Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2014 12:52 pm 

Joined: Jun 05, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 1335
Location: NoOPWA
E Ireland wrote:
You will end up with a full load of salt which has been converted into what amounts to one fluid reactor salt - which will have to be shipped out, then you will have to find some way of decontaminating the reactor sufficiently to allow repairs to be made, then you will either have to construct a plant from scratch to recover the fissile material from the original salt load or you will have to procure a new fissile load.

Once the costs are in its not much cheaper than simply calling it quits and buying another reactor.
Depends on the design of the reactor and how soon you discover the "plumbing failure". Seems to me the most likely scenario will be a quick dump of the two fluids with the fuel fluid being slightly contaminated with the blanket fluid. Since most design concepts of which I am aware have a quickly replaceable set of structures, the repair should take very little time; merely a matter of pulling the broken and replacing with new. The Fuel salt may need a bit of chemistry to balance the actinide, but most should be usable quite quickly and the rest can be processed at leisure.

The later the break is discovered, the longer the processing will take.

DRJ : Engineer - NAVSEA : (Retired)

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2014 11:18 am 

Joined: Jul 20, 2010 12:52 pm
Posts: 187
As things stand, the production of mined uranium, the source of fissile fuel, is now mainly in Central Asia and Africa. It has already plateaued in Canada and Australia, partly due to local resistance.

I'm not sure that is accurate. Canada was #2 and Australia was #3 in production after Kazakhstan (Central Asia) in 2012. ... roduction/

There isn't 'local resistance' (well maybe in some parts of Australia, but even that won't last). It is low prices, that are holding back production. Cameco (Canada) is just getting ready to start production from Cigar Lake, Rio Tinto halted plans for production from Olympic Dam, but can start that up when the price is a bit higher. Those have huge reserves.

Russia is planning to triple U production (may be some wishful thinking here, but ..) ... ssias.html

People like to talk about production from seawater, as the final answer to critics that we are 'running out of uranium', but if you look at the history of mineral extraction, uranium is in the very early days. New deposits will be found (other parts of Canada, US, Australia, Africa, ... and for a totally new producer Greenland looks good) and methods will be improved. Lower-grade resources will be exploited, as prices go higher, and long before they reach the price of seawater extraction. There is a lot more uranium out there. Even if fast breeders were never deployed (and clearly they will be) uranium is going to last a long time.

And of course there is thorium!

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