Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Jun 23, 2018 8:49 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Author Message
PostPosted: Jul 11, 2016 3:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
Kurt, excellent!

Now it is clear that you and I are declaring the de-scheduling of thorium as "source material" BY LAW. And I agree it's more. I am also very glad for your support of Flibe Energy, Inc. The billionaire philanthropists are missing the boat. But if the money is done and it's obviously secret, just let it roll.

The situation with the DOE on Dr. Weinberg's fluid-fueled design is dire. I'm still studying his "Science and Trans-Science" Minerva 10(2): 209-222 (1972). His clarification of roles in this process is excellent. I urge all here to note this very well.

Dr. Weinberg, God rest his nuclear soul, is an authority deserving of proper respect especially by our U.S. federal government. The DOE is our Executive's department, one of fifteen. Our President needs to understand and appreciate Dr. Weinberg and his thorium MSBR.

I'm guarded on other of your points. Kurt, c'mon! U-235? It's the only natural fissile and aside from spallation is the only practical neutron source material, hence the global enrichment segment of the nuclear industries, U.S. DOE, NRC, IAEA, and the rest. The fluid-fueled thorium breeder program begins to cut into that not-so-insignificant market. A successful approach is to invent an incentive for the enrichment people to get on board with the Th/U-233 cycle. They should get into the molten salt businesses: lithium depletion, dissolved salts partitioning technologies, working with Materion, Inc., and more.

The whole beauty of Dr. Weinberg's thorium program in the fluid-phase is that a prime U-233 breeder can be started with a charge that was bred outside the prime breeder with a U-235 or Pu-239 pile, correct? A prime breeder MUST have an optimum integral chemical processor for optimum blanket processing for capturing the Pa-233 and keeping it out of the neutron flux, and that has total control of the core salt loop restricted to only fissionable nuclides and all other FP and DP nuclides isolated and accumulated for processing outside the neutron flux of the reactor core. That way breeding is optimized. Only a prime breeder version has such stringent operational and security requirements to start a thorium fuel cycle. Once U-233 accumulates, non-breeder versions like the burners can be started with the excess U-233 starter inventory.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Jul 25, 2016 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 12, 2016 9:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
Sen. James E. Risch (R-ID) has joined the sponsorship of S. 2795, The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), yesterday.

I accept that members of this forum, Kurt Sellner, et al. have little faith in either of these bills. I did a cursory study of our DOD's Department of Threat Reduction Agency last night.

Nuclear weapons in the world ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki means that the peaceful use of fission for domestic baseload non-emitting energy will always be burdened by extraordinary and expensive safeguards against the fuel inventories for weapons. The thorium fuel cycle has the heaviest burden despite the Tl-208 U-232 (U-233) decay product.
The United States knows that if the fearful trend of atomic military build-up can be reversed, this greatest of destructive forces can be developed into a great boon, for the benefit of all mankind. The United States knows that peaceful power from atomic energy is no dream of the future. The capability, already proved, is here today.
That proof was by Dr. Wigner and Dr. Weinberg.

The present nuclear dilemma is how to unlock the immense available "condensed" energy of thorium. For those who agree with that goal, the DMSR is a work-around that avoids facing the job of securing U-233 from thorium for peaceful energy that is the most capable element on the periodic table for arresting further carbon emissions and depletion of fossil carbon reserves until fusion arrives.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Jul 25, 2016 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 12, 2016 9:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Iowa, USA
Tim Meyer wrote:
The billionaire philanthropists are missing the boat.

I recall seeing an interview of Dr. Boyd on Youtube where he's implied that the billionaire philanthropists of the world have effectively all placed their bets already. Most of them are quiet on which technology they've betted on, some not so quiet. Dr. Boyd himself has to be evasive on who has invested in what.

Also, your comment on U-235 and Pu-239 brings something else to mind. In normal operation, even if started with U-233, a LFTR will produce some U-235. It will not be much, and it's effectively useless as feedstock for enrichment, but the way the laws are written that does not matter. What matters is that U-235 and Pu-239 are produced. If a LFTR is started with LEU then for a period of time a lot of Pu-239 will be produced.

