New fuel that is easy to manufacture and is capable of boosting the power output of PWR plants by 50 percent. Researchers at MIT changed the shape of the fuel from solid cylinders to hollow tubes. This added surface area that allows water to flow inside and outside the pellets, increasing heat transfer.
The efficiency of pressurized water reactor (PWRs) and boiling water reactor (BWRs) is limited to around 33 percent, because water can be heated to only a certain temperature and only a certain amount of heat can be taken out of water. If that limit were pushed higher, more heat could be extracted, and the plant would generate more energy at a lower cost.
Nanofluids — base fluids such as water interspersed with tiny particles of oxides and metals only billionths of a meter in diameter. Buongiorno’s nano-spiked water, transparent but somewhat murky, can remove up to two times more heat than ordinary water.
Here is a pdf list of global nuclear reactors. It breaks down the type of reactors. 214 reactors are PWR and generate 206 GW. 53 are PWR-WWER (russian Water-Water Energetic Reactor) and generate 35 GW. 90 are BWR and generate 79 GW. In total they make up about 80% of the global nuclear power. A 50% improvement in power generation would add 160GW of power
160GW would be more than double all of the current global renewable (not including hydroelectric) energy sources.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.