Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Oct 28, 2014 3:13 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
Considering we have been doing it for decades on massive scales its not really that complex in terms of making it work reliably.
Insanely radioactive materials evaporating into an artificial vacuum sounds like the kind of thing engineers have nightmares over.


Nah, you're just being skittish. A tiny vacuum vessel at modest temperature and no chemical reactions in it doesn't scare me.

Vacuum distillation is widely used in nuclear waste management such as concentration of radioactive sludges.


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PostPosted: Oct 28, 2014 8:34 am 
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Annular fuel elements could be a useful approach with this reactor. The peak fuel centerline temperature is about 1000 C cooler, and the required pressure drop may be smaller as well. So, with the lower centerline temperature, are nitride fuels and metal fuels more palatable?


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PostPosted: Oct 28, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Jim L. wrote:
Annular fuel elements could be a useful approach with this reactor. The peak fuel centerline temperature is about 1000 C cooler, and the required pressure drop may be smaller as well. So, with the lower centerline temperature, are nitride fuels and metal fuels more palatable?


The annular fuel reduces the fuel temperature a lot for oxide fuel, though not nearly 1000C. More like a few hundred degrees. Usually this will be used to increase power density, so keeping fuel centerline temperature similar.

For nitride and metal fuels, the thermal conductivity is already so high, the centerline fuel temperature will be quite cold. Even for sodium cooled reactors with enormous power density, up to several times that of a PWR, the fuel temperature is very low, though part of that is also because of LM bond.


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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2014 5:47 am 
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I looked into liquid metal bonding for oxide fuels last time you mentioned it. Papers went back a quarter century. ( A bit of tin in the lead-bismuth eutectic was supposed to reduce corrosion of the zirconium by eighty percent.) If it's so beneficial, why hasn't there been some progress on this?


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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2014 8:25 am 
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My source for the delta 1000C centerline peak temp: https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:40044589


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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2014 8:51 am 
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Jim L. wrote:
My source for the delta 1000C centerline peak temp: https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:40044589

1000c peak yes. Not 1000c cooler... Little Babylon.


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PostPosted: Nov 03, 2014 11:22 pm 
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It is disappointing that the RBWR remains only a paper concept. No SMR developer has taken it up for trials.
A successful trial could open the way to water moderated and cooled MSR.


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PostPosted: Nov 04, 2014 9:07 am 
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I wonder if anyone has done any studies on what effect just swapping to nitride fuel in an ESBWR core would do if you didn't want to length the cycle length.....
That would tell us how close we could get to a breeder core in a natural circulation reactor.

SiC cladding and nitride fuel are too marginal wins for breeding ratio - be interesting to see where they get us.


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