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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Jul 31, 2014 11:35 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
Even the Russians build and export mainly their VVER.

The idea wasn't to build new ones for export but to use the old ones for a few more years.

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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 01, 2014 6:57 am 
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The graphite in RBMK has a limited life. There is not much point in replacing the graphite in an obsolete design. Nuclear construction has already reached a plateau in N America and W. Europe. The Asians will use designs that suit them with small uranium resources. They will consider recycling used fuel rather than old reactors. Russians are doing what suits them best.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 02, 2014 8:21 am 
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jagdish wrote:
The graphite in RBMK has a limited life.
What is the working life of the RBMK graphite?

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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 02, 2014 11:17 am 
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KitemanSA wrote:
jagdish wrote:
The graphite in RBMK has a limited life.
What is the working life of the RBMK graphite?

I have a copy of the handbook "Ignalina RBMK-1500 - A Source Book" by K. Almenas, A. Kaliatka and E. Uspuras, Ignalina Safety Analysis Group, Lithuanian Energy Institute, 1998.
Section 4.2.4.3, "Pressure Tube - Graphite Gap" discusses the aging issue.
It states that the problem is two-fold: The diameter of the fuel channel bore in the graphite blocks gradually shrinks, while the zirconium-niobium pressure tubes gradually swell.
The 1.5mm gap is expected to close, for the higher-power fuel channels, in about 16 years.
Thus the pressure tubes must be replaced prior to that time.
This has been done at Leningrad units 1 and 2.
"After re-tubing a renewed gap closure is not expected to occur."

Seems to me that replacing the pressure tubes with molten salt fuel piping would not be all that different from standard re-tubing.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 02, 2014 11:49 pm 
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If you want to convert something, provide a MSR core to repower retired coal plants. You demo the boiler, coal mills, hoppers etc. Place a MSR and steam generators in that location. One should be able to execute the change in 12 - 18 months.

The coal plant STG's are far more efficient than the saturated steam turbines used for existing NPP's, because they operate at higher temperatures and pressures as well as using a reheat cycle. There are number of coal plants being shut down because of new emission regulations are forcing major and expensive rebuilds which are often uneconomic, so the plants are retired before they are worn out.

If done well it could promote the early conversion of coal plants.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 7:23 am 
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Lindsay said:

"If you want to convert something, provide a MSR core to repower retired coal plants. You demo the boiler, coal mills, hoppers etc. Place a MSR and steam generators in that location. One should be able to execute the change in 12 - 18 months."

This one has been brought up before. It is a very good idea that won't happen (at least in the US). Too bad too because this is a prime time to do this thing. Old coal plants are closing. New ones can't be built. All the eggs are in one basket,....natural gas.

Biased link with some information:

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/topics/policy/power-plant-closures/

If just one of the new Thorium reactors could be built in North America, it could be the spark that sets off a new industrial revolution.

Think of the boost to the economy revising this infrastructure would have. The new technology developed as a spinoff would generate additional jobs and opportunities for beau coup people.

The Chinese have quite the incentive to close some dirt burners. Maybe, they will repower some with Thorium and push progress in this world forward.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 7:29 am 
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If we want cheap power we need to optimise for the lowest possible capital cost.

For me that means production lines, elimination of forgings and such things and simplification of designs.

If you can build an MSR that meets those criteria, great.

My own proposals tend to revolve around things like CANDU and possibly some kind of BWR derivative like the SGHWR.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 7:43 am 
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When you refurbish a PWR, which forms the majority of reactors in use, for life extension or otherwise, convert it to Th-Pu fuel. It will help reduce the waste fuel as the thorium based fuel has higher burn up. It will also produce some U-233 for future use.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 7:53 am 
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Lindsay wrote:
If you want to convert something, provide a MSR core to repower retired coal plants. You demo the boiler, coal mills, hoppers etc. Place a MSR and steam generators in that location. One should be able to execute the change in 12 - 18 months.

The coal plant STG's are far more efficient than the saturated steam turbines used for existing NPP's, because they operate at higher temperatures and pressures as well as using a reheat cycle. There are number of coal plants being shut down because of new emission regulations are forcing major and expensive rebuilds which are often uneconomic, so the plants are retired before they are worn out.

If done well it could promote the early conversion of coal plants.

That's all very true, and I agree.

But it's not relevant to this thread, which is about RBMK conversion. Please stick to the topic.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 5:41 pm 
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I will be bashed by the diversity police and maybe a few historians, but I'll say it anyway.

For the amount of people that Russia has and for the challenges the country must overcome, Russia does not seem to come up with a lot of innovative thinking. In the somewhat recent past, I guess if you were going to be liquidated or sent to Siberia for an idea that didn't go over very well, it would remove a lot of incentive. I would also think that since your innovation would belong to the state and net you little positive results that the personal incentive wasn't there in the past. Maybe things have changed since the Communist guys are out (sort of).

Russia has a lot of oil, natural gas and their existing reactor program is doing quite well. What incentive do they have to become innovators and put in a molten salt reactor? An immense country like Russia must have lots of Uranium. What need would they have to take the chance on the Thorium thing?

Please feel free to correct my thinking. Sometimes, I need a little brain washing.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 8:48 pm 
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The goals of Russia seem to be to have there finger on all kinds of power resources. You see them trying to lock up all the oil they can. Examples would be the arctic and the pipelines to the west. if they could lock up uranium enrichment they would do it. So if they could lock up molten salt reactor technology they would do that as well.


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 Post subject: Re: RBMK Conversion?
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2014 10:01 pm 
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I really think a discussion of RBMK conversion has reached a reasonable conclusion.


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