Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2013 4:02 am 
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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.


Plutonium fluoride is more stable and less corrosive than UF4 (it has only 3 fluorines rather than 4). I don't see a need to test it. We know the solubility of trifluorides already. We know the nuclear properties of plutonium quite well.

The quantity of PuF3 is also small enough that thermal-hydraulics considerations are not at hand.


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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2013 4:05 am 
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KitemanSA wrote:
Could Pu238 be used safely?


It is safer in terms of criticality in a thermal reactor. But it is more dangerous in terms of toxicity.

And we don't have a lot of Pu238 lying around. One thing with plutonium is that we can't seperate the isotopes. It's technologically impossible. That's a proliferation advantage, but a disadvantage in everything else.


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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2013 5:01 pm 
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My guest posting is now up on the Weinberg Foundation site about the India conference. I think it turned out nice.

http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/

David LeBlanc


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PostPosted: Jan 19, 2013 7:58 am 
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Thanks for the story David. Are the presentations available in digital format online?


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PostPosted: Jan 19, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Good report. These are very encouraging developments.

I am worried the US is suggesting Westinghouse as having an advisor role to the Chinese project. That is like having a wolf as a sheep shepherd's advisor. I hope the Chinese will not fall for this ploy and just simply keep pushing. That should eventually cause even the US side into action.

Thomas


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PostPosted: Jan 20, 2013 12:19 am 
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and who is Westinghouse owned by now. The japanese ?


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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2013 9:59 am 
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Cyril R wrote:
Thanks for the story David. Are the presentations available in digital format online?



They asked if they could put my presentation online on their website so I assume they are doing that for most. Not sure when that will get done though. I'll try to check about the conference proceedings as well, there are some excellent papers in it.

David LeBlanc


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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2013 3:40 pm 
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My first post

David, thanks for interesting news form India

Good to hear the elder researchers once involved in the ORNL MSR studies are still active. Late dr Kazuo Furukawa surely belonged to this group of "old boys". I am asking myself if we shall look at them as at "lost generation" or their engagement still has value and potential. Do you think India and Japan have still any advantage over those who declared their interest in thorium power only recently?

Pliftr (Polish LFTR)


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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Welcome Polska LFTR. Been lurking quite a while I see. Glad you joined in.

_________________
DRJ : Engineer - NAVSEA : (Retired)


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PostPosted: Jan 22, 2013 2:48 pm 
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KitemanSA wrote:
Welcome Polska LFTR. Been lurking quite a while I see. Glad you joined in.


Thank you for warm welcome. Changing hobbies from windmills to thorium power and self-teaching takes time.

Pliftr (Polish LFTR)


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PostPosted: Jan 25, 2013 2:51 am 
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Problem with Westinghouse is their ties to light water reactors. They have an interest to kill MSR research and redirect funding to support AP1000 deployments. I figure Westinghouse's co-funding of a lot of Department Of Energy's nuclear research is partially responsible for no thorium research at DOE.

Thomas


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PostPosted: Jan 25, 2013 10:57 am 
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There has been no mention of the conference in the Indian media or on DAE website. There seems to be no planning to do anything practical.
The US SNF storage site at Yucca has been unceremoniously dumped. Things are not any more advanced elsewhere. A fast spectrum MSR could be a waste incinerator and the motive for MSR development. India has had too few GW years of nuclear power to be sufficiently interested in it. It looks like the China will be the pioneers in the field.


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PostPosted: Jan 26, 2013 9:32 am 
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jagdish wrote:
There has been no mention of the conference in the Indian media or on DAE website.

Back to reality..... Thanks for the local insight, jagdish.


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PostPosted: Jan 28, 2013 3:15 pm 
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jaro wrote:
jagdish wrote:
There has been no mention of the conference in the Indian media or on DAE website.

Back to reality..... Thanks for the local insight, jagdish.



Why would India media cover this as it is at such an early stage? The DAE website isn't a news source either, the BARC site does of course lists the conference but all this is so new for them of course you are not going to find any official policy statements yet. I guess we can always count on Jaro for a cynical viewpoint. No one is saying they are building a MSR of even committed to doing so, just that it is exciting and hopeful they are allowing such a significant number of researchers to start work on this. Yes, it is unfocused but that is a wise thing to do at such an early stage for them, not commit to one approach. Indeed there were presentations on Two Fluid, Single Fluid and of course the FHR salt cooled approach. The only clear feeling I got was as a group they didn't think much of the fast spectrum approach.

David L.


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PostPosted: Jan 29, 2013 12:34 am 
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You could be right in that it is just a study phase and the enthusiasm in the concerned people is encouraging.
The Indians are already building a solid fueled prototype fast reactor designed to irradiate thorium in the blanket. A more neutron efficient fast spectrum MSR core would be a real advance. It could lead to uranium or thorium breeders.
Elsewhere, such an arrangement could burn off the SNF (uranium as well as transuranics) and create superior fissile U-233 for power plant reactors.


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