This is a bigger problem than one law can solve, we need a regulatory agency that sees thorium and uranium as more than just weapon feedstock. I expect that once this hurdle is crossed then we will see a nuclear renaissance.

A side note here:
So long as nuclear power is being held up by federal regulation I will not believe that "global warming", "climate change", or the newly crafted "global weirding" is a problem. If CO2 output really is a problem then we should have no objections to more nuclear power. Since the powers that be view nuclear power as anything other than a lifesaver then I can only conclude that CO2 output is not the threat these same powers that be claim it to be. Since these people want to keep us from burning coal AND from nuclear power then I can only conclude that they have goals other than saving us from ourselves. What those goals might be is beyond the scope of this forum.

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 12, 2016 10:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
More excellent points, Kurt. This forum is indeed is a very good place to have these discussions.

If the billionaire philanthropist invest in energy technologies other than fluid-phase thorium in fluoride molten salts that would commit to the highly complex thorium fuel cycle, then that shows once again what Adam Smith had surmised in the mid-1770s about natural markets during his inquiries into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations: private capital cannot nor ever will innovate at this level. Thorium energy technology can only be accomplished out of general revenues in concert with private revenues.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 24, 2016 8:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 14, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 177
Location: Here and There
Oddball question -

When the DOE produces designs, software, etc., do they become part of the public domain? Are they locked up in some secret warehouse in Nevada next to Indiana Jone's curios? I mean my tax dollars are paying for whatever they produce and as it is a design or simulation rather than a tangible item as a member of the public I feel I should have access.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jul 25, 2016 3:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
An interesting question, Eino. H.R. 4084, 4979, S. 2795, and related bills are attempting to "modernize" our nuclear rules in the U.S. for reactor developers and the utilities who buy and run them. A qualified rector developer would have access to DOE databases (GAIN program) and testing facilities by law as well as funding support. Isn't that quasi-public domain?

Support for new nuclear will require more realistic dose rules in the regulations that the present legislation does not tackle. From the concerned, science-informed citizen level, present rules based on the LNT hypothesis are undergoing re-evaluation that would presumably reduce fear of nuclear technologies and improve the regulatory environment for developers and utilities.

This will have to happen to begin massive emissions reductions by new, more versatile nuclear reactors for both baseload delivery and nuclear power-assisted CCS and syn-fuels technologies that "advanced" nuclear reactor designs would make economical for greater reductions in emissions.

Nuclear requires legislative efforts and laws must be updated to support new nuclear not to compete with coal, oil, and gas, rather to be integrated with carbon energy for controlling anthropogenic atmospheric carbon. Especially coal-derived products that would require an energy offset for those synthetic products to be market-competitive with the oil-derived prices. New nuclear baseload can support a gradual transition to decreasing fossil carbon consumption. If a breakthrough in fusion energy technology happened with a short build time, the same carbon-transition process would remain to manage the workforce and market impacts of such an immense source of energy.

The U.S. Navy has developed catalytic manufacture of standard liquid fuels (jet fuel) from the dissolved carbonate and hydrolyzed hydrogen (that vents the oxygen) in sea water presumably at a price per gallon much higher than our current market prices distilled from crude.

DOE Secretary Moniz has commented that the standard liquid hydrocarbon fuels aside from their disadvantages are possibly the best form of energy for transportation systems. If the fuels are manufactured from sea water and coal, oil refining could be focused away from fuels and toward chemical feedstocks. The nuclear Archimedean lever is powerful and capable.

New, cheaper, co-located nuclear (a great potential of the thorium fuel cycle in fluoride molten salts) could make the scaled-up process produce at competitive prices. If new nuclear were targeted at sea fuels by this technology, it would integrate desal for water works, and capture some amount of the planetary carbon cycle; capturing dissolved carbon dioxide could increase pH in the direction of preindustrial conditions and reverse ocean acidification.

