Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Oct 20, 2018 11:32 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Jul 13, 2012 9:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Mar 07, 2007 11:02 am
Posts: 911
Location: Ottawa
India is hosting what very well may be the first ever true conference dedicated to Molten Salt Reactor technology. They contacted me several months ago about giving a plenary talk and I was very surprised to learn of their increasing interest in MSR technology which is a bit of a departure from their traditional long term nuclear plans. They now have the website up regarding the conference.

http://moltensaltindia.org/

If you browse through things you'll see some of their interest is related to the fact that molten salt technology is also applicable to things like processing of solid fuel fast breeder designs. However in my discussions with the organizers and by looking at the subjects they wish to cover at the conference it is clear that they have an increasing interest in true molten salt or liquid fuel concepts. Perhaps this is slightly reactionary to increased Chinese MSR interest but a hopeful sign nonetheless. Please check things out and I'd encourage people to consider submitting papers and/or attending.

David LeBlanc


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 13, 2012 9:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: May 20, 2008 4:00 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Orem, Utah, USA
David wrote:
India is hosting what very well may be the first ever true conference dedicated to Molten Salt Reactor technology. They contacted me several months ago about giving a plenary talk and I was very surprised to learn of their increasing interest in MSR technology which is a bit of a departure from their traditional long term nuclear plans. They now have the website up regarding the conference.

http://moltensaltindia.org/

If you browse through things you'll see some of their interest is related to the fact that molten salt technology is also applicable to things like processing of solid fuel fast breeder designs. However in my discussions with the organizers and by looking at the subjects they wish to cover at the conference it is clear that they have an increasing interest in true molten salt or liquid fuel concepts. Perhaps this is slightly reactionary to increased Chinese MSR interest but a hopeful sign nonetheless. Please check things out and I'd encourage people to consider submitting papers and/or attending.

David LeBlanc


Probably. No one (including DOD, DOE) wants the Chinese to get a leg up.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 14, 2012 1:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2251
Indian interest in MOS is an entirely new development. Even in recent interviews, the chairman Indian DAE has not mentioned it. It is not a part of 3-stage development.
http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/stra ... ssion.html
The additional neutron economy of molten salt reactors due to escape of Xe and Kr may have finally sunk in.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 14, 2012 8:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Jun 30, 2011 7:10 pm
Posts: 78
Probably sponsored by a medium level bucreacrat (one of the few good people in the Indian bucreacracy )- doesn't represent any sort of policy change- no there no bribes available in molten salt development. He sold it to the bosses as Thorium and something the Chinese are doing. Good to see there are researchers who aren't blinded in following the government line.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 14, 2012 10:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Dec 05, 2008 8:50 am
Posts: 336
David wrote:
India is hosting what very well may be the first ever true conference dedicated to Molten Salt Reactor technology. They contacted me several months ago about giving a plenary talk and I was very surprised to learn of their increasing interest in MSR technology which is a bit of a departure from their traditional long term nuclear plans. They now have the website up regarding the conference.

http://moltensaltindia.org/

If you browse through things you'll see some of their interest is related to the fact that molten salt technology is also applicable to things like processing of solid fuel fast breeder designs. However in my discussions with the organizers and by looking at the subjects they wish to cover at the conference it is clear that they have an increasing interest in true molten salt or liquid fuel concepts. Perhaps this is slightly reactionary to increased Chinese MSR interest but a hopeful sign nonetheless. Please check things out and I'd encourage people to consider submitting papers and/or attending.

David LeBlanc


These are really excellent news !
I'm very curious, as far you know, did they show any interest on fast chlorides technology, too ? A fast chloride reactor with a thorium blanket (and a seed of plutonium or LWR/Candu transuranics) would be perfect for their purpose...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 15, 2013 11:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Mar 07, 2007 11:02 am
Posts: 911
Location: Ottawa
I have just returned from the conference in Mumbai India. Catching up on too many things to say much right now but I'll start with a one word summary. WOW.

