December 20, 2007
Toshiba’s “Micro Nuclear” reactor may power your complex
The concept of nuclear reactors powering our homes has been around for a while. Apparently Toshiba is jumping on to this bandwagon; however it is not clear whether they will commercialize this project. Unlike the one designed by Hyperion Power Generation (which can power a 25,000-home community for at least five years) Toshiba’s Micro Nuclear reactors are designed to power a single apartment building or city block. Toshiba’s reactor measures a mere 20-foot by 6-feet and seems more elaborate than the bathtub-sized ones of Hyperion. The 200 kilowatt reactor is fully automatic like the Hyperion and is fail-safe and self-sustaining. It uses special liquid lithium-6 reservoirs instead of traditional control rods, and can last up to 40 years, making energy for about 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
Toshiba has been testing the reactors since 2005, and plan on installing its first reactor in Japan in 2008, with marketing to Europe and America in 2009.