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China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" project
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Author:  HolgerNarrog [ Oct 23, 2016 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

My father did work in China on nuclear safety in 2009. A general advice that applies in many countries with an indirect communication is that

.. Reality not always what it looks like from outside...

If you look on China from an outside perspective and go for the logic...

The load factor in the electricity generation in China is about 53 - 56% (2016 coal). Many new coal projects are in different stages of completion. That means there is not a big need for new capacities in the next future.

The main nuclear reactors are PWR with a local manufacturing share of about 80%. It is most probably a priority in China to increase the local manufacturing and get away from foreign licences and manufacturers. An independence from licencies makes as well the export of NPP easier.

It is most probably a priority to close the fuel loop, uranium mining, enrichment, manufacturing of fuel elements, waste treatment.


The development of completly new reactor concepts seems to me not the very first priority for China.

Author:  E Ireland [ Oct 23, 2016 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

There is however significant work going on with the AFCR though - which is an attempt by SNC Lavalin and the Chinese to build a CANDU 6 that is optimised for alternative fuel cycles and includes some of the construction and design innovations of the ACR, although without the light water coolant.

Author:  jagdish [ Oct 27, 2016 5:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

The Chinese need much more energy and are trying everything, including all lines of nuclear power. For immediate needs they are going for PWR which is the leading technology in the world. I feel they may concentrate on salt part before they physically put thorium in reactors. Thorium only needs fissile feed but salt creates material problems. Indians have done theoretical and experimental work on thorium but have not gone to prototype stage. The only experimental reactor using U-233 is an experimental one in India.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Dec 06, 2017 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

China hopes cold war nuclear energy tech will power warships, drones

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Author:  jagdish [ Dec 07, 2017 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

Thorium based molten salt reactor could work on a ship or land but not on a drone or any flying vehicle due to its weight. RTG using fission products might be best for unmanned flying objects.

Author:  macpacheco [ Dec 08, 2017 11:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

jagdish wrote:
Thorium based molten salt reactor could work on a ship or land but not on a drone or any flying vehicle due to its weight. RTG using fission products might be best for unmanned flying objects.

I think the real idea is to power aircraft with synthetic fuels made with cheap MSR reactor energy.

Author:  jagdish [ Dec 09, 2017 11:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

Hydrous pyrolysis of coal for producing syngas is a century old idea. MSR could be a source of hot steam for direct use. IMSR could be heading in that direction, initially for softening kerogen.

Author:  E Ireland [ Dec 10, 2017 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

To be honest, if we have cheap electricity from nuclear, forget hot pyrolysis by steam.

Just go to the Huls process and feed pulverized carbonaceous material directly into an electric arc.

Its been done commercially with methane and heavy oils, and at pilot plant scale with pulverised coal.

Products are a wide variety of interesting materials like acetylene and such.

Author:  jagdish [ Dec 15, 2017 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

Acetylene will have to be further processed to liquid fuels.

Author:  E Ireland [ Dec 16, 2017 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

jagdish wrote:
Acetylene will have to be further processed to liquid fuels.


The products of most coal production processes have to go through multiple steps to produce useful product - especially ones that can conform to increasingly tight (for environmental and other reasons) product specifications.

Syngas processes are notoriously expensive to get working - there is a reason the Pearl GTL plant using the middle distillate process cost tens of billions of dollars, and that was without coal gassifiers and ash gassifier plant that will further increase the cost.
(It uses partial oxidation of methane to produce its syngas, which is not feasible with coal as it would not contain enough hydrogen)

Acetylene-to-valuable products technology is well developed, after all prior to the 60s coal (and to a large extent) acetylene was the major route to industrial chemicals.

Author:  jagdish [ Dec 17, 2017 5:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

If we ever go for synthetic liquid fuels in a big way, we should concentrate on low smoke fuels like methanol or ethanol. It might turn out economical in the long run.
We could initially get our syngas from low cost coal, even going for in situ gasification, and then move on to biomass and organic waste.
My interest in hydrous pyrolysis is to use heat energy with the hydrogen source in shape of nuclear steam. Carbide-acetylene route requires electric power with low energy efficiency. Steam to electric power is two thirds or more waste.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Apr 30, 2018 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

Civil servants probed in Gansu after inviting Taoist monk to perform ritual for nuclear project

Quote:
In another picture, an altar was shown set up with fruits and pastries consecrated to the gods and a slogan that noted that it was the founding ceremony of construction project Thorium Molten Salt Reactor Nuclear Energy System (TMSR). TMSR is a project co-developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Gansu government, and will cost a total of 22 billion yuan ($3.48 billion). According to an earlier report by thepaper.cn, TMSR is one of the six potential options for the fourth generation of nuclear systems, where molten salt reactors do not require a lot of water for cooling and can be built in dry areas such as Northwest China. The report also noted that Gansu Province is rich in Thorium and salt resources.


2 nuclear scientists suspended for failing to stop Taoist ritual

Quote:
The Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on Monday that it had suspended two scientists who were present during a Taoist ritual---meant to convey blessings of safety and success---at the groundbreaking ceremony for its advanced nuclear facility in Gansu province on Thursday. The academy sees such blessings as pseudoscience. The two scientists, He Zhanjun and Cao Yuxiang, were staff members of the academy's Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the institute said in a statement on Monday. It said it will increase supervision to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The institute issued an apology on Saturday after pictures of the ritual went viral online. They featured a priest in Taoist robes holding various items that are part of such blessings. The local government also began investigating seven other officials. An investigation by the academy found that the ritual was organized by the construction team for the institute's Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor, the academy said on Monday. Although the two scientists did not know about the planned ritual and didn't participate in it, they did nothing to stop it, the academy said.

"The academy's institutions should uphold the crucial duty of promoting the scientific spirit and development, but it failed to effectively supervise the building process of its related scientific projects," it said. "This created an incident that went against the spirit of science, and we sincerely apologize to the public."

The new reactor, which uses thorium as an alternative to uranium as an energy source, can provide cleaner and safer nuclear energy with greater sustainability and efficiency at lower cost, according to the World Nuclear Association. Despite its potential, only a handful of countries in the world, including the United States, Russia, France, India and the Netherlands, are actively pursing the technology because of the extreme engineering difficulties involved and the political and social debate over nuclear energy. Jin Yong, deputy director of the School of Foreign Studies at Communication University of China, said religious rituals to convey blessings of safety and success have been a common practice in China and will be hard to do away with. Such rituals are closely linked with Taoism, which claims to use the concept of feng shui, or geomancy, to harmonize an object's energy force with its surrounding environment. The earliest techniques for these rituals are more than 3,500 years, according to Chinese encyclopedias on cosmology and culture.

"The existence of such activities shows that our social norms and ethics need to be improved," Jin said. "It makes us think how we can rationally and legally provide guidance to those unhealthy and unscientific behaviors in society."

Author:  jagdish [ May 02, 2018 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: China started "thorium based molten salt reactor" projec

E Ireland wrote:
To be honest, if we have cheap electricity from nuclear, forget hot pyrolysis by steam.

Just go to the Huls process and feed pulverized carbonaceous material directly into an electric arc.

Its been done commercially with methane and heavy oils, and at pilot plant scale with pulverised coal.

Products are a wide variety of interesting materials like acetylene and such.

Electric power is not the only way to energy use. Liquid fuels could be required beyond petroleum. It’s cost and availability vary with place. Economical processes will continue to be searched.

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