DV82XL wrote:In all fairness, they have extended the design out a bit, and modernized it. The real shame is that AECL didn't have the foresight to do it first.
But consider also that here (and in the West in general) the regulator does not allow deployment of modular power plants using a series of small reactors: Each reactor, regardless of size, has to have its own complete set of independent structures, control room, safety equipment, operating staff, etc.
Thus there is a strong incentive to design & build large reactors, to take advantage of the economy of scale, rather than economy of mass production.
Never mind that the US Navy (and others) have demonstrated for many decades that operating ships with several reactors on board can be done quite safely (I believe some aircraft carriers have as many as 4).
India will likely run into this problem sooner or later.
They could do everyone a BIG favour by pioneering
the licensing of those 220MW export reactors as modular units, part of a SINGLE nuke plant, to be run from a central control room, etc.
The same regs may then be applied to other modular reactor designs, including PBMR, AHTR, MSR, etc.
Until this happens, there will be little private interest in investing in small reactor development.
In other words, the regulator is stifling development.
India could lead the way in breaking through this.
So far, only the Russians appear to have found a way around the road block, with their KLT-40S barge-mounted twin reactors.
Hopefully their barge design is readily scalable -- to accomodate sets of 4, 6, 8 etc. reactors....