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Nuclear Plant

Where to go to get a small nuclear power plant.

Offered by Mike.

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding small nuclear power plants.

There has been much interest of late in the use of small reactors to provide electricity to local communities. As yet, there are no commercially available power plants with capacities as low as 10MWe. The first generation of nuclear plants had small capacities (up to about 40 MWe), but the trend since these were built has been to make reactors bigger and bigger. Although there are many small research reactors, they are not configured for the production of electricity - they are purely for examining the fission process. There are however, several projects involved in the development of small reactors for power generation. You may find the following paper presented at the 23rd UI Symposium (1998) of interest: "The role of small and medium-sized reactors" by Jurgen Kupitz and Victor M. Mourogov. You may like to contact Mr Kupitz, who is Head of Nuclear Power at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). His contact details are:

Room A2570, PO Box 100
Tel: +43 1 2600 22814
Fax: +43 1 2600 29598

One particular company, Eskom of South Africa, has introduced a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) with a capacity of 100 MWe. They aim to sell the plants throughout Africa and other developing regions. You may wish to discuss your interest with them. Their contact details are:

PO Box 1091
Johannesburg 2000
South Africa
Tel: +27 11 800 8111
Fax: +27 11 800 5771

There is 10 MWe demonstration modular pebble bed reactor under construction at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology (INET) of Tsinghua University, China.

Hope this information is of use to you.

Yours sincerely,

Warwick S.A. Pipe
Information Officer

Uranium Institute
12th Floor, Bowater House West,
114 Knightsbridge
London SW1X 7LJ

Tel: (44) 171 225 0303
Fax: (44) 171 225 0308