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The Toshiba S4: What a concept!


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Whadda ya think of the Toshiba S4? Why couldn't these little nukes be used in any community as a local power source? It could dramatically alter our energy infrastructure and our dependence on foreign oil. Safer and cleaner. I'm not so sure about cheaper. But maybe the Toshiba S4 has more universal application than just the Yukon. I like the concept.

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We have discussed mini-nuclear power stations just 6 weeks ago (click).


I wonder if the investment is affordable for such a small and remote community as described in the article (700 people in the north of Alaska). Perhaps it is, if the scale is right, and the plant is really plug-and-play so that it can be air-lifted in and starts immediately... still, "nuclear" sounds expensive, especially in combination with "small scale".


I think the idea was discussed quite elaborately for urban areas and more densely populated areas in the other thread. This deals with the world's most remote parts. (We might as well discuss nuclear power on the moon for that matter?).

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Q: How is americium 242 currently being manufactured?

A: Americium 242 is created when americium 241 absorbs a neutron. This process is currently done in the most effective way in the kind of nuclear reactors know as "fast reactors". Americium 241 exists in large quantities as a by-product of regular power reactors. The process that turns it into americium 242 is still expensive today.


Q: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

A: But brain, where are we 'gonna get that many smoke detectors?:P

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