Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Feb 23, 2018 3:52 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Jan 28, 2009 9:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 24, 2009 4:10 pm
Posts: 24
Tom writes that he plans to send a copy of the book to all 535 members of Congress. I plan to write mine to recommend they read it. However, how about the newly elected members? (I live in NH, and we elected a new senator: Jeanne Shaheen.) Do the new members have copies? Would donations be in order, to help defray expenses?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2009 5:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 19, 2006 11:01 am
Posts: 396
Location: Knoxville, TN
Some book-keeping related to Tom's book. Very interesting posts & discussion:

http://www.marklynas.org/2009/1/5/tom-b ... on-nuclear
http://bravenewclimate.com/2008/12/13/i ... r-q-and-a/
http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/02/12/i ... he-masses/

http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/01/06/p ... et-part-i/
http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/01/13/p ... -vehicles/
http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/01/25/p ... ged-waste/
http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/02/28/p ... the-money/

http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/02/21/r ... -critique/

PRISM reactor power plant for $1,335 USD/kW: Prepared Testimony, Kelly Fletcher, Sustainable Energy Advanced Technologies Leader, General Electric Company before the Energy & Water Subcommittee, U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Sept 14, 2006

The fact that the cost of construction material may have risen doesn’t really matter since the materials costs for nuclear run only about $35/kW.


http://uraniumenergy.wordpress.com/2009 ... -solution/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 1:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 308
Location: idaho falls
This hearkens back to David L's post in this thread of 7Dec08.

A month ago I spent over an hour discussing the whys of studying MSBR's with the USA's chief nuclear R&D expert, INL/BEA's, Phillip Finck. One of the things that came out of that discussion was his admission that the IFR recycling process "leaks" about 3% of the Pu to waste - not the 0 or 0.1% loss assumed by most of the folks currently championing IFR.

Another issue that's usually glossed over is how intrinsically difficult/expensive the IFR's electrochemical/pyroprocessing recycling process would be. This document

http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/Treatmen ... II2003.pdf

describes how INL might use it's already-built process equipment to recover the actinides in 2.7 tons of "spent" EBR II driver fuel (basically similar to S-Prism fuel). If they choose to work one 8 hour shift, 5 days per week, they will be able to process 0.2 MT of this fuel per year at a cost of $20 million. Processing all of this fuel is to cost taxpayers $282 million.

Consequently, if I were an electrical utility's CFO it would be pretty hard to convince me to commit to IFR.

_________________
Darryl Siemer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 2:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5060
darryl siemer wrote:
This hearkens back to David L's post in this thread of 7Dec08.

A month ago I spent over an hour discussing the whys of studying MSBR's with the USA's chief nuclear R&D expert, INL/BEA's, Phillip Finck. One of the things that came out of that discussion was his admission that the IFR recycling process "leaks" about 3% of the Pu to waste - not the 0 or 0.1% loss assumed by most of the folks currently championing IFR.

Another issue that's usually glossed over is how intrinsically difficult/expensive the IFR's electrochemical/pyroprocessing recycling process would be. This document

http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/Treatmen ... II2003.pdf

describes how INL might use it's already-built process equipment to recover the actinides in 2.7 tons of "spent" EBR II driver fuel (basically similar to S-Prism fuel). If they choose to work one 8 hour shift, 5 days per week, they will be able to process 0.2 MT of this fuel per year at a cost of $20 million. Processing all of this fuel is to cost taxpayers $282 million.

Consequently, if I were an electrical utility's CFO it would be pretty hard to convince me to commit to IFR.


What's the cost per kWh electrical?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 3:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 308
Location: idaho falls
Cyril R wrote:
darryl siemer wrote:
This hearkens back to David L's post in this thread of 7Dec08.

A month ago I spent over an hour discussing the whys of studying MSBR's with the USA's chief nuclear R&D expert, INL/BEA's, Phillip Finck. One of the things that came out of that discussion was his admission that the IFR recycling process "leaks" about 3% of the Pu to waste - not the 0 or 0.1% loss assumed by most of the folks currently championing IFR.

