Fuel will be enriched to between 15-19.6% because this small reactor needs more highly enriched fuel to get power levels to point of economic value. Fuel is a uranium nitride alloy. No fuel has been fabricated or tested so far. A system engineer at Hyperion said in an interview INL’s ATR is an option for testing fuel.
Hyperion Power Generation Press Release
It has been changed from uranium hydride to uranium nitride-fueled, lead bismuth-cooled, fast reactor for their ‘launch’ design.
The design that Hyperion Power intends to have licensed and manufactured first will include all of the company’s original design criteria, but is expected to take less time for regulators to review and certify than the initial concept created by Dr. Otis “Pete” Peterson during his tenure at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We have every intention of producing Dr. Peterson’s uranium hydride-fueled reactor; it is an important breakthrough technology for the nuclear power industry,” noted Deal. “However, in our research of the global market for small, modular nuclear power reactors – aka SMRs – we have found a great need for the technology. Our clients do not want to wait for regulatory systems around the globe, to learn about and be able to approve a uranium hydride system. A true SMR design, that delivers a safe, simple and small source of clean, emission-free, robust and reliable power is needed today – not years from now. As we construct and deploy this launch design, we will continue to work towards licensing Dr. Peterson’s design.”
Kept quiet until today, this initial design for the company’s small, modular, nuclear power reactor (SMR) is the first of several that have been under co-development with staff from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Hyperion Power’s market goals include the distribution of at least 4,000 of its transportable, sealed, self-contained, simple-to-operate fission-generated power units
Overnight costs are estimated by the firm to be $2,000 – $3,000 per KW capacity. The market goal is to generate electricity for < ten US cents per kWh anywhere in the world. The reactor is intended to meet requirements for dedicated power by hospitals, factories, foundries, government centers, water treatment, or irrigation and desalinization. Resource intensive uses at remote sites include mining and oil production & refining. Military facilities that cannot compromise tactical readiness relative to having enough electricity may find the small footprint of the reactor and ease of transport to be of interest.