On ownership of reactor IP, Forbes reported on the Westinghouse deal with China, who is now promoting their Hualong One.
May 17, 2016, Kenneth Rapoza, Contributor, wrote:
Hualong One is now already under construction in China and expected to become operational by 2020. The [Chinese] have sold it to Pakistan and inked a tentative agreement with Argentina. They offered a floundering EDF project in England called Hinkley Point C a helping hand and money in exchange of a Hualong One reactor built in Britain as well. Back home they want Hualong to become a standard.

Westinghouse, it seems, is giving up the family jewels for the promise of a Chinese goldmine down the road.

Jack Allen, then president of Westinghouse for Asia, told the Financial Times in 2010 that the company had no guarantees of its role in China after the four AP1000s were built with their Chinese partners. That was the year they handed over 75,000 documents to SNPTC, which might as well have been titled How to Build an American Nuclear Power Plant.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 13, 2016 10:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
Calendar No. 528 114TH CONGRESS REPORTS SENATE — 2d Session 114–285 JUNE 23, 2016.—Ordered to be printed
NUCLEAR ENERGY INNOVATION AND MODERNIZATION ACT wrote:
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was referred the bill (S. 2795) to modernize the regulation of nuclear energy, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
Uranium-233 had a high propensity to fission when it was struck by thermal neutrons, far more than plutonium-239. . . . And after it fissioned, it gave off sufficient neutrons to continue the chain reaction (which would require that one neutron and another fissile nucleus) and to create new fuel (which would require that another neutron be absorbed in thorium). There was even margin for the loss of neutrons from any sort of practical reactor. This was the first realization of the potential of a breeder reactor—a reactor that could make as much, if not more, fuel than it consumed. A breeder reactor based on thorium, which would later go on to dominate the thoughts of young Alvin Weinberg [my emphasis], was born that day in the mind of Glenn Seaborg, as he studied the relative cross section values of uranium-233 and realized that inexpensive, abundant thorium could be an essentially inexhaustible energy source. Seaborg is said to have remarked many years later that this was a “fifty-quadrillion-dollar discovery” (Gofman 1994).
That'd be about $100,000 trillion today. Money should not be an issue with this technology development.

Problem is the thorium burner-breeder and initiation of the thorium fuel cycle. Did the graphite problem get solved? The machine operates with a gamma field in the daughter(s) of U-232 unlike LWRs? Were the Hastelloy problems fixed? Status of the scCO2 turboelectric PCS? Status of reactor salts processors for removal of fission and daughter products and recycling of salts? Supply chain for highly-depleted lithium? Can the chemical salt processors and off-gas systems operate continuously for many years with high capacity factor?
With respect to the comments on Metric 10 - Reliability: You argue that an MSR avoids down time because it doesn't need to stop operations to refuel. This is a good point, but it is not relevant to reliability. It is relevant to Availability, which is not the same thing.

The US Army has an acronym for the integrated requirements of Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) — The uppermost requirement is a high degree of Availability. Reliable systems provide the simplest route to high availability. (However, you can have an unreliable system that provides good availability if you can fix it quickly. Not that I recommend this approach. 8) )

The NNL report uses reliability, rather than availability, as a measure of merit. This is their mistake. Your argument is valid, but outside their limited definition. You must first convince them that Availability is a more relevant measure, then your argument makes sense.

H.R. 4979 with S. 2795 are to fix the problems at NRC for both the installed fleet and for advanced reactors—and it does account for fluid-fueled to some extent but not explicitly—maybe someone will notice in the language. Sections can be highlighted here.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Sep 14, 2016 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 14, 2016 7:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
All Actions: H.R.4979 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

09/13/2016 Senate Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Type of Action: Introduction and Referral

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 17, 2016 10:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
Shown Here:
Introduced in House (04/18/2016)

Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016

This bill requires the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to enter into a memorandum of understanding to:

• ensure that DOE has sufficient technical expertise to support the civilian nuclear industry's timely development and commercial deployment of safe, innovative advanced reactor technology;

• ensure that the NRC has sufficient technical expertise to support the evaluation of requests for regulatory approval for advanced reactors;

• use computers and software codes to calculate the behavior and performance of advanced reactors based on mathematical models of their physical behavior; and

• ensure that the DOE maintains and develops the facilities to support the civilian nuclear industry's timely development and commercial deployment of safe, innovative reactor technology and ensuring that the NRC has access to such facilities, as needed.

