One major benefit is that SMR designs require less frequent refuelling , varying from 3-7 years , and there are even several designs not needing refuelling for up to 30 years . Conventional nuclear reactors generally require refuelling every 1-2 years , with greater quantities of spent fuel to be handled in one cycle .
There are also construction and operational benefits to a smaller and modular design . SMR modules can be made in a factory and
Lessons From History
Sheila Liddle , SRP Past President , is an RPA and RWA with over thirty years ’ experience of working in the nuclear and nonnuclear industries . Here she describes the importance of involving everyone who may have an impact on situations when considering whether to issue a Permit to Work .
Some years ago , there was a small leak in a radioactive drain pipe . Unfortunately it was a few feet underground , under a concrete pad , external to the building but next to an emergency exit from a Controlled Radioactive Area . The damage may have been due to vehicles using the area .
To allow work on the pipe , a large plastic tent assembled on site . They will also require much less cooling than a conventional nuclear power station , meaning there can be more flexibility in siting . Other potential benefits include far less radiation exposure hazard to plant workers , and ease of decommissioning .
There are of course potential disadvantages in terms of the economics of operating many small facilities compared to fewer , larger power stations , and the public acceptability of building reactors at more locations . However , it is clear that we are at the cusp of a new era of nuclear energy generation , where a mix of renewables and modern nuclear will play major roles . A significant proportion of future nuclear capacity will be small and modular , and the UK is among the world leaders with this technology . The radiation protection profession is central to delivering this future .
In this section of the magazine , we aim to highlight events that provided lessons that we can learn from . Events may be from all over the world and all sectors .
was erected incorporating a small change area for putting on wellies etc , with access from the building ’ s emergency exit . The tent was constructed of welded reinforced PVC sheeting over a tubular metal frame and was attached to the building door frame using reinforced tape . The tent was supplied with its own filtered ventilation .
The repair to the drain was carried out under a Permit to Work , as it was going to involve a break in containment and additional monitoring .
The work progressed well , workers removed several cubic feet of soil and managed to access the pipe . Fortunately , there was very little contamination .
28 Radiation Protection Today www . srp-rpt . uk