Interesting comment. But there's nothing special about concrete walls
6m thick and 70m tall; many modern dams have them of comparable size.
The idea of smaller nukes but more of them is interesting, a bit like
the coal-fired power stations of old, where they were widely
distributed. But no doubt there would be opposition, so bigger and
fewer is to some extent a reaction to that opposition: you have fewer
planning battles to fight.
Creating a concrete mass of that sort of size is, however, challenging.
There is a conflict between avoiding overheating from the curing process
and maintaining the pour to ensure that the mass is homogeneous.
Micro nukes make sense where power is needed in remote locations. They
make less sense as a distributed generation network.
I'm a senior undergraduate students in Toronto. I like Miami's sunbath, and
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The major costs (and problems) all seem to stem from the expensive
containment structure required of the classic cold war based design.
It staggers me that the nuclear energy industry is still pursuing
such follies which can all be avoided by the use of the almost equally
ancient but superior MSR based technology first tested out in the 60s
at the Oakridge facility.
Apparently, the phrase, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't
make him drink." seems to apply in spades in this case.
I find it hard to believe that the promise of MSR (in the form of
LFTR) of inherently safer by design reactors and the savings on
construction costs of a now redundent massive pressure containment
building is, even now, still being studiously ignored.
 The percieved need for a massively strong containment building
around the reactor core to protect against terrorist attacks is a much
cheaper add-on when you don't have to contain the much larger volume
required by the cold war designs.
In the current edition of Professional Engineering the guy who has just
been given £100k of taxpayers' money for a feasibility study on them
says "the MSR is the best out of the six Gen IV options". Well he would
say that, wouldn't he; but he doesn't explain *why* it might be the best.
As an aside, the containment vessel on light water reactors isn't to
keep terrorists out, it's to protect against internal overpressure if
hot pressurised water is released. Only serious military hardware is
going to breach a secondary containment, and that really won't matter
much unless the primary containment is breached as well. An A380 will
just bounce off.
I think you're being a little harsh. There's plenty of MSR activity
going on (see
which to some extent may be part of the problem. Too many designs to
choose from, with, as yet, no front runners emerging to concentrate on
and start a new generation (oops, sorry) of generator designs.
My point was that there being no need of such a containment vessel
for the sake of high pressure steam release accidents in a LFTR
design, means that the 'protection dome' against a terrorist aimed
A380 can be a much smaller and cheaper add-on to the design.
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