Monday, October 22, 2007

We have a bunch of orders from a Mr. Rafsanjani . . .

Does this has any relevance to nuclear proliferation issues?
Toshiba Corp., Japan's biggest maker of nuclear power plants, will start talks this month with a U.S. regulator to approve a micro reactor targeted at remote areas such as Galena on Alaska's Yukon River.

The company will hold the first meeting on Oct. 23 to brief the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on safety and other features of the new 4S reactor, seeking design certification, the U.S. regulator said on its Web site. The license is required to sell and build the plant in the U.S.

The reactor, with a fraction the capacity of typical U.S. units, is aimed at rural areas and remote islands that mostly rely on oil-fired power because of their distance from national grids. Toshiba's 4S would be sited near communities now facing record-high costs for power generated from oil. Galena, with 700 residents, is considering the new reactor, an official said.

``We are very pleased that Toshiba is now working on a schedule with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,'' Marvin Yoder, Galena's consultant on the nuclear project and ex-mayor, said in an e-mail. ``The Toshiba plant holds promise for rural areas of Alaska and other remote areas around the world.''

The process between Toshiba and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ``is expected to last many months'' because the reactor is ``very different from the designs the NRC currently regulates,'' commissioner Peter Lyons said in an e-mailed reply to questions . . .

The world's existing 441 nuclear power plants are mostly in developed countries such as the U.S., the biggest market with 104 units in operation. Developing countries such as China and India are expanding their capacity. Surging crude oil and coal costs have prompted countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia to consider the atomic energy as an alternative . . .
(Hat Tip: Joseph Hertzlinger)

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