I spent about 15 years trying (unsuccessfully) to get a small modular reactor company off the ground. Our concept was based on an adaptation of the successful German pebble bed demonstration reactor called the AVR.
In 2003, Tsinghua University in China completed the construction of the HTR-10, which was essentially a direct copy of the AVR with some updated display and control systems. In 2007, the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) produced a Catalyst show about the HTR-10. I watched that show several years ago, and have wanted to share highlights of it with Atomic Insights readers, but I could not obtain permission from the producers to do that.
Recent world events have reminded me about how intrigued I remain about the technology. This morning, I discovered that ABC had produced a tightly clipped version of the show as part of its educational video library. You can download a copy of that show and use it for educational purposes. I encourage you to go and watch the video and read the synopsis of the show on the ABC video collection site. (While you are there, you might want to see what else the site has to offer. Long running news programs have often built valuable libraries of stories.)
I thought that it might be a conversation starter, if I shared a 44 second clip from the original production that did not make it into the educational clip.
From my point of view, the concept introduced is timely and important. Is it better for a nation to “just get money” than to do the hard work of building infrastructure, learning difficult-to-master technology and building a cohort of skilled workers?
What do you think? Should Australia (or the US) follow the advice of the smiling scientist and just wait until we can buy our reactors from China after letting them do all of the hard work?