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PostPosted: Feb 11, 2009 8:07 pm 
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Italian nuclear renaissance gathers pace

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Following a referendum in November 1987, provoked by the Chernobyl accident 18 months earlier, work on Italy's nuclear program was largely stopped. In 1988, the government resolved to halt all nuclear construction, shut the remaining reactors and decommission them from 1990. As well as the operating plants, two new boiling water reactors were almost complete and six locally-designed pressurized water reactor units were planned.

Scajola recently said that Italy made a 'terrible mistake' in phasing out nuclear power. He said that closing down of all the nuclear power plants was a 'terrible mistake, the cost of which totalled over €50 billion (approximately $68 billion), if you count direct and indirect costs.'


How appropriate that a nuclear "renaissance" should be taking place in Italy. Also a fantastic site for submerged thorium reactors providing power and freshwater to this predominantly coastal nation.


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PostPosted: Feb 12, 2009 4:10 am 
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Now that they have closed the nuclear plants and also decided to resume, they can benefit in two ways:-
1. They can have their spent fuel reprocessed and recycle it.
2. They can select for future construction a safe, low pressure fluid fuel or salt cooled design.
Kirk could try them if DARPA wouldn't listen. My suggestion about Calandria configuration using fluorocarbon coolant seems to be the best bet for an early start.
Best size to start would be a technology proving 300-500MW.
Till the new plants are ready, they can continue to buy nuclear electricity from France.


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PostPosted: Feb 12, 2009 10:33 am 
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How appropriate that a nuclear "renaissance" should be taking place in Italy. Also a fantastic site for submerged thorium reactors providing power and freshwater to this predominantly coastal nation.



Italy has not fresh water big problems (something in the South, maybe, or particurally in the smaller islands where diesel genereators are often used), but instead district heating, particurally in the colder regions, is very popular and LFTR is IMHO a very interesting technology for it

Quote:
Now that they have closed the nuclear plants and also decided to resume, they can benefit in two ways:-
1. They can have their spent fuel reprocessed and recycle it.
2. They can select for future construction a safe, low pressure fluid fuel or salt cooled design.
Kirk could try them if DARPA wouldn't listen. My suggestion about Calandria configuration using fluorocarbon coolant seems to be the best bet for an early start.
Best size to start would be a technology proving 300-500MW.
Till the new plants are ready, they can continue to buy nuclear electricity from France.


Agree, although Italy has very low quantity of nuclear wastes (and large fraction of those are even stored elsewhere, like Sellafield and La Hague foreign reprocessing plants), given the short production of nuclear energy in decades in that country (less than 100 TWh, if I remember correctly)


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PostPosted: Feb 14, 2009 1:52 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
How appropriate that a nuclear "renaissance" should be taking place in Italy. Also a fantastic site for submerged thorium reactors providing power and freshwater to this predominantly coastal nation.
More than 12 GW, just for Sicily?


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PostPosted: Feb 14, 2009 5:41 am 
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Bill wrote:
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
How appropriate that a nuclear "renaissance" should be taking place in Italy. Also a fantastic site for submerged thorium reactors providing power and freshwater to this predominantly coastal nation.
More than 12 GW, just for Sicily?


12 GW? For what?

There is indeed IMHO an enomous energy potential in district heating in bigger cities (today heated mostly by costly natural gas), however


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PostPosted: Feb 15, 2009 12:00 am 
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The British have already opened their second nuclear innings with EdF taking stance as opening batsman. Swedish have also realized the indispensability of nuclear power. Germans can't be far behind.
The point is, who shall take the lead to go for safe, low pressure reactors banishing water and steam outside the core? The French, the leaders, have burnt their hands in sodium fire. Shall they throw the baby away or change its bath from sodium to stable salts? The Germans could also revive their THTR.
Shall the lead go further east? Russians are actually building a power reactor with sodium coolant. They already lead in Lead as a coolant but seem to have realized some compatibility problems. Japanese are ahead in salt with FUJI-3 but have had a setback with sodium.
The future is uncertain and interesting.


