Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Jan 18, 2018 12:59 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 62 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mar 13, 2015 2:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5057
According to your article, GE spent 400 million dollars on licensing for the ESBWR. Which is a simplified ABWR (which was licensed in the 90s).

Now imagine what happens if you go to the NRC and start talking a totally different reactor design.

But don't worry, the NRC can't be bothered in any case, since their new chairman has publicly announced that they can't be bothered to put even 1% of their manpower in gen IV. They are too "busy".


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mar 13, 2015 3:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1954
Location: Montreal
Cyril R wrote:
According to your article, GE spent 400 million dollars on licensing for the ESBWR. Which is a simplified ABWR (which was licensed in the 90s).

Now imagine what happens if you go to the NRC and start talking a totally different reactor design.

But don't worry, the NRC can't be bothered in any case, since their new chairman has publicly announced that they can't be bothered to put even 1% of their manpower in gen IV. They are too "busy".
Does Thorcon have a remedy for this ?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mar 13, 2015 5:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Aug 29, 2008 4:55 pm
Posts: 496
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
There is a saying in this country. The more teenagers you have in a car the lower the total IQ.

In my very limited experience in the DOE realm this can be the case when you get too many talented people in a meeting reviewing things that should be pretty straight forward. They can fixate on things that do not matter. Especially if its beyond their realm of expertise or experience. At times it becomes a testosterone battle between personalities. Then you got people who out and out do kingdom building. They slow the process down to keep their high paying job.

I think you need to change the way the NRC gets paid. Right now they are rewarded for not making conclusions.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 14, 2015 11:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 308
Location: idaho falls
Cyrill said
Quote:
... let alone 5 months.
There are other solutions, but I'm not allowed to talk about it anymore :cry:
Quote:


Other solutions to what? reactor configuration? HX wall material?

Statements like this aren't constructive & demonstrate why this nominally technical forum isn't what it used to be; i.e., most of its top contributors (like you) have apparently signed non disclosure agreements which prevent them from being totally open (& therefore totally honest) about anything that their (startup) company's lawyers might possibly construe as its "intellectual property" (in other words, almost anything that's "technical') . This has turned what used to be a great place to learn stuff & hash out technical issues into a just another place to "tweet" opinions.

_________________
Darryl Siemer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2015 2:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
Posts: 507
darryl siemer wrote:
Cyrill said
Quote:
... let alone 5 months.
There are other solutions, but I'm not allowed to talk about it anymore :cry:
Quote:


Other solutions to what? reactor configuration? HX wall material?

Statements like this aren't constructive & demonstrate why this nominally technical forum isn't what it used to be; i.e., most of its top contributors (like you) have apparently signed non disclosure agreements which prevent them from being totally open (& therefore totally honest) about anything that their (startup) company's lawyers might possibly construe as its "intellectual property" (in other words, almost anything that's "technical') . This has turned what used to be a great place to learn stuff & hash out technical issues into a just another place to "tweet" opinions.


Maybe that's a sign of progress?

Some people actually intend to start building something?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2015 2:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2230
Regulation cost is a real hold-up. I can think of one way.
Build it on a floating platform in China or Russia. Anchor it in international waters and sell power by cable. Power may not be banned.
I wonder if it could be done on land in Canada or Mexico? Will they Keystone it?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2015 11:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Jun 19, 2013 11:49 am
Posts: 1493
This is one of the problems with the nuclear field - mistrust of IP protections.

Because we have absolutely no idea when, or if, we will actually start building plants publicly patenting ideas is not considered to be worthwhile because that starts the clock on the patent restrictions - it being entirely possible that no reactors will actually be built before the time runs out. So people just keep things a secret so that when the renaissance begins they can patent it and claim the prize for their work.

But because no one ever shares any information lots of work is duplicated or simply goes unused - so the renaissance never happens.
Free sharing of information is necessary if we are ever going to get anywhere - Nuclear is simply too capital intensive for the normal mechanisms to work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2015 2:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
Posts: 507
What level of information sharing is needed?

