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Tuesday, October 06, 2009



Courtesy of Al Fin & Next Big Future I have scooped the entire UK media. Clearly not that difficult to do.

I have previously discussed the mass production of small scale nuclear plants designed by Hyperion. Well one of the factories that will be mass producing small nuclear plants for the whole world will be in Britain:

Hyperion Power Generation plans to build a small reactor manufacturing plant in the United Kingdom within the next two years. The firm says it plans to use the existing UK supply chain to build its 70MWt (27MWe)*, self-regulating reactor and that the UK will be its ‘launch pad’ for the European market.

“This week we’ve made the decision as a company to commit to building a manufacturing plant in the UK. Our commitment is to use the UK as a launching pad for Europe and to use the UK supply chain,” Hyperion Power Generation CEO John (Grizz) Deal told NEI in London on 30 September.

Hyperion has chosen the UK to be its European manufacturing hub because of its active nuclear community, trained staff and existing infrastructure.

“We’ve got so much demand that we need to go ahead and start planning our manufacturing facilities,” he said.

“We have customer commitments for over a hundred units already. We’re going to be very busy! In fact, we’re now scheduling deliveries out to 2018-2020 even though we expect to go to market in the 2013-2014 timeframe.”

Hyperion plans to build three manufacturing facilities: one in the USA to support the North and Latin America markets, and a third in Asia, probably Japan. Although the firm hasn’t made a decision on where its UK plant will be located, it’s likely to be near existing nuclear facilities, which are clustered around the Sellafield site in Cumbria, northeast England...

Hyperion has had several enquiries from people who want to use its reactor as a source of baseload power for wind projects... Basically putting up a windmill with government grants & then selling the nuclear electricity at multiples of the cost because it is windpower. There are a bunch of windmills a mile from Hunterston nuclear plant. I wonder if they have thought of buying them up & reclassifying themselves as a windmillery with nuclear back-up ;-)

Hyperion expects to submit its design certification application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission ‘within the next year’. It also plans to get its design licensed in the UK.

“We understand the process in the UK and we have sufficient customer demand. We will be applying to the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. We’ve not had conversations with them formally because you need to get your licence application together but... within about a year or so we will be going to the NII and talking to them about the generic design assessment process.”

In terms of cost the reactor itself will cost approximately $30 million Deal says that the firm is committed to generating electricity for less than 10 cents/kWh. “If you look in terms of reactor cost, plus plant size it comes out to be $2000/kW....

This, on a smaller scale, would work like the proposal I made that Britain should, investing the money the Luddites want to waste on decommissioning, create a national industry as the world's major supplier of full size off the shelf nuclear reactors. The Hyperion design is not that & indeed at 10c a unit is not competitive with full sized reactors, though reading between the lines many such reactors sited together would be much cheaper & more than competitive with most British power generation.

Al says
Hyperion is doing something very clever: They plan to get their design licensed in the UK, to allow UK production and international delivery. This bypasses the exorbitant US licensing fees for new reactor designs.
When you consider that Britain is heading for blackouts by as early as 2012 purely because of the anti-nuclear Ludditry of the British government it should be a matter of some pride that, idiots as our politicians certainly are, there are moments when they aren't quite as destructive as some foreigners.

*MWt is the amount of heat released, MWe is the amount of electricity making this a creditable 40% efficiency. MWe is the important figure.

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