DOE must submit a report to Congress within 180 days evaluating activities intended to facilitate the testing and demonstration of advanced reactors on DOE land and facilities and the potential for DOE to test and demonstrate on private land.

In addition, the NRC is required to develop a regulatory framework for licensing advanced nuclear reactors.

This bill amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 to require that the aggregate amount of fees collected by the NRC from licensees and certificate holders in a fiscal year be decreased by the amount of appropriations for activities related to the development of regulatory infrastructure for advanced nuclear reactor technologies.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 17, 2016 10:55 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
Alexander: Country Could Lose Half Of Our Carbon-Free Nuclear Generation In 20 Years
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

At the first of two planned oversight hearings on the future of nuclear power Senator Lamar Alexander, who leads the Senate appropriations subcommittee overseeing federal energy and water funding, said Wednesday that nuclear power is the “nation’s best source of low-cost, reliable, safe, and pollution-free electricity” and that Congress should take four specific steps to ensure its future development: replacing or safely extending the use of some current reactors, solving the nuclear waste stalemate, doubling funding for basic energy research, and ending wasteful subsidies for mature technologies.

“The United States uses about 25 percent of all electricity in the world to power our industries, our computers, our homes and most everything else we depend upon. Our 100 nuclear reactors provide about 20 percent of that electricity – which doesn’t turn on or off when the wind blows or the sun shines and is available 90 percent of the time. It is cheap, reliable and safe. At a time when the science academies of 20 developed countries and many Americans say climate change is a threat – and that humans are a significant cause of that threat – nuclear power provides about 60 percent of our country’s carbon-free electricity. It is our nation’s best source of low-cost, reliable, safe and pollution-free electricity, and it must be part of our energy future.”

Sen. Alexander detailed the four steps the U.S. should take to secure the future of nuclear power at the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

On building more U.S. nuclear reactors, Sen. Alexander said, “I have suggested we build 100 new nuclear reactors in the United States. The Center for Strategic and International Studies has said up to 25 of our 100 nuclear reactors could close by 2020. Add to this a projection by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that about 20 percent of our current capacity from coal is scheduled to go offline over the same period. If that were replaced entirely by nuclear power it would require building another 48 new, 1,250-megawatt reactors – which would reduce our carbon emissions from electricity by another 14 percent.”

On solving the nuclear waste stalemate, Sen. Alexander said, “We need to end the stalemate over what to do with our country’s nuclear waste. At a time when everyone wants to produce more carbon-free electricity it makes no sense whatsoever to undermine nuclear power by not opening Yucca Mountain to dispose of used nuclear fuel and moving forward with the pilot program Senator Feinstein and I have proposed to develop consolidated storage sites for used nuclear fuel.”

On doubling basic energy research, Sen. Alexander said, “Basic energy research is one of the most important things the country can do to help unleash our free enterprise system to provide the clean, cheap, reliable energy we need to power our 21st-century economy, create good jobs, and keep America competitive in a global economy. Doubling basic research could help us find a commercially viable way to capture and reuse carbon, or develop small modular reactors and advanced reactors, which are smaller and require less water to operate.”

On ending subsidies that pick winners and losers and make nuclear more expensive, Sen. Alexander said, “Washington has a bad habit of picking winners and losers – the most conspicuous example is the wasteful wind production tax credit. Last year’s extension, for 2015, cost taxpayers about $6 billion enough to double basic energy research at the Department of Energy.”

Sen. Alexander asked the hearing witnesses – U.S Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; former Senator Judd Gregg, leadership chair of Nuclear Matters; and Jay Faison, CEO and founder of the ClearPath Foundation – for input on how Congress can support nuclear power and address the challenges it faces.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 17, 2016 11:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Florida
Sen. Alexander said, “Washington has a bad habit of picking winners and losers—the most conspicuous example is the wasteful wind production tax credit. Last year’s extension, for 2015, cost taxpayers about $6 billion enough to double basic energy research at the Department of Energy.”

