Advanced Reactor Summit, January 27, 2016


Chloride Reactor Research Funded by DOE

The Department of Energy has issued two awards on January 15 under their Funding Opportunity Announcement of July 31, 2015. Energy Department Announces New Investments in Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors to Help Meet America’s Carbon Emission Reduction Goal In what took many of us by great surprise and delight, one of the announced winners was a molten-salt reactor concept. This marks the first time that the Department of Energy has committed any funding to an actual molten-salt reactor. Southern Company Services---partnering with TerraPower, Electric Power ...

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EPRI Report on LFTR Published

For most of the past year, I have been working steadily on inputs to this report, now published by the Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI: Program on Technology Innovation: Technology Assessment of a Molten Salt Reactor Design -- The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) It contains the most comprehensive description of the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) concept to date, along with the results of an exercise in possible effects from various failures or operational anomalies. Thanks go out to EPRI and Southern Company for providing the funding for the ...

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Medical Isotopes from the LFTR

Radiopharmaceuticals, also called medical isotopes, are specialized forms of medicine that help to diagnose and treat many challenging medical conditions including cancer. Their central advantage over other pharmaceuticals is that they emit radiation in the form of a photon of light that can be used to diagnose or identify specific conditions, or a charged particle of matter that can destroy diseased cells. Targeted alpha therapy is an example of a technology that is used to kill dispersed cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. A radioisotope that undergoes alpha ...

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1965 MSRE editorial from Oak Ridge

Several days after the successful start of the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment, the local paper, the "Oak Ridger", published this editorial: THE OAK RIDGER FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 1965, page 4 Editorial: Significant Step To 'Burning The Rocks' Many important stews lead up to the "going critical" of a new reactor. For instance, in the case of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, one of the key moments was in January when the pumps were turned on and the molten salts of the system were first circulated. Perhaps the most important phase of ...

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MSRE 50th anniversary

For many nuclear engineers, the moment a new reactor first achieves criticality is considered the "birth" of their creation, the moment it "comes alive". Criticality is special, because it means that the reactor is generating new neutrons at precisely the rate at which they are consumed in fission. Unlike a rocket launch, or a ship sliding into the harbor from its construction dock, the moment of criticality has no outward excitement attached to it. Were one to be looking at the reactor at that moment, it would be unlikely that one would even discern that criticality ...

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Dr. Rusty Towell presents LFTR at TEDxACU

Dr. Rusty Towell, professor of physics at Abilene Christian University, presents the benefits of LFTR technology at TEDxACU:

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TU Delft Symposium on Thorium MSR

At the invitation of Dr. Jan-Leen Kloosterman of the Delft University of Technology (Technische Universiteit Delft, TU Delft) I attended a symposium on thorium in molten-salt reactors held on April 17, 2015. Other participants included David LeBlanc of Terrestrial Energy and Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power. My objective was to make the case that the thorium fuel cycle, integrated with the molten-salt reactor, represented the best path forward for humanity's energy future. I began with a review of the dates of Glenn Seaborg's pioneering work on thorium as well ...

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Response to Stephen Ashley’s Thorium Aspersions

Thorium has tremendous promise as a future source of nuclear energy. It is the only material whose fissile product (uranium-233) produces sufficient neutrons in thermal fission to sustain its own consumption. The important implication is that a properly-designed thorium-fueled reactor, once started with fissile material, can continue to produce energy without additional fissile material. Inherent in this capability is the assumption of chemical processing. This is most easily accomplished if the thorium is in the form of a fluoride salt dissolved in a mixture of ...

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The Mythology of the Thorium Car, Thorium Plasma Batteries, and More!

From time to time there appear in the public domain stories and advertisements about revolutionary consumer products and their technical underpinnings.  These communications make outlandish, but very exciting, claims.  Many of these involve promises of huge dollar savings to the consumer.  These opportunistic authors use the interesting technique of attaching their literally incredible claims to credible science.  The incredible is pulled along by the coattails of the credible.  If such stories and theories are not addressed by rational scientific analysis, the ...

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