The Nuclear Reactor Gets Miniaturized

An Oregon energy startup has reengineered the nuclear power reactor. They have created a modular reactor called the “Nuscale reactor” that is 1/100th the size of a conventional reactor and far safer. Nuclear energy accounts for two-thirds of the United States’s total renewable power output, the bad news is that many of them are outdated and need to be upgraded, or are reaching the end of life.

Since the Nuscale reactor is so small, many of them can be installed in clusters to accommodate specific areas power needs. It’s also easier to encase in safety devices and content in the event of an emergency. Each Nuscale reactor is capable of outputting 60 megawatts.

When it comes to cooling, the Nuscale reactor is cooled using normal freshwater just like a traditional reactor. The way the Nuscale reactor differs is that it uses gravity and buoyancy to naturally circulate the cooling water which is why it has such a small footprint.

Although modular reactor technology like the Nuscale reactor still has a ways to go as far as getting approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the technology promises clean plentiful energy just as good as wind and solar without the pitfalls.

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