Jaro has pointed out [link] reactor makers use the talents of teams to solve the engineering problems and their discoveries are private IP—with regulator access. Kirk, Jaro, and others in discussing developments with TE's IMSR™ evidently are disputing the feasibility of a robust two-fluid specific molten salt reactor core with the express goal of breeding U-233 from Th-232 in a thermal neutron spectrum that evidently requires neutron moderation. This, presumably, is what Senator Alexander means by "basic energy research."

From the outside looking in—and thanks to Jaro and Kirk for allowing one former chemist to peek behind the nuclear curtain—if one voting US citizen trans-scientist correctly understands this national energy situation, the basic thorium MSR (FE LFTR) engineering problems seem could greatly benefit from DOE resources and $6 billion in first-mover research—assuming Flibe Energy hasn't already solved those engineering problems. The EPRI Report of last year October shows the FE LFTR short of industry-standard technology readiness level (TRL) 7. A working prototype for certification at TRL 8 is not reported as far as I know at present.

The nuclear innovation act (The Act) is poised to revamp US nuclear. Flibe Energy is betting on the superior fuel but with a hugely demanding set of reactor requirements doing the R&D in-house. I would think given that the FE design emerges from the 1970s ORNL MSBR program, Flibe Energy is best qualified for a fast-track licensing plan.

The costs of developing the NRC regulations for the thorium MSR under The Act evidently is prohibited to be saddled onto existing fleet fee payers, which means those NRC costs come from general revenues?

In any case, financial relief to reactor developers from paying for the new regulations that would be paid out of general revenues is worth taxpayer support because the nation collectively benefits from leveraging the million-to-one non-emitting energy density advantage of nuclear energy over fossil chemical energy; a million times weaker and polluting—as fuel. Unleashing such abundant, versatile, always-on baseload power for direct industrial thermal as well as grid power totally transforms the US for the better in all respects. The truth of nuclear energy must be broadcast to the electorate: it is no more to be feared than the liquid fuels pumped into vehicle tanks everyday by the hundreds of millions!

Flibe Energy has brought back a way to do nuclear right and the nation needs to know the truth.

• One way endorsed by FE has a company name that forces free citizens to take responsibility for their basic science education: fluorine (fluoride), lithium, and beryllium.

• This last element is supplied by a little-known US veteran company that thrives today for vital US strategic materials and happens to have had the one-time honor of the AEC contract to supply the beryllium for the 1965–1969 ORNL MSRE.

• DL, TE CTO, concurs with the founder, CEO, and CTO of Flibe Energy with the discovery by the original nuclear physicists of the superior nuclear, physical, and chemical properties of ~2:1 LiF-BeF2 (FLiBe salt). He is evaluating another salt:
I talked a bit with Jeff Latkowski of TerraPower last week, and asked him about the salt formulation they plan to use. It is a ternary mixture of UCl4-UCl3-NaCl with mole fractions of about 71-20-9. I asked Latkowski about the stability of UCl4 and the potential for corrosion but he said they planned to use molybdenum for the reactor vessel. I've never seen a ternary diagram for this salt mixture before.

• Beryllium reserves are enough to support thousands of reactors.

• DL complains about an absent supply chain for the required highly-depleted (HD) 99.995% lithium-7 (with the costs of down-blending the enriched lithium-6 with natural lithium for the existing markets). Crown ether and ionic liquid continuous liquid-liquid extractions show promise for replacing the only other way used for HD lithium in the ORNL MSRE—the toxic mercury amalgam COLEX process discontinued in the US from a botched life cycle and today evidently limited to facilities in Russia and China. This is another basic R&D first-mover situation. Demand for FLiBe salt will develop its own economic free-market momentum certain to benefit the South American lithium producers. Flibe Energy obviously is 100% certain of the required salt supply.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

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:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group