Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Aug 29, 2017 9:11 am 
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Joined: Sep 10, 2008 7:40 pm
Posts: 299
DOE disposing of uranium-233 waste stored at ORNL ... ored-ornl/

PostPosted: Aug 30, 2017 2:57 am 

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2227
What a waste of valuable material! U-233 is the best fissile for reactor use being 90%liable to fission. It should have been used as the fissile component of reactor fuel.
India plans to irradiate thorium in fast reactors ( first prototype yet to be commissioned) for this fissile.

PostPosted: Aug 30, 2017 2:28 pm 

Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Iowa, USA
robert.hargraves wrote:
DOE disposing of uranium-233 waste stored at ORNL ... ored-ornl/

I don't see where they are throwing this away, quite the opposite really.

DOE considered downblending the CEUSP low-level waste materials before disposing of them. Downblending would have involved dissolving the low-level waste and mixing it with another waste or depleted uranium. That would lower the U-233 and U-235 concentrations, but it would increase the volume of the waste to be disposed from about 100 cubic feet to almost 30,000 cubic feet, the DOE analysis said.

So it's kept as highly concentrated U-233, just kept in a different facility. I'm not sure if this is something to be concerned about. Yesterday's DOE may have wanted this rendered useless for any future use at any cost. That's not what they are doing, they are trying to lower costs by putting what they deem a militarily valuable asset to a place better equipped to keep an eye on it.

Even if they did downblend the U-233 with U-238 that doesn't totally remove it's value. I'm not saying it would make it considerably less valuable but even U-238 is breeder reactor fuel and having a bit of U-233 in there would allow a lower enrichment for the fuel used to breed it to something fissile.

At some point someone will realize the only way to destroy this completely is to burn it in a reactor or blend it down so far with other stuff that it's just dirt. If they want to be rid of it permanently they'd just dump it in the ocean. They aren't doing that so it will remain an asset for future reactor fuel.

Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.

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