Another issue that's usually glossed over is how intrinsically difficult/expensive the IFR's electrochemical/pyroprocessing recycling process would be. This document

http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/Treatmen ... II2003.pdf

describes how INL might use it's already-built process equipment to recover the actinides in 2.7 tons of "spent" EBR II driver fuel (basically similar to S-Prism fuel). If they choose to work one 8 hour shift, 5 days per week, they will be able to process 0.2 MT of this fuel per year at a cost of $20 million. Processing all of this fuel is to cost taxpayers $282 million.

Consequently, if I were an electrical utility's CFO it would be pretty hard to convince me to commit to IFR.


What's the cost per kWh electrical?


Ans.: Average EBR-II driver fuel started off at 67% 235U enrichment & was burned to 65%; i.e., 2% of it was converted to FP.

If we assume that the "2.7 tons" was entirely uranium, 2% of it corresponds to 229.787234 moles "burned"
at 200 mev/fission that corresponds to 4.42662E+15 joules
at EBR-II's 20/62.5 thermal-to-electrical efficiency, that's 1.41652E+15 joules worth of electricity
since one kwhr is 3600000 joules
that driver fuel generated 3.93E+08 kWhr
which makes its reprocessing cost /kWhr (282Million dollars/3.93E*) = $0.72/kWhr (pretty steep)

_________________
Darryl Siemer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 4:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 28, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 3069
But to be fair one should not use costs for using a prototype to make decisions on a production unit. They costs can be completely different.
The cost to build a prototype new line of car is well over a billion $. But this has nothing to do with whether the resulting vehicle is affordable.


But driver fuel would start a 1GWe LFTR quite nicely and it only needs a little bit of processing to convert to fluorides and like to remove the cladding material.


Last edited by Lars on Dec 01, 2009 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 4:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 308
Location: idaho falls
This probably belongs in a different thread but there was another outcome of the meeting that I mentioned earlier today: DOE/INL has suddenly decided to fund some MSBR research - at ORNL under Dr. Finck's "direction".

I don't know yet exactly what ORNL is going to be "studying" but I do know that the guys heading-up that project (David Holcomb (holcombde@ornl.gov) & Jess Gehin (gehinjc@ornl.gov)) are fully aware (see ATTACHMENT) of the fact that they shouldn't just produce another review of ORNL's circa 1973 MSBR work.


Attachments:
ISUThoriumrev.doc [1.23 MiB]
Downloaded 265 times

_________________
Darryl Siemer
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 4:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3428
Location: Alabama
Jess is a forum member and he might comment on this work that you've found out about.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 5:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Dec 31, 2008 12:09 am
Posts: 236
Location: Berkeley, CA
darryl siemer wrote:
This probably belongs in a different thread but there was another outcome of the meeting that I mentioned earlier today: DOE/INL has suddenly decided to fund some MSBR research - at ORNL under Dr. Finck's "direction".


In looking toward future priorities, economics is emerging as a major issue. I think that the growing interest in fluoride salts comes from their unique properties that point toward very affordable energy cost.

Fluoride salts and helium are the only coolants that allow one to reach reactor temperatures significantly above 600°C. Hands down, the fluoride reactor technology is lower cost than helium reactor technology, due to the very large difference in power density.

Water and sodium coolants require metal clad fuel. The cladding must be capable of sustaining large neutron doses, which eliminates the possibility of using high-temperature alloys.

AHTR and LFTR core structures can be constructed from graphite and carbon/carbon composites, which can maintain structural integrity to temperatures well above 1000°C. For AHTR and LFTR, temperature limits are set instead by the metallic alloys used for the primary loop pressure boundary, which sees much lower neutron fluences. Currently available, ASME code qualified materials allow AHTR and LFTR to operate between 600 and 700°C, and much higher temperatures are feasible in the longer term.

Fluoride salts have high volumetric heat capacity and AHTR and MSR reactor designs optimize to have relatively high temperature drops (around 50 to 100°C, so volumetric flows are very low compared to sodium (and even water) and pipes, pumps, and heat exchangers are more compact. Power conversion efficiency is significantly higher, and waste heat generation is much lower. Unlike sodium and water, fluoride salts do not have the capacity to pressurize reactor containments and thus eliminate the need for containments to have large volumes designed for high pressure or to have pressure suppression pool systems.

