Nuclear energy is a sensitive issue on which opinions differ. Many believe this energy is dirty, problematic and costly, and the 2011 Fukushima disaster proved to the world how unsafe nuclear power plants can be. The melting of the Fukushima nuclear power plant was the worst nuclear disaster since Ukraine’s Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.
On the other hand, humans still need nuclear energy. Nuclear energy, for example, has reduced Britain’s dependence on fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil, which have limited resources. At the same time, nuclear energy is a more reliable source because compared to the consumption of carbon fuels, the amount of nuclear energy produced will be much higher, which will result in energy production at a lower cost and less waste.
British Treasurer George Osborne wants his country to become a world leader in advanced nuclear technology. Part of this program requires 250 250 million in R&D to be able to excel in the development of small modular reactors (SMRs).
Osborne recently funded a tender for the most expensive design in the country of small modular reactors. The government also announced a roadmap for the delivery of small modular reactors later this year and will allocate at least میلیون 30 million to develop advanced nuclear skills.
All of this will pave the way for the construction of one of the world’s first small modular reactors in the UK in the 2020s.
Given the budget allocated, it is clear that SMR is very important for the government, and the reason for this is that experts have stated that small nuclear reactors can be the future of the world of low-carbon consumption.
What is a small nuclear reactor?
Small modular reactors are in fact the same as the small large conventional reactors. The International Atomic Energy Agency has classified reactors that produce up to 300 megawatts of electricity into small reactors. That energy is enough to run 428,000 700-watt washing machines. In comparison, large reactors produce about 1,000 megawatts of electricity, which is more than three times the amount produced in small reactors.
Each person in the UK consumes an average of 226 watts of electricity per year, and a small modular reactor can supply 226 watts of electricity for about one million people.
In comparison, the largest wind turbine installed in Denmark, which generally operates at 26% of its production capacity, generates electricity for 9203 people, which shows a big difference with SMR.
On the other hand, a huge nuclear power plant at point C Hinckley is to be built in the next decade, which will have a capacity of 3,200 megawatts. The plant will be able to power 14 million people, more than ten times the size of a small modular reactor. But the advantage of SMR is one ease of installation and one is availability for smaller countries.
Perhaps the main advantage of SMR compared to large reactors is low cost. The cost of setting up these reactors is very low and it is attractive and low risk for investors.
Another advantage of small to large reactors is that most countries have equipment that can withstand smaller loads and their national grid can not withstand large loads of large power plants and if there are large power plants, the national grid will be out of order. Falls. As a result, SMRs are very suitable for such countries.
The modular design of SMRs means that the entire reactor can be built and assembled in one plant and moved relatively easily to its original location. This is ideal for hard-to-reach places that may not have adequate factory facilities.
SMRs are also highly secure, including natural cooling through an underground mechanism that can operate even without electricity because the main cooling system uses natural airflow and operates without any pumps. This protects small reactors against nuclear melting (an unfortunate event that occurred in 2011 due to the tsunami in Japan).
Another advantage is that the location of the reactor can be determined from the ground, which is very useful from a security and protection point of view in cases such as strong winds.
What are the drawbacks of small reactors?
The main problem is the increase in the cost of continuing the operation of the reactor. Each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated in small reactors costs between 15 and 70 percent more than the cost of generating one kilowatt-hour of electricity generated in large reactors because the scale of work in these reactors is smaller. As a result, if the costs are kept constant, the output electricity will be reduced.
Of course, people also have a general fear of nuclear reactors and nuclear waste, which makes it difficult to sell SMRs. However, in some designs, to reduce waste production, facilities have been installed in the system for recycling waste.
There are currently a number of SMRs operating around the world, including in China and India. There are also a number of others that are in various stages of completion. In Russia, for example, small 35-megawatt nuclear reactors called the KLT 40 are being built, and in Britain, the salt-based reactor to the Anm Multen is being completed.
SMR bidding is a big step in getting the job done. Once the approved budget is allocated to the selected design, only the construction of the reactor will remain, which is a small matter. So while Britain is one step closer to using SMRs, it will still be some time before the use of these small reactors becomes commonplace across the country.