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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2009 1:49 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
The British have already opened their second nuclear innings with EdF taking stance as opening batsman. Swedish have also realized the indispensability of nuclear power. Germans can't be far behind.
The point is, who shall take the lead to go for safe, low pressure reactors banishing water and steam outside the core? The French, the leaders, have burnt their hands in sodium fire. Shall they throw the baby away or change its bath from sodium to stable salts? The Germans could also revive their THTR.
Shall the lead go further east? Russians are actually building a power reactor with sodium coolant. They already lead in Lead as a coolant but seem to have realized some compatibility problems. Japanese are ahead in salt with FUJI-3 but have had a setback with sodium.
The future is uncertain and interesting.


For the Americans who are reading this, Jagdish is making a reference to Cricket. Cricket has several forms, including a one day version and a multi day version. The multi day version is called "First Class" and consists of two innings for each side. One day matches consists of a single innings. Note that in American baseball we have one inning or two (or nine) innings. In Cricket you have one innings or two innings. A single innings can take a whole day. First Class games consiste of two innings over two or three days. Long matches.

Here are links to more information about cricket:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket

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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2009 9:33 pm 
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So four-day sheffield shield and five-day Test matches don't exist then, do they?

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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2009 10:25 pm 
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Reference to cricket was only a figure of speech. The baseball, although I do not know much about it, may also have innings. I am sure that meaning is clear.
Please think in totality of what I have said and think of where or what are the prospects of advancing thorium use.


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PostPosted: Feb 25, 2009 12:44 am 
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Nothing succeeds like success.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... l41DrsVmFw
The French, very firm in their approach to energy, are already building a reactor in Finland. EdF has already acquired sites in the UK and are now on way to take the lead in Italy. It seems to be well on the way to become E de European Union. Not that they are not competing in China and India.
LFTR has two new technologies to prove in commercial reactors. One is thorium fuel which is also being pursued by India and Thorium Power. The other is the fluid fuel involving online processing to overcome nuclear poisons in fission products. How to prove this technology?
I think this shall be also tried out first in Asia, home to a majority of mankind and just waking up to energy use.


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PostPosted: Jun 11, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Besides easing of siting for Italy, I did an other rough estimate to develop MSR technology in Italy. We know the first issue is transuranics/fissile start-up, but France alone had produced large quantity of that, enough both for Italy and France itself (and many other European country, too).

The rough estimate about TRU production in France is this : nuclear electricity production 570 TWh/year, TRU production : ~ 350 kg per GWyear, before year 2020-30 France will accumulate something in the range of 900-1100 tonn of TRU enough to start about 1000 GWe of LFTR (I think the total electric power installed in Europe today is much less than half of this), even in the epithermal spectrum. So, contrary to my belief, there is no shortage of TRU to start-up a large fleet of LFTR in Europe


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PostPosted: Jun 11, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Alex P wrote:
So, contrary to my belief, there is no shortage of TRU to start-up a large fleet of LFTR in Europe


However, there is no shortage of Gazprom sellouts in Europe neither, which seems to be the real obstacle.


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PostPosted: Jun 11, 2009 7:27 pm 
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This thread seems to have gone off on an entirely fictional tangent: There is exactly ZERO chance of Italy considering LFTRs for its return to nuclear power generation.
They are likely to build EPRs, with much lower chance of building AP-1000 or ABWR (they say they will consider all currently licensed designs, but their strong relationship with France almost guarantees EPRs....)


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PostPosted: Jun 12, 2009 3:24 am 
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jaro wrote:
This thread seems to have gone off on an entirely fictional tangent: There is exactly ZERO chance of Italy considering LFTRs for its return to nuclear power generation.


That' s right for the near term, of course, LFTR is obviously a long term option (after 2020-30, at least). For Italy today, I'd support rather Candu technology (less complexity, no uranium enrichment, etc...)


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PostPosted: Jun 12, 2009 10:08 am 
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Italy isn't going to go for CANDU's as it is bound by the EURATOM treaty which slightly advises not to uses heavy water. Furthermore they will only go for the latest designs (EPR, AP-1000 and ACR-1000). Of which the ACR-1000 design still isn't validated anywhere in Europe today.

They've signed an understanding with both Russia and France. Therefore I would say they go for EPR and VVER technology most probably. And MSR has actually zero chance to get into Italy, even on the long term. Even in France they're considering SFR somewhere around 2020-2030. If this technology already has such a long term option, you could place MSR on the 2050-2075 scale. In addition C.Rubbia will support ADS in favor of MSR technology for transmutation...

However, knowing Italy a little, even the return to nuclear power is questionable...

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