Thus fluoride salts enable reactor designs that can have significantly lower cost than ALWRs and SFRs, and as materials improve these costs will come down further.

The only argument that remains would be that ALWR and SFR technologies are more "mature" and can be brought to commercialization faster. This argument is rapidly weakening as we are developing a better understanding of the strategy for designing and licensing fluoride cooled reactors, and we are finding that fuels qualification, component design and testing, and reactor safety code validation all can be accomplished on a compressed time scale.

Thus the increasing interest in fluoride salt technology.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 5:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5060
darryl siemer wrote:
Cyril R wrote:
darryl siemer wrote:
This hearkens back to David L's post in this thread of 7Dec08.

A month ago I spent over an hour discussing the whys of studying MSBR's with the USA's chief nuclear R&D expert, INL/BEA's, Phillip Finck. One of the things that came out of that discussion was his admission that the IFR recycling process "leaks" about 3% of the Pu to waste - not the 0 or 0.1% loss assumed by most of the folks currently championing IFR.

Another issue that's usually glossed over is how intrinsically difficult/expensive the IFR's electrochemical/pyroprocessing recycling process would be. This document

http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/Treatmen ... II2003.pdf

describes how INL might use it's already-built process equipment to recover the actinides in 2.7 tons of "spent" EBR II driver fuel (basically similar to S-Prism fuel). If they choose to work one 8 hour shift, 5 days per week, they will be able to process 0.2 MT of this fuel per year at a cost of $20 million. Processing all of this fuel is to cost taxpayers $282 million.

Consequently, if I were an electrical utility's CFO it would be pretty hard to convince me to commit to IFR.


What's the cost per kWh electrical?


Ans.: Average EBR-II driver fuel started off at 67% 235U enrichment & was burned to 65%; i.e., 2% of it was converted to FP.

If we assume that the "2.7 tons" was entirely uranium, 2% of it corresponds to 229.787234 moles "burned"
at 200 mev/fission that corresponds to 4.42662E+15 joules
at EBR-II's 20/62.5 thermal-to-electrical efficiency, that's 1.41652E+15 joules worth of electricity
since one kwhr is 3600000 joules
that driver fuel generated 3.93E+08 kWhr
which makes its reprocessing cost /kWhr (282Million dollars/3.93E*) = $0.72/kWhr (pretty steep)


Thanks. That does sound rather steep! But that burnup is really poor in the first place...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 6:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: May 20, 2008 4:00 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Orem, Utah, USA
Per Peterson wrote:
darryl siemer wrote:
This probably belongs in a different thread but there was another outcome of the meeting that I mentioned earlier today: DOE/INL has suddenly decided to fund some MSBR research - at ORNL under Dr. Finck's "direction".


In looking toward future priorities, economics is emerging as a major issue. I think that the growing interest in fluoride salts comes from their unique properties that point toward very affordable energy cost.

Fluoride salts and helium are the only coolants that allow one to reach reactor temperatures significantly above 600°C. Hands down, the fluoride reactor technology is lower cost than helium reactor technology, due to the very large difference in power density.

Water and sodium coolants require metal clad fuel. The cladding must be capable of sustaining large neutron doses, which eliminates the possibility of using high-temperature alloys.

AHTR and LFTR core structures can be constructed from graphite and carbon/carbon composites, which can maintain structural integrity to temperatures well above 1000°C. For AHTR and LFTR, temperature limits are set instead by the metallic alloys used for the primary loop pressure boundary, which sees much lower neutron fluences. Currently available, ASME code qualified materials allow AHTR and LFTR to operate between 600 and 700°C, and much higher temperatures are feasible in the longer term.

Fluoride salts have high volumetric heat capacity and AHTR and MSR reactor designs optimize to have relatively high temperature drops (around 50 to 100°C, so volumetric flows are very low compared to sodium (and even water) and pipes, pumps, and heat exchangers are more compact. Power conversion efficiency is significantly higher, and waste heat generation is much lower. Unlike sodium and water, fluoride salts do not have the capacity to pressurize reactor containments and thus eliminate the need for containments to have large volumes designed for high pressure or to have pressure suppression pool systems.

