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Newsgroups: comp.risks
X-issue: 4.71
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 87 16:46:06 pst
From: pyramid!utzoo!henry@hplabs.HP.COM
To: pyramid!hplabs!CSL.SRI.COM!RISKS@hplabs.HP.COM
Subject: Re: A real eye-catching headline

> IEEE Spectrum, April 1987:
>       "Inherently safe nuclear reactors"
>                                             [Add to the oxymoron list.  PGN]

Not so, actually.  The things actually exist, and the term accurately
describes them.  You could take a sledgehammer to the controls and nothing
much would happen.  U of T has one.  Apparently if you're the last one to
use it Friday afternoon, you just lock the door behind you and leave it
unattended for the weekend.  Unlike power reactors, the design is inherently
stable:  an increase in temperature causes a decrease in reaction rate, so
nothing you can do will make it overheat.  Unfortunately, the design does
not scale up well and hence isn't useful for power plants.

Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology {allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry

[The Spectrum article suggests that it COULD be useful for power plants... PGN]

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