Mini-nuke plants

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Writing at, Nick Rosen discusses micro-nuclear plants, which, the story says, could power 20,000 homes for 10 years or more.

The devices, said to be only a few feet across, would be buried well underground, have no moving parts, and be powered by low-energy uranium that would be difficult to enrich into nuclear weapons. All the steam, to run turbines, and waste would be contained underground.

The idea was developed at Los Alamos. Hyperion Power, which has leased the technology, says its first unit will be installed in 2013. The devices will go for about $25 million each.

I'm not a scientist, so I don't immediately understand the implications. Proliferation and storage of the waste long term are two of my greatest concerns, and this technology seems to address both. But if we can't agree on a safe large-scale burial site, I don't know how storing waste in dozens of little burial sites will be better.

Still, worth learning more about.

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