Hyperion Power Small Nuclear Power Module Receives Federal Lab Consortium 2010 Award

Conceived at LANL, the Hyperion Power Module (HPM) was licensed exclusively to Hyperion Power Generation Inc. in 2008. The HPM, developed by Otis Peterson, Turner Trapp, and Patrick McClure, uses the energy of low-enriched uranium fuel and meets all the non-proliferation criteria of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

 - By Stephen Heiser -

The Hyperion Power Module has received the 2010 Award of Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.

The annual awards recognize successful efforts by federal laboratory employees to transfer government-developed technology to commercial industry. A panel of experts from industry, state and local government, academia, and the federal laboratory system judge the nominations.

According to John “Grizz” Deal, CEO of Hyperion, more than a hundred letters of interest to purchase the HPM have come in from communities and industries on every continent.

Los Alamos, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory, was a recipient of 2 of the 28 awards given this year, bringing the Lab’s total number since 2005 to 14. This year’s honors recognize LANL’s efforts to reduce emissions and create clean, safe, affordable power.

Conceived at LANL, the Hyperion Power Module (HPM) was licensed exclusively to Hyperion Power Generation Inc. in 2008. The HPM, developed by Otis Peterson, Turner Trapp, and Patrick McClure, uses the energy of low-enriched uranium fuel and meets all the non-proliferation criteria of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

Each unit will produce 70 megawatts or 27 megawatts electric—enough to provide electricity for 20,000 average American-sized homes or the industrial equivalent. Approximately 1.5 meters (slightly less than 6 feet) wide by 2 meters tall (slightly over 6 feet), the units can be transported by ship, rail, or truck to produce power for five to seven years depending on usage.

“It is truly an honor to have the FLC recognize these commercialization efforts coming out of the Laboratory,” said Susan Sprake of LANL’s Technology Transfer Division and mid-continent regional coordinator for the Federal Laboratory Consortium. “Through the successes of companies like Hyperion and CleanAIR, federal laboratories such as LANL are able to realize the commercial impact of public investments that contribute to our ‘green’ future."

The FLC, organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, promotes and coordinates technology transfer efforts by creating an environment that facilitates the rapid movement of government-developed technologies into the U.S. economy. More than 700 federal labs and centers and their parent agencies are FLC members.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

John Deal, was recently quoted as saying that Hyperion intends to apply for a license “within a year” for plants that would power a small factory or town too remote for traditional utility grid connections.

“We are very proud to receive this reward and are appreciative of the hard work that our team has accomplished,” said Deborah Deal-Blackwell, vice president of policy and a co-founder of Hyperion Power. “This breakthrough product has been made possible because a passionate group of bold and intelligent people knew that they could - and that they must - look beyond the confines of traditional light water technology in order to create a power reactor that’s truly safe and small enough to serve the tremendous need for energy that cannot be served by larger designs. Because of this vision, Hyperion can offer a reactor that can go where no other nuclear design could have gone before!  Now energy consumers have the option of clean, distributed, safely off-the-grid power – whether it’s for a remote community, an installation for defense and national security, or an industrial or mining application.”

Hyperion Power’s market launch design is a Mini Power Reactor (MPR), which is even smaller than a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). MPRs are not light water reactors. MPRs offer a simple design, transportability as a single unit, and a “closed” fuel system where the reactors are factory fueled, shipped to the customer site, and then returned to the factory. In addition to being physically smaller, MPRs have a smaller energy output–under 50 megawatts electric per unit.

Hyperion Power’s Mini Power Reactor, is a liquid metal-cooled fast reactor, and offers unique safety features and efficiency. Housed in a permanently sealed container just 1.5 meters wide by 2.5 meters tall, it’s small enough to be transported by truck, rail or ship. Meeting all the non-proliferation criteria of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), each unit produces 70 megawatts of thermal energy or 25 megawatts of electric power— enough to provide electricity for 20,000 average American-size homes or the industrial equivalent for seven to ten years depending on usage.

Offering a cost-efficient source of clean, emission-free, baseload energy, the Hyperion Power Module will provide crucial independent power for military installations; heat, steam, and electricity for mining operations; and electricity for local infrastructure and clean water processes in communities around the globe.

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