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Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods
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Author:  jagdish [ Sep 17, 2014 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

I think that the company's approach in starting thorium fuel with Th-Pu MOX fuel is going to be productive. U-233 produced can be used in
1. MSR including the LFTR.
2. Thermal Th based reactor as a successor to Pu.
3. As Th-U233 metallic fuel in fast reactors.
LWR's are in wide use and could use the alternate fuel if and when proved. Fast reactors will be in use in Russia, India and China by the time Thorium fuel is available for use.

Author:  macpacheco [ Sep 18, 2014 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

jagdish wrote:
I think that the company's approach in starting thorium fuel with Th-Pu MOX fuel is going to be productive. U-233 produced can be used in
1. MSR including the LFTR.
2. Thermal Th based reactor as a successor to Pu.
3. As Th-U233 metallic fuel in fast reactors.
LWR's are in wide use and could use the alternate fuel if and when proved. Fast reactors will be in use in Russia, India and China by the time Thorium fuel is available for use.

They talk about a sustainable cycle with reprocessing, so I'm getting that a LWR fueled with U-233+Th-232 fuel would be isobreeding or a little better ? That would be outstanding, given we already have hundreds of LWRs available worldwide.
Does this means that inside a LWR, the 2/3 chance of fission of Pu-239 vs 85% chance of U-233 fission (both in the thermal spectrum) overcomes the risk of Pa-233 eating up neutrons and making U-232 ?
And reprocessing Th-232 + U-233 (assuming the fuel would cool down long enough that Pa-233 is mostly gone before reprocessing) means just removing fission products, when U-233 doesn't fission, U-234 then U-235 is produced which is still an excellent fuel.
Dr. Sorensen very well illustrated the many virtues of Th-232 / U-233 fuel cycle.
Very interesting... But does this makes sense ?
This could mean essentially the end of our spent nuclear fuel problem. Making fuel with reactor grade plutonium + Th might just be the kick in the pants to make nuclear fuel reprocessing viable in the USA.
Ok, I'm officially rambling. Thanks for listening.

Author:  jagdish [ Sep 18, 2014 5:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

In spite of the Shippingport experiment, LWR is not a reliable Th/U-233 breeder. An MSR (LFTR) or a fast breeder could be. It is the holy grail for Indian DAE but they have not reached it yet. AHWR design is not a breeder and has not yet been built. They could reach it via a solid fuel or MSR fast breeder in coming decades.
th-Pu fuel could still be a good way to maximise the uranium fuel.

Author:  macpacheco [ Sep 18, 2014 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

jagdish wrote:
In spite of the Shippingport experiment, LWR is not a reliable Th/U-233 breeder. An MSR (LFTR) or a fast breeder could be. It is the holy grail for Indian DAE but they have not reached it yet. AHWR design is not a breeder and has not yet been built. They could reach it via a solid fuel or MSR fast breeder in coming decades.
th-Pu fuel could still be a good way to maximise the uranium fuel.

Even 1% breeding would be a great thing. Perhaps doable using a CANDU ?

Author:  jagdish [ Sep 20, 2014 1:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

Even dedicated U-233 production could be a good thing. It is the best fissile for reactors and least desirable for weapons.

Author:  macpacheco [ Dec 16, 2014 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

One argument I read today... That by adopting Plutonium - Thorium fuel would enable reactors to get a power upgrade... The better thermal conductivity of Thorium helps flatten the temperature gradients inside the reactor, but uprating the reactor would require hotter water ? Is that possible ? Even a 5% power upgrade is nothing to sneeze at.

Author:  jagdish [ Dec 16, 2014 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

The use of thorium reduces the requirement of consumable poisons and increases the reactor residence of fuel. It also produces U- 233. Use of Th as part fuel in PWR and PHWR is a desirable line of development. Th breeders either thermal, MS, PHWR or fast reactors could be the next step.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Feb 01, 2018 3:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

Third round of thorium test irradiation starts

Author:  KitemanSA [ Feb 01, 2018 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

macpacheco wrote:
One argument I read today... That by adopting Plutonium - Thorium fuel would enable reactors to get a power upgrade... The better thermal conductivity of Thorium helps flatten the temperature gradients inside the reactor, but uprating the reactor would require hotter water ? Is that possible ? Even a 5% power upgrade is nothing to sneeze at.
LightBridge fuel offers a 10% by 24 month upgrade and a 17% by 18 month upgrade for existing reactors, and a 30% by 18 month upgrade for new/modified reactors.

Author:  jagdish [ Feb 03, 2018 7:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thor Energy starting trials of thorium-MOX LWR fuelrods

Best way forward on thorium fuel introduction is thorium-Pu MOX in existing reactors. I am happy that LWR, the most common reactor type is being used. It will open the way for widespread use of thorium and recovered Plutonium.
Perhaps the Indians should use the PHWR instead of waiting for a dedicated AHWR to be built. In case of PHWR , a blanket could be provided by end bundles as an axial blanket and some of the tubes selected for radial blanket. Conversion to U 233 could be maximised.

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