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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2015 3:15 am 
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The company Energy Process Developments Ltd. has done a feasibility study of developing of a pilot molten salt reactor in the UK and has been given a grant by a UK government body to carry out the study. The objective of this study is also to reinvigorate nuclear R&D and the nuclear industry in the UK.

Their 75-page report was made public last month:

http://www.energyprocessdevelopments.co ... 201.02.pdf

Six MSR designs have been studied, some of which have been discussed in the forums already, like Flibe, ThorCon and Terrestrial Energy and some of which I haven't heard about before, like Seaborg.

Somewhat to my surprise, they have chosen the Moltex design as a basis for developing a pilot molten salt reactor in the UK.


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PostPosted: Aug 29, 2015 7:35 pm 
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Somewhat to my surprise, they have chosen the Moltex design as a basis for developing a pilot molten salt reactor in the UK.


That is a good thing. There is a government that has the good sense to pick the developments of its own people to move on with.

http://www.moltexenergy.com/thessr/thestablesaltreactordesign/

In my search for this company, I found there is a paper diaper maker with the same name.

This looks to be an evolutionary design. It uses existing technologies to step towards molten salt reactors, but keeps the fuel bundles idea. Maybe, this is good. By using existing known technologies, there may be a greater chance to having he thing work "out of the box."

Atomic Insights has reported of the problems of the AP1000. This is less revolutionary than the Moltex reactor and still is causing major headaches with the Reactor Coolant Pumps (RCPs). Baby steps are the best way to go in the nuke world. Failures can stop the entire industry dead in its tracks. Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have done their part to slow the progress of new reactors.

If the Brits get this thing going, it could be almost as revolutionary as the Newcomen engine.


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PostPosted: Aug 30, 2015 4:20 am 
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Moltex SSR appears to be a very sensible fast reactor design with bottled Molten salt as fuel rods. Besides the advantage of fission gases being permitted to escape, they could have a single bottle for a bundle. Heat transfer from fluid fuel could be much better.
The UK have a lot of recovered plutonium to burn. It is best burnt/utilised in a fast reactor.
Chloride salts have generally lower boiling points and a chloride distillation refinery could be the mainstay of reprocessing. Uranium could be removed first as hexachloride, leaving a much smaller balance for fractional distillation.
I feel that they should hurry the development to save on the very high cost of EPR which has already its developers in financial problems.


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PostPosted: Aug 30, 2015 6:55 am 
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Jagdish wrote:

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I feel that they should hurry the development to save on the very high cost of EPR which has already its developers in financial problems.


Doesn't the UK have commitments to greenhouse gas reduction as being part of the European Union? This would also be a financial incentive. This may have been stated in the initial comment within the link.


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PostPosted: Aug 30, 2015 2:21 pm 
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Eino wrote:
Jagdish wrote:

Quote:
I feel that they should hurry the development to save on the very high cost of EPR which has already its developers in financial problems.


Doesn't the UK have commitments to greenhouse gas reduction as being part of the European Union? This would also be a financial incentive. This may have been stated in the initial comment within the link.


Yes, the UK has, as many other countries, commitments to reduce CO2 emissions. The UK also has a huge stockpile of plutonium, as Jagdish has stated, that is handled and stored at Sellafield. A nuclear renaissance in the UK would certainly help to address these two challenges. However, I am not sure whether the Moltex SSR reactor is the most suitable reactor, if you would like to address these challenges, cost-wise and time-wise.

BTW: There is a fairly recent BBC documentary, made by Professor Jim Al-Khalili, about Sellafield. It is available on YouTube:

"Inside Sellafield":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z-L8oUTyYY


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PostPosted: Aug 31, 2015 2:42 am 
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Another fast reactor proposal is already with the UK. Quick evaluation is the key to MSR.
http://gehitachiprism.com/what-is-prism ... -of-prism/


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PostPosted: Sep 01, 2015 4:49 am 
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Eino wrote:
Jagdish wrote:

Quote:
I feel that they should hurry the development to save on the very high cost of EPR which has already its developers in financial problems.


Doesn't the UK have commitments to greenhouse gas reduction as being part of the European Union? This would also be a financial incentive. This may have been stated in the initial comment within the link.


Not just as part of the EU, but it has its own laws requiring heavy reductions by 2030 and almost complete decarbonisaton by 2050.

There are currently two main strategies in play for the 2030 timeframe:
1. Offshore wind
2. The Gen III new build program, aiming for 16GW of new build by 2030. This is currently behind schedule due to EDF's long decision process over Hinckley, higher costs than expected, and a long path to getting a GDA (an approval).

