Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Aug 06, 2014 12:38 pm 
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In short term, not only LWR but also coal powered plants will continue to be built. Development of fast reactors with a view to closed cycle is a positive development wherever it is taking place. Economical reprocessing will also be required to support it.
A possibly better development could be fast MSR (including the waste burning hype) and pyro-processing.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Aug 06, 2014 1:12 pm 
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There is no doubt that coal is beating the pants off of nuclear at the moment, it is in fact beating the pants off of all the so called renewables and nuclear combined, but LWR has the best shot at denting that at least.

Because of rapid growth in energy demand in China, and the difficulties of switching to nuclear in today's regulatory and business environment (which the Chinese, sadly, have largely copied), the policy of the next decades can perhaps be more rightly termed "damage control".


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Aug 07, 2014 2:25 am 
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Nuclear has been priced out of market by concentrating on safety and regulation. I guess that the only way to hinder coal is to attack mining deaths and SPM discharging into air. Coal industry should be guided to go for in situ gasification and cleaning of gas before use.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Aug 07, 2014 8:46 am 
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Even imaginary costs are internalized with nuclear power and great costs are externalized with coal and other fossil fuels. If they were priced at what they actually cost us, nuclear power would soon be the main supplier of energy globally.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Aug 12, 2014 12:02 am 
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I guess that the Chinese will develop a no-nonsense economical nuclear energy, as they have done with many other things. They are already collaborating with Russia to keep it on floating platforms placed at a safe distance from shores. New entrants will buy or lease these floating plants which, in theory, can be taken away. The Chinese will close the fuel cycle at home. I am sure the Chinese can make economical floating platforms, even cheaper than the Russians. Russians (one of the major exporters of nuclear fuel) and the Chinese are serious about closed fuel cycle that can extend uranium by two orders of magnitude. Ditto for reduction of spent fuel.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Sep 04, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Too bad India doesn't take this business from both Russia and China. After all, they have HUGE reserves of thorium so they could make LFTRs with large blanket hold-outs. Hmm.

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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Sep 08, 2014 11:40 pm 
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Unfortunately the Indians have not yet been able to develop a thorium breeder, partly due to trade restrictions on uranium, the source of fissile fuel, via the NSG blacklisting. It may still take decades to develop one, earlier or later than a possible LFTR. Then they wasted time and energy on AHWR for things that could as well be done on their standard PHWR.
The earliest technically possible (but far from politically probable!) way to develop a thorium breeder (or near breeder) could be using the spare British RG plutonium with thorium in the Indian PHWR under the IAEA arrangements. Then the world would not have to fight for fuel. If the U-233 production is less than desired, Th/U-233 fast solid or liquid fueled reactors could be developed in good time.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Sep 09, 2014 5:48 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Unfortunately the Indians have not yet been able to develop a thorium breeder, partly due to trade restrictions on uranium, the source of fissile fuel, via the NSG blacklisting. It may still take decades to develop one, earlier or later than a possible LFTR. Then they wasted time and energy on AHWR for things that could as well be done on their standard PHWR.
The earliest technically possible (but far from politically probable!) way to develop a thorium breeder (or near breeder) could be using the spare British RG plutonium with thorium in the Indian PHWR under the IAEA arrangements. Then the world would not have to fight for fuel. If the U-233 production is less than desired, Th/U-233 fast solid or liquid fueled reactors could be developed in good time.


Yes, that would definitely be a win-win situation for India and the UK: the UK can get rid of its excess plutonium, which is badly needed in India for stage three of its nuclear program.

As for China: the pollution in Chinese cities is enormous due to the burning of coal, which can be regarded as a real "externality cost". Ultimately, the Chinese want to replace these coal powered plants and are going full throttle: it is developing its own PWRs and it has several research programs in place for high-temperature reactors and, as we all know, for molten salt (cooled) reactors. India and other Asian countries such as South Korea also have more of a sense of urgency, they are also developing nuclear energy technologies. Meanwhile, the rich western countries are complacent and distracted, spending a lot of money on ineffective hobby horses such as solar panels and wind turbines.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Sep 09, 2014 7:04 am 
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Electricity demand in South Korea and in the developing world is still rising geometrically though.

It hasn't done that in the west since the oil crises.


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 Post subject: Re: Economising Uranium
PostPosted: Sep 11, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Not only at national level but even on international level there are irrational nuclear bodies, laws and rules.
NPT has not prevented proliferation of weapons-only power reactors.
NSG is a restrictive trade organisation.
IAEA has not resulted in development-only regulation bordering on obstruction.


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