Another Choice for Nuclear Reactor Data Center

DataCenterKnowledge has another alternative for nuclear power.

Are Nuclear Powered Data Centers Possible?

November 14th, 2008 : Rich Miller

A New Mexico company has announced plans to begin selling compact nuclear power “modules” for commercial use, which are projected to generate about 27 megawatts of energy. The announcement by Hyperion Power Generation of Santa Fe has prompted some tech watchers to wonder whether these mini-nuke installations could be a workable solution for the data center industry.

Hyperion licensed the original reactor design from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The Hyperion Power Module is a hydride reactor that is approximately the size of a hot tub and can drive a steam turbine for seven to 10 years. The reactor uses a uranium hydride core, surrounded by hydrogen gas, and the fuel is not enriched to weapons-grade, meaning it can’t be used for building a nuclear device.

I blogged about this idea before, and I waiting for when there is a data center that chooses a small nuclear power plant.  Right now some companies are evaluating new power plants for remote locations as power generation is limited in many markets.  Why not nuclear.

One alternative to the not in my backyard problem for nuclear plants is to float the nuclear plant offshore.

Russia is already building floating nuclear power plants for Arctic operations.

Given that we are already supposed to be facing the twin threats of terrorism and environmental meltdown, you might think the last thing the world needs is a fleet of floating nuclear power plants (NPPs). Russia disagrees, and confirmed this week that construction has started on the first of seven ships carrying a 70MW nuclear reactor. The ships will provide power to remote coastal towns, or be sold abroad, with 12 countries, including Algeria and Indonesia, said to have expressed interest.