When trying to envisage the future have you ever dreamed that one day you might have your own independent nuclear power plant supplying all your energy needs?
As we can see from the picture above this piece of kit is not much bigger than a hot tub and it can be transported on a truck. A visit to their web site tells us that Hyperion Power Generation Incorporated (HPG) are the owners of this small, non-weapons grade nuclear power reactor. Invented by Dr. Otis “Pete” Peterson, in New Mexico, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory which was established in1943. HPG was awarded the exclusive license to utilize the intellectual property and develop a product that will benefit the U.S. economy and global society as a whole.
Before we get too excited they go to say that:
“The next multi-million dollar phase of work on the development of Hyperion, underwritten by private investors”
Altira Group LLC has provided the investment funds required by HPG out of the recently closed Altira Technology Fund V — a $176 Million fund focused on venture capital for energy technologies.
So it looks as though we do not have an investment opportunity at the moment however they may go public somewhere down the line.
This concept was originally conceived as a clean, affordable solution to power mining and industrial operations such as the retorting of oil sands and shale. Other applications and requests for modules now come in daily from around the globe. This takes us back to our original question in wondering just how long it will be before we can all be reasonably independent in terms of our energy needs. As we were rather curious about this idea we put a few questions to Hyperion and received the following answers as listed below from Deborah Deal Blackwell, APR Vice President, Licensing & Public Affairs
Q1 How long will it be before it is available on a commercial basis?
A1 shooting for 2013
Q2 What power generating capacity does it have?
A2 225 MW electric – 70 MW thermal
Q3 How much uranium will it use?
A3 Not much. The whole thing is no bigger than a hot tub
Q4 How many of these plants do you expect to build worldwide etc?
A4 4,000 of the first design
Q5 How much do they cost?
A5 Based on material prices today, we are looking at an initial price of $25 million per module.
Q6 Please have a guess at how much uranium 4000 would use?
A6 Fuel will be a metal compound and we are still working out how much of it will be uranium – sorry, just can’t give you a better answer right now.
Q7 Can you see the day when each industrial facility would have their own unit?
A7 Yes, but at the rate the U.S. is going, it will be 20 years if not more. Ignorance, politics, red tape and just plain laziness is getting in the way of the U.S. making the advancements our country needs in the energy area. This country is moving too slow on reacting to climate change. Those of us in the nuclear industry who understand the key role that nuclear can play in battling climate change, need to form a cohesive bipartisan intense effort to educate the public and our elected officials. It’s all hands on deck!
I bet the French incorporate SMRs (small modular reactors) into their industrial infrastructure – and hopefully they will be our SMRs! – before the U.S. does. France apparently did a good job of pulling its people together to make energy independence through nuclear a national imperative. We need to do the same.
Q8 What about a mini version suitable for the residential market – I know we are pushing it here, but if you don’t have dreams they cant come true.
A8 Again, at least 25 years away in the U.S. because politics, and fear generated by ignorance in the general population is getting in the way.
Hyperion Power Generation have assembled a team of scientists and other capable professionals who intend to develop this product for all of the good uses that we can possibly imagine.
We certainly wish them every success in their endeavours and we will watch for future developments and possible investment opportunities regarding Hyperion.
Any comments? Please feel free to add them to this article.
Have a good one.
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