There is a number of Advanced Reactors at various stages of development in various countries. They have most, if not all, of these features in common:
- lower cost – some are cheaper than the cheapest fossil fuel
- less waste – some are even fuelled by waste fuel from other reactors
- walk away safe – they cannot physically melt down
- flexible output – can change load quickly to accommodate variable renewables like wind and solar.
Some notable examples include Moltex, Terrestrial Energy and TerraPower, while NuScale is a Small Modular Reactor that could also be very useful for Ireland.
Perhaps the best article on Advanced Reactors is the one from a US centrist group, third way. They describe Advanced Reactors as they existed at the end of 2015.
The first paragraph appears below, but the whole article is well worth reading.
Even the phrase “advanced nuclear” can be intimidating. But you don’t need a Ph.D. to understand the basic differences between the various advanced reactors under development in this burgeoning part of the clean energy sector. In this primer, we offer some background on the advanced reactor space and explain the differences between the nine different types of advanced reactors currently under development. We provide the basic information that policymakers need to understand the various coolants, fuels, reaction types, and sizes that could provide many paths to a single destination: clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.