Toshiba has developed a new class of nuclear reactor 100 times smaller than a standard reactor. These micro sized nuclear reactors could be used to power large houses, apartment blocks or some city blocks.
A more likely use for the new 20 feet by 6 feet reactors is to bring a reliable power supply to small remote communities.
The liquid lithium-6 powered reactors are designed to be fail safe, completely automatic and not over heat. The reactors themselves can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.
Toshiba is expecting to being installing the reactors in Japan within a year, before moving to distibute them throughout 2009 in Europe and America.