Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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 Post subject: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 13, 2014 3:09 pm 
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What is the smallest possible thorium fueled MSR? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 13, 2014 4:25 pm 
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edpell wrote:
What is the smallest possible thorium fueled MSR? Thanks.


Nuclear reactors can be built from 0 Watts (yes!) to several GW.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 13, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Maybe I should have worded that more exactly. What is the minimum thorium fuel, minimum moderator, and minimum U233 to start a reaction. If a KW output number is needed then for 10KW output thermal.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 13, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Cyril is right. We can build a thorium reactor that produces 0.1 W, no problem. We can even build one that produces 0.00000001 W, if you'd like.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 14, 2014 12:35 am 
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What is the biggest self-contained LFTR you could put into a 40-foot (12.19 m) long shipping container?

I want it locked down, welded shut, alarmed system, submersible, upsidedownable, tamper resistant and having 240 voltage outlet and 480 voltage outlet .

Heat output needs to be both passive via roof, and or water flow ( cold water supply in, hot water supply out)


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 14, 2014 1:04 am 
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There already exists a research reactor KAMINI powered by U-233 in India. It is used as a neutron source in research. It produces 30kW of power and its core is a foot diameter and height.
An MSR may be larger due to requirement of a solid moderator.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 14, 2014 5:21 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Cyril is right. We can build a thorium reactor that produces 0.1 W, no problem. We can even build one that produces 0.00000001 W, if you'd like.
How small can you make it, physically?

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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 14, 2014 12:52 pm 
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The aircraft reactor experiment was a bench top reactor that actually ran. Power level was probably higher than you'd want to sustain with something that small but tone down the power draw a bit and I think that would be a good example.

You need to define a few more constraints though to get a meaningful answer. Are you satisfied with a burner or are your trying for a breeder? What shielding do you need (is there a human close by)? Is this a short life reactor or something you hope to run for many decades?


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 14, 2014 11:33 pm 
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http://www.barc.gov.in/reactor/index.html
Refer to KAMINI. You may not need to go any smaller.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 14, 2014 11:53 pm 
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However if you have to have an MSR, go for ThCl4-233UCl4-233UCl3. Chlorine will have to be 37Cl, far easier to get than 99.995%7Li, termed by Jaro as unobtainium. The mixture could be a eutectic of these three or diluted by NaCl-MgCl2 if you want to increase the size for ease of cooling.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Jagdish, thanks for the reference to the Kamini reactor. I see no need to go smaller than 20cm by 20cm by 30cm for the core.

All, when I said small I was thinking in terms of volume and cost not so much in terms of power output.

Lars, yes, I mean a molten salt breeder with thorium as the long term input.

If we use the Kamini core (12,000 cm^3, 30KW thermal) as a starting point how much volume and cost do we need to build the rest of a molten salt thorium fueled breeder? To me this seems about as small (in terms of power) as one can go and still be useful for some applications.

p.s. to the wise guys :) I image a 10cm sphere of U233 surrounded by a 20cm sheath of thorium would make more than 1 watt, last far for more than 100 years and require zero maintenance.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2014 11:19 pm 
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In the future, chinese will develop thorium ships, and cities. these modular thorium power plants will tip the balance of power forever in the hands of the east.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 2:46 am 
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edpell wrote:
I image a 10cm sphere of U233 surrounded by a 20cm sheath of thorium would make more than 1 watt, last far for more than 100 years and require zero maintenance.

Better not have a sphere of pure U-233. Heating could get out of control. Kamini has just 600g of U-233. Include some thorium to mop up spare neutrons.
Fission products include neutron poisons which change reactivity. Make it a thorium control piston in a Th-U233 cylinder.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 11:15 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Better not have a sphere of pure U-233. Heating could get out of control.


Does this have to do with critical mass?


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest Thorium MSR
PostPosted: Feb 21, 2014 8:04 pm 
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A reactor has to go critical to produce heat/power. It has to be controlled at a constant power. How do you control fission in a sphere?


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