The AP1000 is a GEN3+ nuclear power plant designed and sold by Westinghouse Electric Company. The plant is a pressurized water reactor with improved use of passive nuclear safety. In December 2005, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) approved the final design certification for the AP1000 as our future nuclear reactor standard. Unfortunately the AP1000 ended up a partial failure for Westinghouse caused by many technical revisions and the many law suits by the anti-nuclear groups. In the end of what will be a 15 year nightmare, there may only be six AP1000 to commercialize; two in the US and four in China. There has to be a better way.
Small Modular Reactors (SMR) is making its way through the USNRC process today. NuScale Power has a flexible design and is redefining nuclear manufacturing. SMRs promise to bring nuclear power to the masses in much the same way that the Ford Model T brought mobility to the masses over a hundred years ago. The NuScale’s reactor is still a water cooled fission reactor that uses solid uranium fuel and creates spent nuclear to be disposed of. NuScale is only one of several SMR designs being developed around the world, including Holtec’s SMR-160. However, there still has to be a better way than water cooled small modular reactors.
The better way would be a scaleable molten salt reactor deign base on a single reactor core with modular heat transfer loops for low Mwh, detached from a national grid, up to 1000+ Mwh for clean reliable base load utility grid electricity 24×7. The ideal fuel source would be to use up all the stored unused nuclear materials, such as, spent nuclear fuel, depleted uranium, and even weapon grade plutonium or MOX, which will last centuries.
Elysium Industries is working through the USNRC to deliver the first molten chloride salt fast reactor to provide high heat for a long life cycle in a close loop system to produce electricity, industrial heat and even hydrogen transportation fuels, without waste. For me, the Elysium system is the better way that I can support.