Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Nov 22, 2017 12:03 am 
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It is nice if Thor energy is already developing it but it has to be subjected to user trials.
The aim should be a closed cycle, reduce dependence on further mining and reduce used fuel stocks.


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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2017 2:35 am 
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jagdish wrote:
It is nice if Thor energy is already developing it but it has to be subjected to user trials.
The aim should be a closed cycle, reduce dependence on further mining and reduce used fuel stocks.


Thor Energy is a consortium that has companies like Westinghouse and several nuclear operators as its partners. So user testing will take place naturally once commercial usage permission is achieved.
Thor Energy is NOT an academic experiment it is solely meant to obtain the data for commercial solid fuel production using Thorium. Every other benefit is incidental.

They are testing thorium+plutonium MOX fuel, which is part of a possible closed fuel cycle.
It might be possible to indefinitely reprocess the spent fuel from ThPuMOX into ThPuU233MOX (with some minor actinides mixed in) and keep that cycle fully closed.
But as this cycle continues, the Uranium content and minor actinide content of such fuel will vary.
It seems such a variation in fuel formulations would require several testing cycles.
That's expensive and complex.

I think its far wiser to simply stop wanting the perfect instead of the good.
Its likely that after ThPuMOX fuel loads run though their complete burnup cycles and the world has a several extra tons of U233 mixed in spent fuels, then a truly closed cycle testing can begin.

It doesn't seem likely from a political perspective that the only known U233 stockpile (in the USA) would be sold to Norway to do this testing.

But I'm not entirely sure what exactly you hope to see as a closed cycle (so many ways to do it).

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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2017 8:51 am 
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Closed cycle would mean minimum waste fuel particularly actinides which can be used for fission, some in more than one step.
Creation of U233 will require use of thorium as part of fuel or as a blanket. In production reactors, only the Indian pfbr is being built to use a thorium blanket. Shippingport reactor was the only one earlier that I know of.


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PostPosted: Nov 24, 2017 1:38 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Closed cycle would mean minimum waste fuel particularly actinides which can be used for fission, some in more than one step.
Creation of U233 will require use of thorium as part of fuel or as a blanket. In production reactors, only the Indian pfbr is being built to use a thorium blanket. Shippingport reactor was the only one earlier that I know of.


See you're mixing up fuel formulations and fuel testing with reactor features.
Thor Energy is only testing fuel formulations that can be put to use quickly.
Doing things the market wants and that have other positive side effects.
You're hoping for something that put the positive side effects above economics.
You gotta do it the other way around.

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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2018 1:55 pm 
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U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan questions SRS, MOX futures during federal hearing

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On Tuesday, Duncan asked Dan Brouillette, the DOE deputy secretary, if he believes MOX construction to be 70 percent along and, if that's really true, why completion is estimated to be 30 years out. A 2016 baseline performance report, handled by the DOE's project management division, estimates MOX completion in 2048.


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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Full benefits of reprocessing and of nuclear energy can be availed only by recycling and use of breeders as uranium is 99.3% and thorium 100% fertile material fuel. The reactors run mainly on fissile matter.
The uranium cycle can be a breeder only in fast reactor mode but thorium cycle could be a thermal breeder. The big fissile holders, the US, Europe and Japan are now off fast reactors and only Russia, India and China continue with it. Reprocessing and MOX have to be a part of recycling and breeders. Thorium cycle more so. So, let the areas where cost-benefit equation recommends it work further on it.
Let us not waste any plutonium and let it be used for breeders. Accordingly, only Russia is continuing with plutonium management, wisely so.


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