The lakeChime Team, Technology

SSTAR: The Early Technology

The original SSTAR was specifically designed by scientists and engineers  at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to combine the benefits of nuclear power – efficiency, reliability, low cost, no carbon emissions – with design features providing safety and security.  It was designed to fill a previously unmet need for a transportable power source that is self-contained, modular, safer, and cleaner than fossil fuel designs. The key safety benefits result primarily from the use of lead as the primary coolant.  Given its relatively small size, the module is ideal for transport to locations requiring low-cost, safe, secure independent sources of electricity, clean water and process steam.  It can be considered to be a nuclear battery, operating as a sealed unit over an extended period without refueling (or with single cassette refueling by the supplier).  It can be removed and replaced with a  similar unit at the end of its life.

The figure below illustrates how the reactor module can be packaged in a cask for shipping to a secure recycling facility following its use.

Some SSTAR Attributes

  • Small:  (10-100 MWe) and modular to allow factory assembly and transportation
  • Sealed:  proliferation resistance through sealed cartridge core and supplier nation controls
  • Transportable:  enables factory manufacturing and avoids need for complex infrastructures
  • Autonomous:  automatic load following
  • Passive safety:  reduces need for operator actions
  • Simplified design: reduces maintenance and operational needs
  • Economically viable:  small capital outlay, rapid installation and revenue initiation
  • Diverse energy products:  include electricity, fresh water, hydrogen, industrial and space heat