Plans for a new era power generation method `` small module reactor '' that downsizes the nuclear reactor of a nuclear power plant are being advanced around the world


Hainan Island has started construction of a small nuclear reactor from July 2021. A small nuclear reactor named ' Reiryu No. 1 ' is expected to have the potential to become a new model of nuclear power generation by nuclear fission in an era where clean energy is required.

The Future of Fission Reactors May Be Small - IEEE Spectrum

Linglong 1 is expected to be operational from 2026 and will be able to generate 125 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to about 40 wind turbines. However, compared to large nuclear reactors that can generate 1,000 megawatts, the amount of power generated by Linglong No. 1 is small. Still, many designers want reactors to be smaller.

One reason is that large nuclear reactors are expensive and prone to construction delays. The Voggle nuclear power plant under construction in the United States is scheduled to start operation in the first quarter of 2023, seven years behind schedule. Also, France's Flamanville nuclear power plant started operation ten years behind schedule.

Also, in about 10 years from 2009 to 2019, the cost required for nuclear power generation increased by about 26%, while the cost required for solar power generation and wind power generation plummeted.

Nevertheless, there are many voices calling for nuclear power generation, which is said to be relatively environmentally friendly compared to conventional thermal and hydroelectric power generation. However, some proponents of nuclear power are against giant reactors, and the use of multiple small, modular reactors like the Linglong No. 1 would be an appropriate way to transition to clean energy. We anticipate that there is a possibility that it can be realized in

Small reactors like Linglong No. 1 are called

small modular reactors (SMRs) and are considered cheaper to build and less prone to accidents.

What is the ``small modular nuclear reactor'' that is attracting attention as a power generation method for the new era? -GIGAZINE

At the time of writing, the SMR was in the experimental stage, and if Linglong-1 were to succeed, the Chinese government plans to use the design to power a number of construction projects, as well as a seawater desalination plant. increase.

American startup NuScale Power is developing a 77-megawatt SMR, envisioning building a huge nuclear power plant by combining up to 12 reactors. Also, NuScale Power plans to build an American factory in Idaho, USA by 2030.

by Oregon State University

However, questions about SMR have also been raised, and according to research by Stanford University and the University of British Columbia, SMR seems to generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants. Additionally, some nuclear analysts are concerned that the SMR's design could be used by malicious actors to create weapons-grade plutonium.

Nevertheless, nuclear regulatory authorities such as the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission , the UK Nuclear Regulatory Authority , and the French Nuclear Safety Authority are beginning to approve SMRs.

Most of the current large nuclear reactors use fuel containing 3 to 5% uranium 235, but SMR will need fuel containing 5 to 20% uranium 235. The latter fuel, called high content low enriched uranium (HALEU), is only sold by one company, Techsnabexport (TENEX) in Russia at the time of writing.

In the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act of the United States, approximately $ 700 million (approximately 91 billion yen) has been invested in companies conducting research to manufacture and transport HALEU in the United States. The challenge is to establish a global HALEU supply chain that is less susceptible to geopolitics.

in Science, Posted by log1r_ut