A very surprisingly large interest and effort towards MSRs was revealed to the world last week. Lots to fill you all in on. I also was asked to write a blog entry about it for the Weinberg Foundation which should appear soon. Stay tuned for further news...

David LeBlanc


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 15, 2013 4:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3827
Location: Alabama
Thanks for the update David and we all look forward to your report.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 16, 2013 4:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: May 18, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 66
Very very very interested. Thanks for the post!! WOW. I love wow.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 11:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Mar 07, 2007 11:02 am
Posts: 911
Location: Ottawa
Sorry for the delay but here are some more details regarding the recently finished Conference on Molten Salts in Nuclear Technology conference (CMSNT 2013).

http://moltensaltindia.org/

As I mentioned I was very surprised by the scope of both interest and development already underway at BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) on MSR technology. Part of the effort is the fact that molten salt chemistry is integral to processing of metal fueled fast breeders that India has had a long commitment and this aspect probably was roughly a third of the conference and submitted papers. It was very clear though that they have also given a green light towards research into both true liquid fuel molten salt reactors and the salt cooled or FHR approach. No idea what financial commitment that has meant but there was obviously a significant number of high level researchers presenting work on both areas. As a reminder, India's long term plan (literally half a century old now) has been to start heavy water reactors (similar to CANDU) and with Pu from spent fuel to start a small fleet of sodium fast breeders and use these to produce U233 to start a larger fleet of advanced heavy water reactors that would break even on the Th-U233 cycle (very hard to do since it means reprocessing solid fuels). Anyhow, they have seemed so engrained in this plan that I would say most of us outside India didn't think MSRs could get much traction there. Thus my level of surprise that they really seem to be opening up to MSRs as another option. It certainly may have been partly sparked by China's recent program but it seems to have unleashed an existing interest already there.

The conference had a about 200 attendees, a couple dozen of us from outside India. About half the talks and 2/3rds the 50 or so papers were from Indian researchers. I believe they'll be putting most, if not all the talks online soon (not video, just the slides). One could also ask them about getting conference proceedings which are full of excellent papers (I think the first conference I've ever been to that had a hard copy for us upon arrival, a great thing to be able to skim for more details as speakers present).

One of the most interesting things was how many elder researchers attended that were involved in MSR research back in the 1970s. They were working in cooperation with ORNL and focused on the difficult studies involving PuF3 solubility in various molten salt mixtures. It was clear these BARC "old boys" had a similar level of enthusiasm for the concept as ORNL "old boys" I've spoken with and the same huge disappointment regarding first ORNL and then BARC dropping the research in the 70s.

The modern work presented had a split of MSR and FHR focus. They seem to already have salt loops being built although most work has thus far been theoretical in nature. They are studying both converter and breeder approaches of MSRs and doing plenty of reactor physics calculations in support of that. For now their doesn't seem to be a clear preferred design path but one thing is apparent is they feel a more thermal spectrum is favored, i.e. with graphite. For FHR work they are looking to modify current design work on a high temperature gas cooled reactor to use Flibe coolant.

I presented regarding my work on the Tube in Tube Two Fluid breeder along with a few hints towards a new concept I've developed and then much of my talk was towards what I feel is the more immediate goal of a DMSR type converter reactor and its advantages. It was nice to have a full 45 minutes to present and my talk seemed to be very well received and generated a great deal of discussion afterwards. Other international speakers included Jan Uhlir from the Czech Republic who is recognized as the world expert on molten salt chemistry and processing. He reviewed the many potential processing options for MSRs but made it quite clear nothing should be considered easy. David Holcomb from ORNL presented on U.S. efforts regarding the FHR approach, focusing more on the large 1500 MWe AHTR that ORNL is studying. Pablo Rubiolo from the French MSFR group presented regarding their fast spectrum approach and we had two speakers from Japan, one regarding the FUJI concept and Takashi Kamei had some interesting ideas on a small 1 MWe concept. Also Laurence O'Hagan talked about the work of the Weinberg Foundation. I also got to meant numerous other researchers, mostly from the U.S. and Europe who are doing great things MSR related.

