Nuclear Power not for destruction, this time – to power the world.
While there is clamor around the Globe over the huge power requirement for Bitcoin farming and the colonies being set up to meet the future demands of having everything on blockchain technology, the new ways of generating power are also being thought of constantly and rigorously much more than ever before.
SpaceX Engineers did it again!
Radiant founder and CEO Doug Bernauer had worked on developing energy sources for the future Mars colony during his tenure with SpaceX. He had carried out extensive research into microreactors for Mars. He thought of microreactors & founded Radiant because he saw an opportunity to develop a power source here on earth. Bernauer founded Radiant along with other two colleagues from SpaceX when they thought of the idea of developing the first power generation system that could be taken anywhere. They just thought it’s going to be an exciting one.
Money is required to turn your concepts into reality. Especially when the concept is unique, money pours in from all directions. In their case, it happened when they were able to pitch their concept well, of developing a clean energy alternative to fossil fuels for military and commercial applications, to angel investors who pumped in $1,2 Million.
Not only this, the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) has wholeheartedly offered to test Radiant developed portable nuclear microreactor at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Idaho National Laboratory is one of the national laboratories of the United States Department of Energy and is managed by the Battelle Energy Alliance.
According to Bernauer, the US Department of Defence(DOD) is likely to be their prime customer, because DOD is exploring operationally easy ways of powering their Military/Forward Bases. This would be the scenario all around the world. All the major military powers will be lined up to get the product placed. Having operating life of 4-8 years, set up time of 72 hours on-site Radiant is likely to get a bigger leap.
Radiant microreactors are designed in such a way that it can power about 1,000 homes continuously for 4-8 years. Even the ease of shipping has been thought of, the microreactors can be transported by all the three modes i.e air, ship & road.
What makes Radiant micro nuclear reactor reliable is the background and work of the Radiant team in similar applications and their background of being in SpaceX. The Radiant team has put aerospace technology, software development applications into a nuclear field which has always remained highly maligned and scary.
What are nuclear microreactors?
Microreactor is a small nuclear reactor that can work as a micro powerhouse. All of us have definitely heard or read about Nuclear Power Plants which have reactors as one of the vital units. Microreactors are clean and having ensured the safety factors, their emergence as the best alternative to solar, wind power, and diesel is bound to take a toll.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) defines “small” as under 300MWe and up to about 700MWe as “medium”. Together they have been referred to by IAEA as small and medium reactors(SMR’s). For the units under 15MWe, a subcategory of very small reactors-VSMRs has been proposed for certain applications.
Portable microreactors are designed and most suited for remote locations, military installations. Once transported, they don’t rely on a continuous supply of fuel for their operation. On the other hand, once charged, it can run for years together.
EGP-6 is the world’s smallest commercial nuclear reactor which was commissioned in 1974. It produces 11MWe and was developed by Russians.
SMR developments are moving fast in western counties due to initiatives taken by private investors, entrepreneurs who see their business prospects, community service, and zeal to impart better energy solutions to the whole world. They are in a way breaking into a stronghold of Government-owned Nuclear Power Plants with massive investments and acting as the regulatory authority in their respective countries.
According to media reports, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) had expressed its intent to construct an Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) Micro Modular Reactors on its campus. Here again, UIUC had pitched the clean energy goals and significant contribution to decarbonization efforts.
A technical report published in OSIT.GOV, titled ‘Global Market Analysis of Microreactors’, focuses on the future global microreactor market and the potential it holds. They have analyzed the potential market in 63 countries.
To conclude, Nuclear Energy will now be harnessed to bring light and power to the whole world, NOT to destroy the world.