Monday, March 21, 2011

Traveling Wave Reactor


TerraPower’s traveling wave reactor (TWR) will offer a path to zero-emission, proliferation-resistant energy thatproduces significantly smaller amounts of nuclear waste than conventional nuclear reactors. After an initial start-up with a small amount of low-enriched material, this innovative reactor design can run for decades on depleted uranium – currently a waste byproduct of the enrichment process. An established fleet of TWRs could operate without enrichment or reprocessing for millennia. TerraPower has explored the advanced physics of this concept in detail with 21st-century computational tools and is moving forward with the overall plant design.

Out of all the destruction and devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan something that could be beneficial to our current use of nuclear power. In light of the current situation with the half melted down reactor many companies and even some governments have begun to push for new ways to create nuclear power or at least better ways to store the waste and make a safer reactor. The company TerraPower has created something they call the Traveling Wave Reactor, which you can read more about above and on their website. This reactors purpose is to use spent or depleted fuel rods to generate even more energy. At current companies have to pay large amounts of money to store, and ensure that the spent fuel rods produced by the reactors they run are well contained to prevent radio-active fallout from impacting the area around the storage sites. Now that we have a use for this nuclear trash and we do not have to store it, it will save the companies refining and using enriched uranium a large amount of money each year. This savings translates into the ability for energy prices to be lowered. With the reduced cost to produce it and the larger amount being produced, the supply goes up with a almost unchanged demand. With a higher supply it is guarantee that the cost will drop saving the consumers money. With more money in their pockets, the consumer will be more willing to go out and spend some money, stimulating the economy and helping out road to recovery. 

3 comments:

Smith said...

Great analysis. Do you think this technology will be cost effective now and in the future? Could this technology evolve into something different? Could this technology be regulated by the government?

Garrett T. said...

It's great that there is even another way to make an alternative source and reuse sources such as depleted fuel rods. I wonder if there is anyway to take examples such as this in this alternative fuels and use them in cars, not so much nuclear energy but any other kind of alternative fuel source.

jay paul said...

Nice post with awesome points! Can’t wait for the next one.

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