There's a fair amount of disclosure on the Thorcon, Terrestrial and Moltex websites.

I can't think of any major novel ideas - apart from Terrestrial's solid salt / molten salt heat buffer. In fact, the selling point of these reactors is that they don't use much new technology.

The patents though, like the devil, will be in the detail. So probably lots of little ideas that will get patented around the time building starts.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2015 2:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jun 19, 2013 11:49 am
Posts: 1493
But because those minor ideas - which each make a small but significant contribution to determine whether the reactors are going to be economic to build or not - are kept secret, no-one has access to all of them which means that reactor construction might be delayed or even prevented.

The optimum solution from the perspective of getting these reactors into operation would be total information sharing about everything. But that would destroy the 'business case' of private capital funded attempts.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2015 4:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Alabama
I'm not so sure it's IP fear, I think a large part of it that many of these strategies are simply orthogonal to one another.

Terrestrial wants to build the simplest MSR they can with the least development. That's fine, but it misses many of the potential advantages of MSR, in my opinion, not the least of which is the thorium fuel cycle.

Thorcon also wants a simple MSR but wants to mix the thorium and uranium fuel cycles, a move I consider to be a big, messy mistake. But they disagree with me as far as my zeal to hold to the thorium fuel cycle.

Moltex wants to build an internally cooled MSR, which I consider to be utterly loony. I've sat at dinner with Ian and told him as much. He disagrees with me, no surprise.

Transatomic wants to use ZrH2 as a clad moderator, another idea I consider utterly loony. I haven't said it to Leslie's face but have communicated it through their advisors and the message was delivered. They press ahead with ZrH2. That's fine for them, but I think they will run into serious problems.

And I know all of them think I'm doing it the wrong way.

So how much IP is there to mix and share among the efforts? Not as much as you might think. The things I am most proud of in my design, and keep the most secret, would be utterly uninteresting to my competitors since none of them plan to tackle the problems for which I think I have found solutions. And the converse is also true. So there we are.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 16, 2015 12:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sep 22, 2013 2:27 pm
Posts: 262
Kirk,


Do you have the impression that one of these concepts is competitive to a LWR or a coal fired power plant?


Last edited by HolgerNarrog on Jun 20, 2015 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 20, 2015 1:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 308
Location: idaho falls
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
I'm not so sure it's IP fear, I think a large part of it that many of these strategies are simply orthogonal to one another.

Terrestrial wants to build the simplest MSR they can with the least development. That's fine, but it misses many of the potential advantages of MSR, in my opinion, not the least of which is the thorium fuel cycle.

Thorcon also wants a simple MSR but wants to mix the thorium and uranium fuel cycles, a move I consider to be a big, messy mistake. But they disagree with me as far as my zeal to hold to the thorium fuel cycle.

Moltex wants to build an internally cooled MSR, which I consider to be utterly loony. I've sat at dinner with Ian and told him as much. He disagrees with me, no surprise.

Transatomic wants to use ZrH2 as a clad moderator, another idea I consider utterly loony. I haven't said it to Leslie's face but have communicated it through their advisors and the message was delivered. They press ahead with ZrH2. That's fine for them, but I think they will run into serious problems.

And I know all of them think I'm doing it the wrong way.

So how much IP is there to mix and share among the efforts? Not as much as you might think. The things I am most proud of in my design, and keep the most secret, would be utterly uninteresting to my competitors since none of them plan to tackle the problems for which I think I have found solutions. And the converse is also true. So there we are.


I agree with your opinion about the current crop of MSR concepts - they are too "compromised" to represent a permanent solution to Mankind's long term energy-related issues.

