities (such as in the US). Large Reactors (LRs) are still preferable for markets requiring several GWe.

He said: "Considering non-financial factors, preliminary results indicate that SMRs perform better or at least as well as Large Reactors (LRs). However, the 'not in my back yard' syndrome limits the possibility of using SMRs on many sites. The social aspects of SMRs, such as the creation of new jobs, is also positive and a goal of policymakers.

"We expect that SMRs will play an important role in nuclear industry in the next decades."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Lincoln. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Giorgio Locatelli, Chris Bingham, Mauro Mancini. Small modular reactors: A comprehensive overview of their economics and strategic aspects. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 2014; 73: 75 DOI: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2014.01.010

Cite This Page:

University of Lincoln. "Going nuclear -- in a small way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306095255.htm>.
University of Lincoln. (2014, March 6). Going nuclear -- in a small way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306095255.htm
University of Lincoln. "Going nuclear -- in a small way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306095255.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Voice-Controlled GPS Helmet to Help Bikers

Voice-Controlled GPS Helmet to Help Bikers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Motorcyclists will no longer have to rely on maps or GPS systems, both of which require riders to take their eyes off the road, once a new Russian smart helmet goes on sale this summer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Architects Show Off 3D House-Building Prowess

Dutch Architects Show Off 3D House-Building Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) Dutch architects are constructing a 3D-printed canal-side home, which they hope will spark an environmental revolution in the house-building industry. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins