Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMR’s) are the next generation of nuclear power. We call them Generation 4 Nuclear.
In the same way most other industries around the world are going through a process of disruption at present time (such as hotels to AirBnB, taxis to Uber, petrol to electric, computers to tablets), so too is nuclear power.
Nuclear is slowly moving away from the large scale Multi-Billion USD Generation 2/3 pressurised water reactors (Chernobyl, Fukishima, Three Mile Island etc), and into much smaller, more mobile, modular, safer (much safer) and far lower budget nuclear power.
For those in the know, SMR’s are the future of global power, and within 25 years, SMR’s will be dominating our global energy provision and Canadian Company StarCore leads the global SMR market:
StarCore operate in the highly innovative, risk free, extremely safe, and specialised Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power generation sector; utilising fully automated satellite-monitored advanced High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) to provide fail safe clean electricity, thermal energy, water, desalination and telecommunications infrastructures to both remote off grid locations, and to major conurbations around the world.
StarCore plants also provide full satellite communications and internet infrastructure to the most remote areas, have massive desalination capabilities and can be built in record time (less than 2 years); what is more they are just as at home in both the city centre and the most remote locations on earth.
Although the technology is proven and versions are deployed successfully with the US & UK Naval Fleet to power submarines and aircraft carriers, to date an SMR has not been built as a land based solution to provide power and water. StarCore will be the first.
There are not many things in this world that can make the claim of being “inherently safe”, but StarCore’s HTGR design can – it is totally, forever, walk away safe, even if all the controls fail and even if the plant is destroyed by terrorists. It is safe at all times.
The use of a graphite based reactor core along with helium as a coolant makes the unit “inherently safe”, because the thermal characteristics of the core are such that, if the reactor suffers a catastrophic total loss of coolant, it will reduce its thermal output (driven by physical and unavoidable principles of Nature) by itself at reaching a certain temperature that is still well within the range of a safe operating mode.
The StarCore plant reactor cannot exceed 1250 C under the worst failure situation (loss of all controls and coolant), and the fuel is safe up to 1850 C giving a safety margin of about 50% under the worst circumstances.
These plants can thus easily be installed close to, or within, urban area, and the StarCore design is the only one in the world that meets all the requirements for operation in remote areas and in countries without an existing nuclear program. Nuclear waste derived from fission is safely contained within the TRISO micro pellets (which an estimated failure-free life of over 1 million years), and the reactor only needs be refuelled every 5 (five) years.
Dr. Finis Southworth, the former Chief Technology Officer of the French nuclear giant AREVA said recently that: “the TRISO-fuelled HTGR is the most mature design of any of the Generation IV plants; it will be the first to be deployed, and because of its inherent safety is the only one that is suitable for countries around the world that do not have an established nuclear industry.”
Features of the StarCore SMR Programme
Up to 84MW of 100% clean effective power that is load following (per plant) and up to 36 MW of thermal energy or a mixture that can change over the day to support renewable baseload. The plants are connected to the local communities and industry by high voltage DC transmission lines.
Multiple plants can easily be built side by side to increase power output.
Between 100-150 million litres of fresh potable water per day, per plant; from ground source water, purification of existing water source or desalination.
StarCore’s design is fully automated and load following. No other small modular reactor (SMR) developer anywhere in the world has this unique capability, whereby the operation can meet the unique needs of its customers on a continuous basis with any form of failure.
Monitored by satellite technology, the operations and plants can also be shut down remotely, if necessary.
100% inherently safe and supported by all the global nuclear heavyweights, including International Atomic Energy Agency & the main R&D laboratories.
Provision of both district heating and district cooling.
Small & Modular– fits onto the size of roughly a football field and can be built in less than two years.
Cheap – depending on power output, a plant costs from just $150m - $250m USD (cheapest in the world).
Licensing and permitting are far easier and simpler than conventional nuclear power plants.
Almost zero nuclear waste – the nuclear fuel rods are recharged every five years and put back into the plant.
The plants are developed on a “Build, Own, Operate, Maintain & Decommission” basis (BOOM+D) over a 25-40 year power purchase agreement.
Satellite and telecommunications infrastructure bringing high speed broadband internet, telecommunications and tele medicine to even the most remote areas.
Can be built almost anywhere – in any environment, for both on-grid and off-grid power and water solutions. From deserts, to forests, to mountains, to hot environments to cold environments. StarCore is unhindered by geography.
The StarCore business operates on a “Build, Own, Operate & Decommission” basis (BOOM+D) against the security of a third party Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The PPA can be with either a private (and ‘off-grid’) client i.e. direct with an end user such as a mining operation or remote community; or the PPA can be with a public (and ‘on-grid’) client such as a host Government, energy company or utility.
The plants are either co-funded directly by the client alongside StarCore and using StarCore’s assistance and expertise with a range of established financing mechanisms, or are self-funded directly by StarCore either internally or through our investor partner network. Ideally, StarCore would expect the PPA client to financially contribute a minimum of 5% of the funding cost wherever possible.
Standard SMR Plants will cost from U.S.$150m to U.S.$300m (dependant on a number of variable factors) and will fit onto the size of roughly a football field to supply between 18-84MW of clean energy, provide between 100-150 million litres of water per day and offer great potential for other uses such as an environmentally safe heat source without costly transmissions systems and maintenance.
The total cost per unit supply of power provided by StarCore is much lower than any other cumulative cost of power supply source that can be offered to end users without interruption thus reducing extra burden on the grid network.
The G9 SMR Energy Investment Programme.
With each plant costing an average of $200m, and the potential for a multi billion dollar deployment of capital, the G9 has created a funding vehicle (Jersey ICC) to facilitate investing into a programme of projects by our families, Foundations and Financial Institutions with an Impact / Renewable Energy mandate.
The ICC enables investment to be made in multiples of $5m; either into a specific project or to a pool of projects as required.