Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Alternative to Solar Panels For Backwoodsmen

This is one of those news stories that I don't know whether to laugh or cry:
Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons.
I'm a supporter of nuclear power. It isn't as dangerous as the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement would like you to believe. But I do cringe a little bit at nuclear power reactors aimed at a market that hasn't quite mastered the art of setting their VCRs to record programs at a particular time.

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