Saturday, August 20, 2016

New Nuclear Reactors for Cleaner, Lower Cost Energy

This topic brings me a long way back to the beginning of my career. At that time I was employed by Sylvania-Corning in their Research Laboratory in Bayside, New York  to develop new materials for a nuclear reactor that would permit a plane to fly continuously without ever landing. General Electric was the prime contractor. Unfortunately the reactor was so heavy compared with the lift capacity of the plane, therefore an impractical application.
However, there were many things that we developed that were incorporated into a novice nuclear program that led to the application of today's nuclear reactors for electrical energy and to the nuclear reactors that serve to power our modern submarines and aircraft carriers.
However, now forty years have passed and these reactors are being extended beyond their intended time limit of service. Efforts are still being made to extend their life for an additional twenty years.
These reactors are large and the efficiency level is decreasing as life is extended. In addition, America has remained stagnant in development and modernization of existing reactors, compared with European countries.
It is refreshing to know that the Department of Energy is now very active in programs to decrease the size of future reactors while improving efficiency at lower cost. In addition, a new factor has entered the equation. In the past we did not consider acts of terrorism to be a big issue. Now these are issues to be seriously considered and become part of the technology in developing new reactors for tomorrow.
To permit development of these  lighter efficient reactors, new concepts have been developed that require improved efficiency in cooling to permit the reactors to operate at higher temperature and pressure. Present materials will not have this capability. Therefore there is current interest in the development of new materials that can withstand the higher temperature and pressure that is anticipated. For the new concepts to be exercised these new materials and coolants and reaction to creep and corrosion become immediate areas of influence for success of the concepts. MagnaTech believes that we have some technology to offer in improvement of current and new materials and intend to actively pursue opportunities in the development of these materials. Therefore MagnaTech is interested in partnering with companies that have thermal capability to permit heat treating and reaction of materials that we believe that can improve performance of these potential reactors of tomorrow. Should you believe that you can team with MagnaTech to develop these new materials, we would be pleased to consider a partnership or consulting to develop new materials for these nuclear reactors of the future. Please contact us regarding potential commercial application.