Toshiba has developed a micro Nuclear Reactor measuring only 20 feet by 6 feet and designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. It is expected to install its first unit in japan by 2008 and market the reactor by 2009.
Unlike traditional reactors, this new design does not use control rods to initiate the reaction. It uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. Connected to a vertical tube, the Lithium-6 reservoirs fits into the reactor core. At 200 kilowatt capacity, the reactor is self sustaining, engineered to be fail-safe and can last for up to 40 years.