This recent article posted in news website Canada.com and this This is the new video (see below ) posted on youtube by Gordon McDowell
that was part of a Washington D.C. conference “Commercializing Small Modular Reactors for Domestic and International Markets” – July 18.19 2012, are indicators that the timing is good for Canada to become involved in next generation nuclear research and development.
At the panel discussion at the July 19th evening discussion titled “Public‐Private Partnerships to Commercialize SMRs” this video was provided.
The conference (see agenda pdf) had guests covering the flip side of light water reactors (LWRs) and with a focus on small modular reactors (SMRs.) For those less up to speed on nuclear technology SMRs have become a buzz word in the nuclear industry partly because of the need to lower costs of power plants and partly because of the realization of the benefits of using small reactors for smaller power needs such as local industrial usage and smaller communities. The LWR is what we all know as American and their influence is worldwide. They form the majority of reactors in the world although Korea, India and Russia and more recently China have developed HWRs with the influence of Canada. Canada has exclusively heavy water reactors. HWRs which are better at using unenriched Uranium and is a better fit for Thorium as a solid fuel. So the conference was focused on non-LWRs such as the molten salt reactors including LFTR and DMSR and some others including the Energy Multiplier Module and the Gen4 Module.
The panelists are Dr. Tim Birtch presenting General Atomic’s Energy Multiplier Module (waste to Energy converter), John Kutsch of the Thorium Energy Alliance on molten salt reactors (MSRs LFTR and DMSR)
and Bob Prince of Gen4 Energy (formerly Hyperion) who presents the Gen4 module.
How free is the regulatory system from political influence? This is the way to judge whether a country will support nuclear. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) just took a thrashing by Harry Reid because of their unwillingness to keep Jaczko as their chairman. This is really sour grapes and all the proof we need to show how the NRC does not make decisions independent of political influence. The fact is that Jaczko was there largely to prevent advancement of nuclear energy and to guaranty that Yucca Mountain stays closed which was a condition Harry Reid made when he conditionally offered to support Obama if Obama appointed Reids choice for NRC chairman.
Rumour has it that Canada’s CNSC is supportive of Molten Salt Reactor. There is good reason for the oils sands developers in Alberta to take a serious look at SMRs and particulalrly the LFTR proposed by FLIBE Energy and the DMSR proposed by David LeBlanc. The heat processing that is available from running such a reactor is cost effective and much less harmful to the environment. With the pressure on Canada to conform to some kind of standard on CO2 emmissions it makes sense to improve the methods of oil extraction.