MSRs are viewed favourably, but the mainstream view is that they are a technology for the 2030s. The EPD report is aiming to change that perception.


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PostPosted: Sep 02, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Speaking of the Moltex SSR: Rod Adams (Atomic Insights) interviewed John Durham and Ian Scott, the people behind Moltex, in his Atomic Show this week.

Link (interview 48 min. 32 sec.):

http://atomicinsights.com/atomic-show-2 ... hn-durham/


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PostPosted: Sep 04, 2015 5:07 am 
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Meanwhile, more delay in Hinkley C:
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34149392

There's some doubt as to whether this project will ever get off the ground.

I'm not sure whether it should. It is ridiculously expensive, but it is 3.4GW of clean electricity.

If it got cancelled, would the UK Dept of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) give up on nuclear altogether, or see MSRs as a potential replacement that could contribute the 2030 targets? Some of the designs that EPD covered could be up and running before Hinkley C.


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PostPosted: Sep 04, 2015 10:42 am 
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MIT Technology Review has a article on European interest in molten salt reactors. Good to see some general interest in the subject.
Meltdown-Proof Nuclear Reactors Get a Safety Check in Europe


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PostPosted: Sep 04, 2015 12:11 pm 
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If Hinkley C fails that will be it for the British nuclear industry.
It is carrying the banner now - the other proposed reactors at Wylfa and Moorside do not have the political clout to get through without them.


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PostPosted: Sep 04, 2015 12:54 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
If Hinkley C fails that will be it for the British nuclear industry.
It is carrying the banner now - the other proposed reactors at Wylfa and Moorside do not have the political clout to get through without them.


I don't hope so, because that will put Britain really in a bind, with North Sea oil and gas declining, coal-fired power plants closing and CO2 reduction commitments. Shale gas is not really viable in the UK and wind power is not a real alternative either. The only alternative would be to massively import fossil fuels, like natural gas and coal.

In retrospect, it has been a blessing in disguise for France that it didn't have natural resources like North Sea oil and gas in the 1970s/1980s and continued with its nuclear power plant programme. North Sea oil and gas pretty much killed off the nuclear industry in Britain, with short-term focused electricity generating companies building "cheap" gas-fired power plants in the 1980s and 1990s. The bill comes due now.


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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2015 9:00 am 
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UK have made a large investment in reactor grade plutonium. It is time to en cash it. The choices open are
Prism fast reactors
Moltex fast MSR
Thorium MSR.
Prism is a small, modular design. I think that they should start their plutonium/fissile economy with it and select a medium design based on experience. French/Chinese designs can be an interim arrangement.


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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2015 5:26 pm 
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Quote:
Attachment:
MOLTEX anal 11sep15.xls [19 KiB]
Downloaded 270 times
The company Energy Process Developments Ltd. has done a feasibility study of developing of a pilot molten salt reactor in the UK and has been given a grant by a UK government body to carry out the study. The objective of this study is also to reinvigorate nuclear R&D and the nuclear industry in the UK.

Their 75-page report was made public last month:

http://www.energyprocessdevelopments.co ... 201.02.pdf

Six MSR designs have been studied, some of which have been discussed in the forums already, like Flibe, ThorCon and Terrestrial Energy and some of which I haven't heard about before, like Seaborg.

Somewhat to my surprise, they have chosen the Moltex design as a basis for developing a pilot molten salt reactor in the UK.
Quote:


It surprises me too because that "design" is very poorly designed (in fact, impossible).

I've put together a little spreadsheet that uses the data in that Co.'s slide show to show that it couldn't possibly work as described due to heat transfer considerations (the fuel salt would have to be above its boiling point to get enough heat transfer through the walls of the fuel salt tubes). This is ironic because thermal induced convective heat transfer is supposed to be that concept's "novel" feature (probably patented by now).

Does anyone see a hole in my reasoning ?

_________________
Darryl Siemer


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PostPosted: Sep 15, 2015 5:39 am 
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darryl siemer wrote:
It surprises me too because that "design" is very poorly designed (in fact, impossible).

I've put together a little spreadsheet that uses the data in that Co.'s slide show to show that it couldn't possibly work as described due to heat transfer considerations (the fuel salt would have to be above its boiling point to get enough heat transfer through the walls of the fuel salt tubes). This is ironic because thermal induced convective heat transfer is supposed to be that concept's "novel" feature (probably patented by now).

Does anyone see a hole in my reasoning ?



FYI, the Ian Scott/Moltex UK patent talks of several possible SSR reactor configurations:

http://moltexenergy.com/news/details.aspx?positionId=15

http://moltexenergy.com/files/cms/3_Ann ... cument.pdf


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