Producer of small-scale nukes in talks with developers

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Mexico-based Hyperion Power Generation, which makes small-scale nuclear reactors, is in talks with developers in the Cayman Islands, Panama and the Bahamas to install its technology, company CEO John R (Grizz) Deal told BNamericas.

"Our first installation is just under five years away in Romania," he said. "Then it follows really quickly in a bunch of island nations and US protectorates in the Pacific. We now have a six-year waiting list."

The company, which does not have direct competitors, aims to sell 4,000 units in the first 10 years of production.

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"My dance card isn't nearly full," Deal said. "We have lots of opportunity to work with people."

Hyperion's modular non-weapons-grade reactors are roughly 1.5m wide and provide 70MW thermal or 25MW electric capacity via steam turbines for 7-10 years. They cost roughly US$25mn-30mn each. Production costs are some US$0.05/kWh, according to Deal.

"We're talking to a developer in the Cayman Islands who says people there are pretty anti-nuke. We say, tell them they can get electricity for US$0.05/kWh and they're currently paying US$0.48/kWh," he said. "This will be a lot cheaper and we'll prove the safety and security around it. And of course, they were interested in meeting with us."

Invented at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory, the units are designed for industrial use such as oil shale and sands drilling and processing and primary power supply for remote areas.

BNamericas will run the in-depth interview with Deal in Friday's Perspectives.