China to Build World Smallest Nuclear Power Plant for Islands


A model of the reactor on display in April. Photo: SCMP Pictures

A model of the reactor on display in April. Photo: SCMP Pictures

An experimental facility for work on the China Lead-Based Reactor (CLEAR). Photo: SCMP Pictures

An experimental facility for work on the China Lead-Based Reactor (CLEAR). Photo: SCMP Pictures

SCMP says in its report today titled “Could China build the world’s smallest nuclear power plant and send it to the South China Sea?”, “A top mainland research institute is developing the world’s smallest nuclear power plant, which could fit inside a shipping container and might be installed on an island in the disputed South China Sea within five years.”

Though very small the lead-cooled reactor can generate 10 megawatts of heat enough to power some 50,000 households. It is also capable of running for years or even decades without refueling.

In addition, Chinese government is providing lots of funds for rapid development of other kind of small nuclear reactors, such as molten salt reactors and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. However some experts worry that such reactors may give rise to environment problems.

Source: SCMP “Could China build the world’s smallest nuclear power plant and send it to the South China Sea?” (summary by Chan Kai Yee, full text can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2026821/micro-reactor-may-power-south-china-sea-outposts)

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