After playing at a series of prestigious film festivals, the movie New Fire about the development of innovative nuclear reactor technologies by multiple independent teams is now in general release online. ( Trailer )
Online venues now include iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Prime. Details were released Oct 18th. Links to all three sites for rent or purchase of the movie are found here on the New Fire home page.
What people are saying about the movie.
“This smart, compelling documentary is filled with idealistic young engineers convinced that nuclear power is the right energy to match with renewables to fight global warming. I think they’re right—and I think you will too after you meet them, breathe their enthusiasm, and see and hear their bold new ideas.”
– Richard Rhodes, Author of Energy: A Human History
“With the urgency of transitioning to a low-carbon energy system, the debate over next-generation nuclear power takes on a special significance. The New Fire is the most important and captivating documentary film treatment of this issue. The film follows several young entrepreneurs on their quest for safe, flexible, and low-cost advanced nuclear technologies. Of great interest for all who are searching for solutions to the world’s climate-and-energy crisis.”
– Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Contest and Poster Giveaway
To enter the contest you must answer three questions about nuclear energy. The winners of the posters will be picked randomly from all entries that submit the correct answers.
Question 1: Who discovered the Neutron and as a result served in the Manhattan Project during WWII?
Question 2: Who was the scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who did pioneering work on the design of molten salt reactors?
Question 3: What is the name of the annual event at a U.S. university that provides training for undergraduates and advanced studies students who want to start nuclear energy technology companies?
Please send all entries by email with your complete surface mail contact information to: djysrv [at] gmail [dot] com. Important – put the words NEW FIRE CONTEST ENTRY in the subject line or your entry will not be opened. The deadline for entries is 6 PM Friday 10/26/18.
Winners will be notified by mail directly by the New Fire movie publicity dept which will also mail the posters to the winners.
Other Nuclear News
Terrestrial Energy Moves Ahead in Design Work of its IMSR
Terrestrial Energy announced the achievement of a significant milestone in the development of its advanced reactor design, the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), which is progressing to commercial deployment in the early 2020s.
The IMSR has now entered the final stage of the Canadian regulator’s (CNSC) Vendor Design Review process. When the IMSR completed Phase 1 of the CNSC design review in November 2017, it was the first Generation IV design to do so, and as such the IMSR is the first advanced reactor design that successfully obtained a Western regulatory opinion.
Advanced commercial designs like Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR are positioning to respond to the increasing demand for clean energy solutions. Most recently, the United Nations IPCC report on global warming and the Third Way/AFL-CIO Smarter Energy Use study identify the urgency for large-scale decarbonization, including for energy-intensive industrial processes.
The firm also notes on its website that the IMSR power plants are modular, dispatchable and can easily load-follow, features that are increasingly prized by electric power utilities as they work to balance the variability of wind and solar power with demand loads.
This feature increases grid stability and makes grid-level energy storage unnecessary. It improves the operating and capital efficiency of the grid and supports the commercial value of wind and solar.
Hitachi, GE to Jointly Develop Next-generation Nuclear Reactors
(Kyodo) Hitachi Ltd. and General Electric Co. will jointly develop a new type of nuclear power plant with small modular reactors. The two companies plan to commercialize the reactors and have the first units sold to customers by the 2030s. This is the first indication of the design’s time to market.
A small modular reactor can be mostly assembled at a factory and brought to a power plant site, cutting time and costs needed for the plant’s construction work. At overnight costs of $5,000/ Kw, a 300 MW unit would cost $1.5 billion compared to a cost of $5 billion for a 1000 MW BWR. This lower price may open up opportunities in markets that would be closed to purchasing full size reactors.
The plans of the joint effort are to export the SMRs to global markets. The firms told the wire service new starts in Japan are unlikely given the legacy of the 2011 Fukushima crisis.
The firms say the 300 MW BWR type design will be cheaper to produce and safer to run A key safety design feature is that the SMR is designed to be set up underground to better contain radioactive materials in the event of an accident.
See prior coverage on this blog from May 2018: GE-HItachi to Offer 300 MR SMR
EDF Planning To Begin Sizewell C Construction In 2021
(NucNet): EDF plans to begin construction of two 1600 MW EPR units at the Sizewell C nuclear power station on the east coast of England by the end of 2021.
Simone Rossi, EDF Energy chief executive, told delegates at the Energy UK annual conference the French state-controlled utility will submit planning applications in early 2020, paving the way for a 2021 construction start date.
The company said that replicating what it has learned with the design and permitting process for two EPR units under construction at Hinkley Point C in southwest England, could reduce the construction costs of Sizewell C by 20%.
However, Mr Rossi said this would need to be accompanied by a reduction in the cost of capital. The government is considering implementing a new funding model for nuclear power stations called the “regulated asset base” model, or RAB.
RAB is essentially a type of contract drawn up with the backing of government which calculates the costs and profits of a project before it is started, and allocates an investor’s profits from day one.
A government regulator sets a fixed number, the RAB, which attempts to account for all the future costs involved in the completion of a project. The regulator then also sets a fixed rate of return for the investors based on those costs.
Sizewell C would be north of its sister plant Sizewell B on the Suffolk coast. EDF estimates the two Sizewell C units would take 10 to 12 years to build once it has planning permission.
Mr Rossi told the conference that to achieve the biggest savings in construction costs, Sizewell C needed to be built soon after Hinkley Point C.
“There is an optimal distance between the two projects which is about five years. Hinkley Point construction started at the end of 2016 and so the best moment to start construction at Sizewell C is at the end of 2021.
“The further we wait, the lower the construction benefits will be because the supply chain may not be the same and skills could be forgotten.”
Construction Starts on New South Korean Reactor
(WNN) Last month construction started on Shin Kori 6 in South Korea. This is an APR1400 reactor (1400 MWe) and will be the sixth such plant in the country. Four others are near completion or commissioning in United Arab Emirates, also built by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.
Construction of Shin Kori 6 had been deferred due to the election of a new government in mid 2017, but in October a government-organized committee voted 59.5% in favour of resuming construction of unit 5 and commencing unit 6.
The committee said that stability of power supply was a primary reason for the choice. The two reactors were expected to cost $7.6 billion ($2700/kW). Nuclear power provides about one third of South Korea’s electricity.
Australia’s PM Says He Is Open To Idea Of Nuclear Energy
(NucNet) Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said he is open to the idea of commercial nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy has been banned in Australia since 1998. Morrison said in a television interview that he would consider lifting the ban if research proved it could be done on a commercial basis and bring power prices down.
Mr Morrison told Sky News, “What matters is that it’s reliable, it can be contracted, it can be priced at lower than what we’re getting currently, because that’s what brings people’s power prices down.”
Australia has never had a commercial nuclear power station, but has about 33% of the world’s uranium deposits and is the world’s third largest producer of uranium after Kazakhstan and Canada.
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