I have mentioned before my use of Google News Alerts to find stories about topics that interest me. I find it is truly one of the most amazing tools available for people with niche interests. One of my particular searches is one that looks for the “word” PBMR.
This morning, that search provided me a link to an interview dated 6 August 2007 published on allAfrica.com titled South Africa: The Official Line – Poland. The person being interviewed is Dr Romuald Szuniewicz, Poland’s ambassador to SA. The topic of the interview is current and future economic and trade relations. Included in the interview is the following comment:
We are also watching, with interest, some areas in which SA is leading the world, such as coal-to-liquid technology or development of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). By the year 2020 we should be producing electricity in Poland in nuclear power stations and by that time the PBMR will hopefully be proving its worth and potential.
Think about it. In a journal that I would not even be able to find on even the best local news stand, there is an interview with a title that would not catch my eye if I was scanning headlines. It involves two countries with a lot in common, including their current dependence on coal for the majority of their energy use.
In what other era in human history would a guy like me who is interested in nuclear power have found out within one day that these two countries might develop a commercial relationship based one of the most interesting nuclear technologies available today? Using high temperature pebble bed reactors to produce electricity and to convert coal into liquid fuels could provide a huge boon to the economic prospects of both developing countries. What a world!