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 Post subject: ADTR
PostPosted: Dec 04, 2010 8:54 am 
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I was curious as to why this reactor hasn't been more discussed here (the only thing I found through a search was a mention that the project exists).

The latest news was that it won the Energy Award, see http://itheo.org/articles/energy-award-thorium-project

I understand that the ADTR is not a LFTR, but it is still a Thorium reactor, and one at an advanced stage of design as far as I can understand, and backed by a large corporation to boot. Given what Aker Solutions has done before in the UK, their chances of succeeding in the UK with their ADTR should be quite above zero? As far as I can see, they also got their argumentation "right".

I like that AS develops Thorium reactors, not the least due to their Norwegian home. However I understand very well that they aim outside of Norway, and UK seems like a good place to start/continue.

Aker Solutions' page on the ADTR : http://www.akersolutions.com/en/Global-menu/Products-and-Services/technology-segment/Energy-and-environmental/Nuclear/Novel-Thorium-Reactor/

What do the regulars in here think about this design/project? Feasibility, economics, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: ADTR
PostPosted: Dec 04, 2010 10:01 am 
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Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1947
Location: Montreal
larsivi wrote:
The latest news was that it won the Energy Award, see http://itheo.org/articles/energy-award-thorium-project

.....What do the regulars in here think about this design/project? Feasibility, economics, etc.

Quote:
The design is an accelerator driven, thorium fuelled, lead cooled, power producing, fast reactor.

This is evidently a solid-fuel reactor.

For an accelerator-driven reactor this makes better sense than fluid fuel, especially for fast reactors, since the fuel volume and geometry is much more precisely controlled -- an important design feature, if one wants the subcritical multiplication factor ("k") to be very close to 1.0, without risk of ever exceeding it accidentally.

With solid fuel one can readily arrange for the accelerator beam to acces a spallation target near the center of the reactor core -- without risk that the beam tube (or vortex in some designs) floods with fuel, as it could in a liquid fuel reactor, causing k > 1.0

Any idea what the solid fuel form is ? ....oxide ? ....metal ? ....something else ?
This is important for fuel utilisation, as it determines how readily (or not) used fuel can be reprocessed.
In any event, solid fuel can never be as “good” as liquid, where some of the worst neutron-absorbing (parasitic) fission products come out as gas or vapour – including of course Xenon.


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 Post subject: Re: ADTR
PostPosted: Dec 04, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Jul 28, 2008 5:01 am
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Location: Teesside, UK
There were two talks and a poster on the ADTR at the recent Th Energy conference in London. It probably has the most detailed design of the various accelerator driven systems that were discussed, but it has such a high K - near 0.99, I think - that there seemed little point to the accelerator at all. I don't want to be too mean about it, the developer (Aker) has it's design office just up the road and its nuclear components and services business is a good local employer, but I don't see it ever getting anywhere. Fuel is oxide, so they would have a very difficult time reprocessing.

I wish they were working on MSRs instead, but they were completely dismissive, and certain that MSR plumbing would leak fission products all over.


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 Post subject: Re: ADTR
PostPosted: Dec 05, 2010 11:16 am 
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Location: Montreal
There are interesting details on the 'net about MYRRHA, which is also a lead-bismuth cooled, ADS-run fast reactor:

Quote:
http://myrrha.sckcen.be/en/Engineering/Sub-critical_core
The MYRRHA sub-critical core configuration

The fresh core of MYRRHA contains a lattice of 183 hexagonal channels of which 68 are loaded with fuel assemblies (this configuration considers a core composed of only fresh fuel). A space of 3 hexagons is cleared at the centre of the sub-critical core to house the spallation target module.

Flooding of the spallation target tube with lead-bismuth eutectic has a maximum of +144 pcm reactivity contribution.

The effect of voiding the spallation target module has a negative reactivity contribution of about -1000 pcm.

Quote:
http://myrrha.sckcen.be/en/MYRRHA/ADS/Sub-critical_core
The sub-criticality level
To achieve inherent safety, the sub-criticality level of the core is set around 0.95. In this way, we have a margin with respect to criticality in normal and accidental conditions.


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