Since we've already wandered off topic let's discuss an issue that's common to almost any sort of molten fluoride-based salt reactor concept & is especially relevant to anything like Kasten's MOSEL; i.e., the fact that neutrons transmute natural nickel's primary isotope (58Ni, it comprises about 68% of natural Ni - most of the rest is 60Ni & there is no natural 57 or 59) and a common contaminant (boron) into gases which eventually render whatever's made of it both weak & porous. A recent paper by Chas Forsberg (which I can no longer locate) proposed an "obvious" solution; i.e., convert raw nickel to some sort of gas (Ni(CO)4?) which could be isotopically separated by the same sorts of centrifuges used to isolate 235U. Unfortunately, like most technical literature in this field, that paper wasn't terribly useful because it didn't reveal sufficient technical details (due to IP concerns?) for an outsider to decide whether or not its scenario actually makes good economic sense. While I was initially skeptical, I'm now beginning to feel that it would indeed be practical because 1) the amount of nickel required to make a properly designed MSFR or MOSEL reactor's core wall ("barrier") shouldn't be more than a few (let's say about 3) tonnes, 2) assuming 10% 58Ni in the "tails", making 3 tonnes of <1% 58Ni would require about 26,000 SWUs (to see how to do this calculation, see pp 23-26 of http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0906/0906.2505.pdf), 3) at today's roughly $100/SWU unit cost for gas centrifuge-based isotopic separations, that much separation work should cost only about $2.6 million, and, finally, 4) at 6 cents/kwhr, a full sized (not"modular") MSR/MSBR/LFTR etc. would generate well over 1 million dollars worth of electricity per day.

Is it reasonable to assume the same unit SWU cost for nickel & uranium separations? What's the basis for your answer?

_________________
Darryl Siemer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 20, 2015 9:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 28, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 3069
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
I'm not so sure it's IP fear, I think a large part of it that many of these strategies are simply orthogonal to one another.

Terrestrial wants to build the simplest MSR they can with the least development. That's fine, but it misses many of the potential advantages of MSR, in my opinion, not the least of which is the thorium fuel cycle.

Thorcon also wants a simple MSR but wants to mix the thorium and uranium fuel cycles, a move I consider to be a big, messy mistake. But they disagree with me as far as my zeal to hold to the thorium fuel cycle.

Moltex wants to build an internally cooled MSR, which I consider to be utterly loony. I've sat at dinner with Ian and told him as much. He disagrees with me, no surprise.

Transatomic wants to use ZrH2 as a clad moderator, another idea I consider utterly loony. I haven't said it to Leslie's face but have communicated it through their advisors and the message was delivered. They press ahead with ZrH2. That's fine for them, but I think they will run into serious problems.

And I know all of them think I'm doing it the wrong way.

So how much IP is there to mix and share among the efforts? Not as much as you might think. The things I am most proud of in my design, and keep the most secret, would be utterly uninteresting to my competitors since none of them plan to tackle the problems for which I think I have found solutions. And the converse is also true. So there we are.

I think we share a need for: a) test sites and an ability to test before full commercial license b) fluoride salt pumps, seals, and bearings c) better knowledge of U233 neutronics (the different libraries yield substantially different results) d) a good source of 7Li . I'm sure there are other areas as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 22, 2015 7:43 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1954
Location: Montreal
Lars wrote:
I think we share a need for: a) test sites and an ability to test before full commercial license ...

Apparently TAP people aren't here to speak for themselves, but Dewan's testimony before the US House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee last December seems like a good thing to all on this forum, does it not ?


Attachments:
USHR10_Science_and_Technology_Committee 12-XII-2014.JPG
USHR10_Science_and_Technology_Committee 12-XII-2014.JPG [ 266.96 KiB | Viewed 2542 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 24, 2015 6:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Aug 29, 2008 4:55 pm
Posts: 496
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Nothing is stopping anyone from testing salt pumps and seals...as long as they stay non nuclear.

Nuscale is trying to build a modular reactor in Idaho. Possibly on the INL. A 1500 megawatt light water rector that is nowhere near a river. True there is ground water but they may not get a water right if they can not prove they will not affect the other pumpers in the area. They are talking with the NRC before they submit their license. DOE also gave them millions of dollars to help them get it certified. Still they a fearful that the NRC can not do the job.

Instead of a testing facility you need a testing law. That rains in the NRC.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 62 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group