A recurring theme for the six hour marathon meeting was that technical issues are processed far too slowly by the NRC. The NRC has been delaying their announcements about conclusions drawn from the Fukushima events for two months. The delays affect progress and affect decisions regarding nuclear energy projects. Their procedures for investigating the risks or the promise of innovations take months or years to reach their conclusions and even then reveal a lack of understanding of the actual risks and seem to measure their decisions based on the temperature of the general fever of doubt by the public.
Per Peterson, one of the only highly technically qualified people on the BRC, raised the point about the need for more qualified technical staff as did some of the other commissioners in their own way.
Next Big Future submissions
1) The Indian Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), under construction at Kalpakkam, near Chennai, is “a unique reactor” which does not require water for emergency cooling of its nuclear fuel core in the case of an accident, said Baldev Raj, Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam. The 500 MWe PFBR will be commissioned in 2012. The project is running several months behind a previously scheduled Sept, 2011 start date.
India has 6 more 500 MW breeders queued up after this one and then will shift to 1200 MWe breeders.
In 2010 AKME-Engineering contracted with Atomenergoproekt to design the pilot SVBR-100 (factory mass produced breeder reactor), with the IPPE. Construction is scheduled to take 42 months, from 2013.
Beloyarsk 4 880 MWe breeder should complete in 2014.
China has bought two of the BN-800 breeders.
China has its own breeder program
Currently working fast neutron reactors in Russia, Japan, China and India
BN600 working in Russia for over 25 years and will keep operating until the BN-800 is done
Monju 280 MW is back again since mid-2010
China has a 20MW fast breeder
India has a small test fast breeder too.
China has funded a thorium molten salt reactor program from the China Academy of science. The academy of science has a $3 billion a year budget and growing. The Thorium MSR is one of several projects of the academy
3) Congressional budget office analyses the cost effectiveness of nuclear powered destroyers, amphibious assault ships and amphibious dock landing ships. Makes the case for 30-60 more nuclear powered ships over the next 4 decades.
4) China will export reactors to Pakistan (already finished one), Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and more countries. China is also starting up two uranium mines that will produce about 1000-2000 tons per year.