Thus fluoride salts enable reactor designs that can have significantly lower cost than ALWRs and SFRs, and as materials improve these costs will come down further.

The only argument that remains would be that ALWR and SFR technologies are more "mature" and can be brought to commercialization faster. This argument is rapidly weakening as we are developing a better understanding of the strategy for designing and licensing fluoride cooled reactors, and we are finding that fuels qualification, component design and testing, and reactor safety code validation all can be accomplished on a compressed time scale.

Thus the increasing interest in fluoride salt technology.


A cost advantage is music to my ears Dr. Peterson. Combined with far cleaner waste management and I think we have a winner!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 6:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 308
Location: idaho falls
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Jess is a forum member and he might comment on this work that you've found out about.


Let's hope so!

_________________
Darryl Siemer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 02, 2009 1:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Aug 29, 2008 4:55 pm
Posts: 496
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Lars wrote:
But driver fuel would start a 1GWe LFTR quite nicely and it only needs a little bit of processing to convert to fluorides and like to remove the cladding material.


How long would it take to dissolve this fuel in a salt? Is the bonded sodium a processing problem? Maybe we ought to be looking at solving these waste issues with a LFTR or LFTR research. The INL has a legally binding dead line to remove spent fuel from the INL by 2035. Yet yucca mountain is no more.

Maybe we should be talking to congress about how they are going to meet this legal requirement. Maybe with a LFTR?

Government costs:
The government namely DOE thinks in strange terms. I have seen documents where they tear an office building down (after first remodeling it the year before)and then replace it with office trailers the next year. Calling it a return on investment. :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 06, 2009 9:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Dec 03, 2008 5:23 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Jess is a forum member and he might comment on this work that you've found out about.



Indeed, we do have a new effort in this area and I can give some background on this work. Over the past year the DOE/NE program has performed a broad study on the options available for future fuel cycle implementation and the study determined that there were a few innovative/transformation systems that did not have sufficient available information to understand their impact and potential role (there will be more information available regarding this study in an ICAPP 2010 paper). One of the systems identified was the MSR for all of the reasons members of this forum already know. The use of a dissolved fuel avoids the fuel fabrication issues and can keep circulating actinides until burned. This is important in the context of thorium to provide a high utilization and minimize actinide production by completely avoiding the use of uranium. And in the case of U/TRU burners, in principle we can keep burning the actinides until they are converted to fission products.

Therefore, as a result of the FY2009 study, we now have a modest project to provide an assessment of MSR technology to provide additional information for the evaluation of options for the future fuel cycle. We’ll be performing this work over the next 6-8 months. The scope includes reviewing the key findings of the past work, an evaluation of the feed, inventory, and waste streams of Th-based and U/TRU-based MSR systems. The Th based system will be modified from the previous MSBRs so that they are not breeders, for the U/TRU system we will likely look towards the work over the past several years in Europe. Next on our agenda is a review of the MSR costs and economics. We have been very involved in the fuel cycle economics work over the past several years and it would be useful to take the previous cost estimates put them on a basis to compare with the recent work. Finally, based on all of this work, we need to identify the key technology development needs for this system.

This is a lot of work, perhaps more than we really have funding to accomplish, but I think that one of the best things that we can do is to use this to open the door for this system to be considered as a future option by the fuel cycle program. We are going to take an honest, fair and, to the extent possible, quantitative assessment of the technology that demonstrates the benefits as well as identifies any weakness, issues, development needs, etc. My primary interest is that we have serious look at this technology within the context of current and future fuel cycle systems, provide an updated assessment of where the technology stands, and fill in data that can be used in future evaluations of fuel cycle options.

I welcome comments, suggestions or other input. I know several of you on this forum and know how passionate you are about LFTR. Take this as a positive sign that such systems are now being looked at and there will be a fair assessment of the technology.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Dec 07, 2009 12:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Dec 14, 2006 1:01 pm
Posts: 380
Thank you gehinjc; This is encouraging to hear.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  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