The standard procedure at APR for the Carnival is a guessing game -- I present an illustration from my archives, and ask you to guess what it is. Here's this Carnival's photo .... "What is this?"
Since I have the feeling that this illustration will at least in part be fairly obvious to some of the more experienced readers, there's no hint this week. The answer - and more - after the Carnival entries.
Nuke Power Talk - Gail Marcus
Areva expects Japan over the next few year to restart two-thirds of its atomic plants that were idled after the 2011 Fukushima accident. Half a dozen reactors may restart by the end of this year in addition to the two that resumed operations in 2012.
Nuclear fusion is one of the main topics at Nextbigfuture. I have summarized the state of nuclear fusion research before. A notable summary was made three years ago in mid-2010. I believed at the time that there could be multiple successful nuclear fusion project vying for commercial markets by 2018. Progress appears to be going a bit more slowly than previously hoped, but there are several possible projects (General Fusion, John Slough small space propulsion nuclear fusion system, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics - if they work out metal contamination and other issues and scale power) that could demonstrate net energy gain in the next couple of years.
Atomic Power Review Note: Regarding the Yes Vermont Yankee post linked and described above... Just how many times in this post-Fukushima world would one EVER expect to find any group, anywhere, that could possibly justify campaigning AGAINST adding a back up diesel generator at a nuclear plant site?
Things Worse Than Nuclear Power ... "by a couple of M.I.T. engineers!"
Ten Cool Things About Nuclear Waste
This provocatively-titled post will get readers thinking about radioactive waste -- and perhaps most specifically spent nuclear fuel -- in a whole new light. What if we thought of it as a resource, instead of something to be submerged, then contained, then buried? And how safe is it when we follow the normal (non-recycling) disposal procedure, anyway?
That's it for this week's lineup of attractions at the Carnival. All that's left is to tell you what that illustration you saw is!
The illustration is from an unclassified booklet titled "Army Nuclear Power Program," published for the Associate Engineer Officers Course by The Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia in April 1958. Illustrated is the original conception for the field deployment / site construction of the ALPR or Argonne Low Power Reactor design as a part of the DEW (Defense Early Warning) system of radar stations monitoring potential Soviet overflight of the North Pole, en route to attack on the United States with nuclear weapons.
The ALPR prototype was under construction as the booklet went to press. The descriptive text for the illustration is as follows:
"Argonne Low Power Reactor. To meet the requirement for a small plant for use at smaller Arctic installations such as DEW-line stations, the Argonne Low Power Reactor is now under development by the AEC. A boiling water reactor along with the turbine generator and air-cooled condenser are housed in a 38-foot diameter cylinder which is adjacent to the operational area and living quarters as shown in Figure 3. Construction of the prototype at the National Reactor Testing Station, Arco, Idaho is about 60% complete and is scheduled for completion late this spring."
As most will already know, ALPR was completed and operated, and was later redesignated as the SL-1 plant. Operation of the plant was taken over by Combustion Engineering and the plant was used for the training of not only Army but other operators (including some who would operate the nuclear plant on board N. S. Savannah.)
The illustration depicts, at the left, the plant as described. Visible in addition to the reactor lower center of the building are the turbine-generator at operating floor level (which in ALPR was supplied by Worthington Corporation), the air cooled condenser space above the operating floor, electrical distribution panels to the left side of the operating floor, and even the right-angle-drive Control Rod Drive Mechanisms (supplied by ALCO Products, who was trying at that time to develop such devices as essentially standard for small reactors.) The domed structure at center contains the radar; the semi-tubular and sealed / weatherproofed structure running along the site, connecting the reactor building, radar, and of course containing crew quarters, living arrangements and necessities, and operating spaces is of particular interest - no doubt tailored to the extremely hostile environment.
The booklet contains illustrations of other projects, including the following interesting concept.
From the booklet: "Gas Cooled Reactor for Trailer Mounted Plant. A gas-cooled reactor for mobile plants employing closed-cycle gas turbines is now under development. The AEC has contracted for the design, construction, and operation of a gas-cooled reactor experiment at Arco, Idaho. Concurrent research and development is being conducted by the Corps of Engineers on a closed-cycle gas-turbine test facility under construction at the Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories. These experiments will furnish engineering data leading to the design of a prototype plant having a capacity of several hundred KW and capable of being transported on a 25-ton trailer similar to the one shown in Figure 4."
Other concepts described in the booklet include some that were built --- the section on "Barge Mounted Plants" did carry out as the nuclear plant - barge STURGIS --- while others, such as the "Land Train" for logistic supply using many vehicles connected by cables to a mobile nuclear plant did not reach anything like prototype stage.
There is indeed a reason I've picked this booklet, and these smaller reactor concepts, for this week's Carnival. In the coming days, I'll be attending the Platts Small Modular Reactors Conference in Washington, D. C. on behalf of Fuel Cycle Week. The plants you see depicted here on this page were among the earliest that used concepts similar to those being pushed for the new SMR plants... these being deployment for other-than-base load commercial opportunities, truck-transportable size, and use much nearer to populated centers.... or in some cases, use exceedingly far away from ANY populated center. It's fascinating to see the distant ancestors of the present SMR concepts, and realize that what's really changed is the technology and commitment to safety, instead of the notions for possible commercial (or military) use for the plants as-built.
Thanks for reading this week's Carnival! I hope you've enjoyed it.
7:00 PM Eastern 5/26/2013
ATOMIC POWER REVIEW