☢️ Building the world's first micro-modular nuclear reactor
A micro-modular reactor is a compact, nuclear-based power source, designed to provide energy to remote areas, with minimal waste production and improved safety features.
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- World's first micro-modular reactor to be built in Chalk River, Canada.
- The new reactor could replace around 200-million litres of diesel fuel.
- A micro-modular reactor is a compact, nuclear-based power source, designed to provide energy to remote areas, with minimal waste production and improved safety features.
In a historic announcement, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) confirmed the construction of the world's first micro-modular reactor at their Chalk River site in Ontario.
A single reactor could provide power to 5,000 people for 20 years while generating only about a cubic metre of radioactive waste. This is a significant improvement over conventional nuclear reactors, with a considerable reduction in waste production.
These smaller reactors are envisioned to power remote communities, particularly in Canada's north, where access to reliable electricity can be a challenge.
A Lego-like assembly
These micro-modular reactors will be built in 90 pieces roughly the size of transport trucks, which would then be shipped to remote locations for assembly.
This will over time help drive down costs. Parts of the reactor that can be standardized and built in a factory will be subject to Wright's Law. With each doubling of total production the cost will drop by about 20 percent.
Showcasing the future
The first-ever micro-modular reactor to be built in Chalk River serves as a demonstration site. Expected to be fully operational by 2027, it will power the CNL campus, exemplifying the potential of nuclear power to replace traditional fuel sources.
By the late 2030s or 2040s, we can expect a much more significant impact of nuclear on the climate and energy security, according to CNL CEO Joe McBrearty.
Reimagining reactor safety
Based on USNC's proprietary Fully Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM®) fuel technology, the micro-modular reactor brings unprecedented safety, improved economics, and a reduced environmental impact for remote power applications.
The FCM fuel provides inherent reactor safety, containing the radioactive byproducts of fission within layered ceramic coatings, encased within a fully dense silicon carbide matrix.
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