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Medical Isotope Production System (MIPS)

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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 09:12 AM
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Medical Isotope Production System (MIPS)

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html#Modular_co...
Medical Isotope Production System

At the end of 2007, Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) notified the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it intended to apply for a licence to construct and operate a Medical Isotope Production System (MIPS) an AHR system with low-enriched uranium in small 100-200 kW units for Mo-99 production. A single production facility could have four such reactors. B&W expects a five-year lead time to first production. The fuel is brought to criticality in a 200-litre vessel. As fission proceeds, the solution is circulated through an extraction facility to remove the Mo-99 and then back into the reactor vessel, which is at low temperature and pressure. In January 2009, B&W Technical Services Group signed an agreement with radiopharmaceutical and medical device supplier Covidien to develop technology for the MIPS18.
Modular construction using small reactor units

The IRIS developers have outlined the economic case for modular construction of their design (about 330 MWe), and the argument applies similarly to other smaller units. They point out that IRIS with its size and simple design is ideally suited for modular construction in the sense of progressively building a large power plant with multiple small operating units. The economy of scale is replaced here with the economy of serial production of many small and simple components and prefabricated sections. They expect that construction of the first IRIS unit will be completed in three years, with subsequent reduction to only two years.

Site layouts have been developed with multiple single units or multiple twin units. In each case, units will be constructed so that there is physical separation sufficient to allow construction of the next unit while the previous one is operating and generating revenue. In spite of this separation, the plant footprint can be very compact so that a site with three IRIS single modules providing 1000 MWe capacity is similar or smaller in size than one with a comparable total power single unit.

Eventually IRIS is expected to have a capital cost and production cost comparable with larger plants. But any small unit such as this will potentially have a funding profile and flexibility otherwise impossible with larger plants. As one module is finished and starts producing electricity, it will generate positive cash flow for the next module to be built. Westinghouse estimates that 1000 MWe delivered by three IRIS units built at three year intervals financed at 10% for ten years require a maximum negative cash flow less than $700 million (compared with about three times that for a single 1000 MWe unit). For developed countries small modular units offer the opportunity of building as necessary; for developing countries it may be the only option, because their electric grids cannot take 1000+ MWe single units.
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