Will Babcock & Wilcox's tiny reactor make nuclear power practical?

In the long march toward a green power grid, a lot of eyes are turning toward nuclear power. While the problem of what to do with the waste remains unresolved (waste is typically stored on-site), a new, more compact reactor design might make the issues of cost and construction time less of a concern. Babcock & Wilcox's small-scale reactor is one-tenth the size of a normal one, and it's able to generate 125 MW of power.

B&W says the power will cost less than $5,000 per megawatt. With an average home consuming about 1 kW, the reactor could lead to some seriously cheap power — possibly even cheaper than this mini reactor from Hyperion.

All of this, of course, puts aside the issue of nuclear waste, which would be presumably the same amount as a normal-size reactor. At least B&W has equipped the pint-size reactors to be able to store waste on-site for their entire 60-year lifespan. That seems to be good enough for the Obama administration (for now), so if this new design can help get us on the road to safe, practical nuclear power, we say bring it on!

Babcock & Wilcox, via Treehugger