New nukes: Floating, buried, or in your basement?

Pint-sized nuclear reactors have powered U.S. naval vessels for decades. Now proposals for smaller scale nuclear generators for civilian applications are multiplying. Two years ago, Rosenergoatom, Russia’s formerly state-owned, now privaate nuclear-energy company annoucned plans Slated to float out in 2010, it will be towed to the White Sea, in Russia’s far north, to power mining operations as well as nearby towns. Drawing on designs for U.S. Navy nuclear reactors, the U.S. developed plans for nuclear barges in the 1960s, but abdononed them in the 1970s.

These are the total costs versus the output over the lifetime of the plant. Costs include construction, operations & maintenance, fuel and decommissioning.

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