The UK's Small Modular Reactor Competition

Let's talk about something other than Brexit and the gay club shootings.
The UK's Small Modular Reactor Competition
"The UK government has launched a competition to select a design of a small modular reactor (SMR) for future deployment in the UK. The idea behind SMRs is that they can be factory built and stamped out like aircraft and transported to location on the back of a truck. With thirty-three companies / designs on the shortlist, this looks like the process could take a while to complete"
http://euanmearns.com/the-uks-small-modular-reactor-competition/
An interesting read. The idea of lots of small reactors distributed widely is appealing. It gives redundancy, means that spares for only one type of reactor needs to be held, and training is simplified.
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On Wednesday, 15 June 2016 18:57:07 UTC+1, Mike Tomlinson wrote:

And more chances of a cock up. More sources of radio active material for terrorist dirty bomb.
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On Thursday, 16 June 2016 07:42:50 UTC+1, harry wrote:

So that's the gay club sorted....

Is that because gay sex is dirty, but I can;t yet see a link to brexit.
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I knew it was you who wrote the even before i looked see who had;!....
How sadly predictable:((...
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On 17/06/16 16:04, tony sayer wrote:

Well yes.
Of course te reactors are generally 'sealed fir life' so its pretty hard to actually get he material out without some pretty specialised kit, and you would either have to do that onsite, or steal the whole 1000 tonne reactor....
And if you start dismantling a scrammed reactor, you have better be quick or very protected, cos the gamma is gonna fry you in an hour
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Perhaps harry, with all his nuclear expertise, can explain how to get radioactive stuff out (without killing yourself, that is).
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On 6/17/2016 4:22 PM, Tim Streater wrote:

I'm pretty relaxed about terrorists taking on either a full sized or a small modular reactor. Knocking any power station off the grid is pretty easy of course, but I reckon there are far softer targets around than a reactor pressure vessel (or other sensitive parts). And I think we can be reasonably sure that anyone googling too assiduously for details will get ....noticed.
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On 17/06/2016 16:22, Tim Streater wrote:

Its obvious, you blow it up with a nuke.
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scribeth thus

Of course he can, you use disposable immigrants and keep well away yourself.
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I suggested this years ago, using designs originally intended for submarines and ships.
Wheels reinvented while you wait. Brian
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Brian Gaff wrote:

Probably the Rolls Royce one is based on their sub reactor?
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On 16-Jun-16 9:03 AM, Brian Gaff wrote:

In the 1970s, the Soviet Union built a series of remote lighthouses along their northern coast, which ran off individual subcritical reactors.
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Nightjar wrote:

Yes, but with enough juice for a light bulb ...
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator#Terrestrial>
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Andy Burns wrote:

These were used in desert regions where solar panels with back up batteries suffered from dust problems. I went to a lecture on them in the 60s. Also used in spacecraft for deep space long journeys where solar panels could not generate enough power.
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On 16-Jun-16 9:58 AM, Andy Burns wrote:

Isn't a light bulb basically all that a lighthouse needs?
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wrote:

Bulb wattages vary widely. Here's a big one of 3 kW http://tinyurl.com/hdbxwl5 . But modern LED arrays probably use much less. But in older lighthouses, you also needed to supply the power for turning the huge (and technically and aesthetically rather beautiful IMO*) Fresnel lens systems**. Although the bigger ones typically weighed several tons, they floated on a bath of mercury so actually required very little effort to turn them once the initial inertia had been overcome***. In older, manned lighthouses, this was manpower, literally. The lighthouse keepers would regularly (every few hours) have to wind up a falling-weight system that rotated the lens (think Grandfather clock), but later, on unmanned lighthouses the power had to come from another source, usually electric, from diesel generators and batteries IIRC.
* Images here http://tinyurl.com/z2kpsu8 The bigger and heavier ones stand several feet high.
** A rotating lens system was essential, to give the appropriate number of flashes per minute that identified the particular lighthouse, rather than just switching the lamp on and off repeatedly, which as we all know, shortens the life of the bulb dramatically. The Fresnel lenses were very efficient at gathering the maximum amount of light from the bulb and focusing it where needed. Ranges were typically 20 miles or so, depending on lighthouse height, bulb power and atmospheric conditions.
*** There used to be the national lighthouse museum run by Trinity House in Penzance some years ago, and they had several in a range of sizes. The biggest floated in a mercury bath and could be turned with one finger. But Trinity House closed the museum in 2005 and I think the collection was broken up and dispersed. An absolute tragedy and disgrace!
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On 17-Jun-16 9:49 AM, Chris Hogg wrote:

Although they are described as lighthouses, the vast majority of the Soviet nuclear powered lights were little more than navigation beacons.
There is one that often appears in photos, which does have all the gubbins of a full blown lighthouse and that has radiation warnings, but it also has diesel generators and large fuel tanks, so the reactor was obviously not there to run the light. Perhaps it ran a backup system to call for attention if the main power failed.
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On 17/06/2016 09:09, Nightjar wrote:

Not a very powerful light bulb, though, according to the figures on WP. Even allowing for it flashing on and off, so it's not powered all the time, you are looking at a couple of hundred watts, maximum.
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in most light houses, 'flashing' is created by a revolving lens assembly. That revolving would need a motor - more power.
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On 17/06/2016 10:07, charles wrote:

True, indeed. So, I don't see how one of these generators could produce anything like enough power? They seem to be in the range 10-100 watts.
Solar power makes more sense nowadays, even with redundancy built in to allow for degradation due to dust build up.
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