The Savannah River Site could soon be home to a new “mini” transportable nuclear reactor. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and Hyperion Power Generation, Inc. announced their agreement this week.
Garry Flowers, president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, which operates SRNL under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, says, “Small and modular reactors can become the primary base of new, clean power for the world.”
Dubbed the Hyperion Power Module (HPM), the reactor produces 70 megawatts of thermal energy, which, once connected to an electricity generating system, will produce enough energy to power a U.S. military base or a large government complex.
The refrigerator-sized stainless steel reactor also features what SRNL officials call “uniquely stable uranium nitride fuel,” which scientists on the HPM project believe is environmentally secure and is the safest combination of materials so far. The complete plant, including the electricity generating system, takes up less than an acre of land.
CEO and co-founder of Hyperion Power John Grizz Deal says the innovative reactor has global significance.
About 70 percent of the countries in the world don’t have the capability to transmit electricity any appreciable distance and 25 percent of the planet’s population has no electricity generation at all…Transportable, permanently-sealed small reactors providing localized distributed power can be ideal for isolated locations that require an uninterruptible source of power, but they also have the potential to give utilities greater flexibility to add generation in a way that’s comparatively inexpensive.
Says Deal, “First, though, we have to show how and where it can work, and the Savannah River Site is an excellent demonstration site.”