Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: May 08, 2012 3:01 am 
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Another thing to keep in mind with 30 year fuel life reactors is that you need a huge excess reactivity. The U-Pu cycle has a large reactivity swing, and even in a fast spectrum the fission products do eventually start gobbling significant amounts of neutrons.

If they use moveable reflectors to deal with this, then I have to ask the question what happens if your reflector gets stuck. In other words what happens if your mechanical control system fails. Maybe I'm speculating but it does not seem "super safe" to me.


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PostPosted: May 08, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
If they use moveable reflectors to deal with this, then I have to ask the question what happens if your reflector gets stuck. In other words what happens if your mechanical control system fails. Maybe I'm speculating but it does not seem "super safe" to me.
I believe the reflector moving mechanism is somewhat like a vernier: only very slow motion is possible - maybe a few millimeters per month.

It could presumably still get stuck, in which case the active region would soon burn out and the reactor would have to be shipped back to the factory (no on-site repair is feasible, according to reports....)


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PostPosted: May 08, 2012 9:44 pm 
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What if in a magnitude 9 earthquake it gets jerked forward by a foot?


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