Just before Christmas I wrote a post titled The Rapid-L reactor – designed by Japan’s CRIEPI for JAERI – is getting a lot of blog attention
This morning I added the following update to that post which I am putting both here and as an insert into the original post. (Some people read blogs linearly, others get links to individual posts. I want to appeal to both audiences.)
Update as of 2 Jan 2007:
One of the advantages of electronic media is the opportunity to update stories so that new readers who visit get more accurate information if it is available. Since publishing the original text of this story, I have made contact with some good sources within Toshiba to confirm that the original story posted on nextenergynews.com did not originate with them. According to Toshiba, the project that they consider to be a super-small reactor is the 4S (Super-safe small and simple) design. The company initiated the process for preliminary review of that design in 2007 with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and believes that the system may be ready for commercialization sometime in the “mid 2010s”.
The company confirmed my guess that the 200 kwe number in the hoax article is based a JAERI concept design for a lunar application. The “news” article from nextenergy news merged two very different projects and used a sketch associated with the 4S and called it a logo for the “new” device. Bottom line – Toshiba is not introducing an apartment sized machine and does not have any plans for a small reactor to be in operation for quite a few years.
One more interesting part of this story is the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provides a daily news feed that does an automatic search of various sources. The IAEA has numerous disclaimers on the site to make sure that people know that it is simply pointing to stories and does not endorse their content. That service had picked up the story on their December 24 feed, so when I contacted my sources, they were already working on answers to my questions. Who says nukes do not understand modern technology and the new media?
End of Update. Back to the original article text