I was disappointed that Victor Ignatiev from Russian didn't make it and as well a Chinese delegate was to present about the Chinese program but had Visa problems. Overall though it was a wonderful event though and it is clear that the prospects for MSR development in the world have taken another big step forward. With both India and China pressing forward, this should further help kick start efforts in the rest of Asia and the western world as well. All attending agreed with the sentiment that more international collaboration is desired and we discussed the ITER model at length (hoping to employ some of its principles but avoid the mess and confusion that the ITER model also generated).

David LeBlanc


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 1:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3827
Location: Alabama
Great report David. I look forward to any more info you might be able to provide.

The three-stage plan that the Indians have championed, if generalized a bit, is really the broadly applicable response to the situation nature gave us.

1. Burn natural uranium in suitable reactors, creating plutonium.
2. Burn plutonium in thorium-jacketed reactors, creating U-233.
3. Burn U-233 in isobreeding thorium reactors.

Which reactors you choose for each stage of the plan is somewhat at your discretion. The Indians have chosen

1. Heavy-water (CANDU-style) reactors.
2. Sodium-cooled fast-breeders.
3. Heavy-water U233/thorium solid-fueled reactors.

But step 3 could be a LFTR-style molten-salt reactor instead, using U233 from stage 2 in the fluid medium.

Alternatively, one could envision the US or Canada following the 3-stage plan this way.

1. LWRs and CANDUs to burn low-enriched or natural uranium, creating plutonium.
2. A two-fluid MSR to burn plutonium in the fuel salt and breed U233 in a thorium blanket salt.
3. A two-fluid LFTR to start on U233 and isobreed thereafter.

Step 2 could also be a fast reactor of some sort but I think a thermal reactor would have a better chance of filling the bill, even if it didn't hit the plutonium consumption efficiencies of a fast reactor.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 2:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5045
Step 2 could also be a single fluid plutonium converter running on Th as fertile.

The advantage being that the single fluid is more shovel-ready as David likes to put it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 4:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3827
Location: Alabama
Well, I'm not sure any MSR using plutonium is quite "shovel-ready" yet. It's one thing to qualify Hastelloy in LiF-BeF2-ThF4 or LiF-BeF2-UF4 since both of those can be done with relatively cheap and low hazard actinides (thorium and depleted uranium, respectively). But testing LiF-BeF2-PuF3 won't be very cheap due to the hazards of the plutonium.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 9:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 28, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 3063
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Well, I'm not sure any MSR using plutonium is quite "shovel-ready" yet. It's one thing to qualify Hastelloy in LiF-BeF2-ThF4 or LiF-BeF2-UF4 since both of those can be done with relatively cheap and low hazard actinides (thorium and depleted uranium, respectively). But testing LiF-BeF2-PuF3 won't be very cheap due to the hazards of the plutonium.

For physical and corrosion properties it would really be a LiF-BeF2-ThF4 - the amount of plutonium would be small enough that it would not change the physical properties. That should help with the costs for most tests.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 9:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jun 05, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 1335
Location: NoOPWA
Could Pu238 be used safely?

_________________
DRJ : Engineer - NAVSEA : (Retired)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jan 18, 2013 1:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2251
It may be better to not depend on 99.995%Li-7 and use FNaBe or an entirely non-moderating salt instead. 20%LEU could be an actual asset in a fast spectrum by substantial fast fission of U-238. Thorium could be the remaining fertile in core or blanket progressively converting to superior fissile U-233 as Pu-239 gets depleted by fission/neutron absorption.
There are substantial stocks of RG/weapons plutonium in UK, Japan, France, Russia and the US waiting to be utilized. The US even has U-233 waiting to be wasted out. ThF4-233UF4 can be the next generation fuel with or without some 238U.
I only hope that Indians also get practical on MSR, as they proceed with thorium.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group