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PostPosted: May 20, 2013 11:55 am 
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Gift of salt for Czech research program
20 May 2013

A Czech nuclear research institute has received a shipment of fluoride salt from the US Department of Energy. The Rez research institute is conducting studies into the use of the salt as a coolant in high-temperature nuclear reactors.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Gi ... 05138.html


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PostPosted: May 20, 2013 8:43 pm 
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Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Well, at least they didn't destroy it.


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PostPosted: May 23, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Here's an article from Mark Halper on flouride salts to REZ
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/us-taps-czech-republic-for-next-gen-nuclear-expertise/20291

The article contains this link to the US press release:
http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-completes-salt-coolant-material-transfer-czech-republic-advanced-reactor

Art Williams


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PostPosted: May 23, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Location: Montreal
Here is a Google translation of the announcement posted on the web site of Rez:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=cs&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nri.cz%2Fweb%2Fujv-107%2Ftiskove-zpravy


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PostPosted: May 23, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Here's another article by Halper, this one describing the US collaboration with China.

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/westinghouse-enters-us-china-nuclear-collaboration/17252?tag=content;siu-container

Art Williams


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PostPosted: May 23, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Here's a third Halper article.

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/westinghouse-enters-us-china-nuclear-collaboration/17252?tag=content;siu-container

This article reveals that Regis Matzie, Westinghouse's retired senior vice president and chief technology officer chairs the US -China team’s advisory panel. Here's a quote: "Westinghouse is advising the DOE molten salt team on how to commercialize the molten salt technology."

Regis Matzie is also a member of the technical advisory board of Transatomic.

Art Williams


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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 12:31 am 
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Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
It looks like the US will have to look overseas for energy leadership.


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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 8:42 am 
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This Halper article

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/westinghouse-enters-us-china-nuclear-collaboration/17252?tag=content;siu-container

contains the following quote.

"On the nuclear side, the DOE spokeswoman said that although DOE is supporting molten salt coolant research, it is not pursuing a molten salt fuel. It is not clear why not - especially considering that DOE’s partner, China, is pursuing a thorium molten salt-fueled reactor, and that the U.S. itself developed a thorium molten salt reactor many decades ago."

Can anyone explain/rationalize the DOE position? Might it change with the replacement of Chu by Moniz?

Thanks, Art Williams


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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 9:24 am 
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Ive asked everybody I run into who might have some insight this question.
The anwers vary all over the place but the main theme is
"unacceptable proliferation risk". Sometimes this takes the form
of we cant keep track of liquid fuel like we can solid fuel elements.
"Accountability" is a big issues to bureacrats.

More often, they will point to the possibility of extracting weapons
grade U-233. There seems to be no appreciation of the differences
between various MSR's in this regard. Fundamentally,
the concern seems to be "we are having enough trouble tracking
U-235, and plutonium. God help us if thorium becomes
a source for bomb material."

Will Moniz make a difference?
Almost certainly not. The proliferation argument probably comes from State.
And even if it somehow went away, you woudl still face
impossible NRC licensing hurdles.

Jack


the d


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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 10:01 am 
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Joined: Mar 22, 2013 11:29 am
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Thanks.

Can you extend your analysis to include two factors that seem relevant:
1) the reversal of the prohibition on reprocessing in 1999.
2) the very heavy involvement of MIT in Transatomic.

MIT led the three-school (with Berkeley and Wisconsin) collaboration on next-generation reactor design, and it was this group that advocated molten salts as coolant, but not fuel. Right?

Thanks again, Art Williams


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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Jul 28, 2008 10:44 pm
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djw1 wrote:
Ive asked everybody I run into who might have some insight this question.
The anwers vary all over the place but the main theme is
"unacceptable proliferation risk". Sometimes this takes the form
of we cant keep track of liquid fuel like we can solid fuel elements.
"Accountability" is a big issues to bureacrats.

More often, they will point to the possibility of extracting weapons
grade U-233. There seems to be no appreciation of the differences
between various MSR's in this regard. Fundamentally,
the concern seems to be "we are having enough trouble tracking
U-235, and plutonium. God help us if thorium becomes
a source for bomb material."

Will Moniz make a difference?
Almost certainly not. The proliferation argument probably comes from State.
And even if it somehow went away, you woudl still face
impossible NRC licensing hurdles.

Jack


the d


If you have another conversation with such folks ask them about DMSR. To my knowledge it is the most proliferation resistant of all reactor designs including LWRs (If I recall correctly this conclusion was reached independently by ORNL, Dr Forsberg, and the UK). Thorium isn't any more bomb making material than depleted uranium is.


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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Apr 28, 2011 10:44 am
Posts: 247
Sorry to mislead, I have not talked directly to anybody
at State or DOE. Only to people who might have some insight into their thinking
some of whom have talked to these people.

And I certainly dont agree with their concerns
about proliferation, esp for the DMSR.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2013 2:20 pm 
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I think that the reason that molten-salt-fuel is out of favor is because there's no commercial push from a large reactor manufacturer. These guys sell (sold...) reactors near cost, and derive their profits from selling fuel assemblies. Molten salt fuel does not have fuel assemblies. A parallel business opportunity exists to clean and service the fuel salt, but that is not a proven business model (i.e. it has high financial risk), and reactors are not proven commercial successes (high technical risk).


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PostPosted: May 31, 2013 6:17 pm 
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Posts: 394
Location: Knoxville, TN
Salt is in Rez, see Dr. Uhlir and me with it.

Whoo! 8)


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PostPosted: May 31, 2013 10:00 pm 
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I know you worked hard to make this happen Ondrej---congratulations! We hope that Dr. Uhlir and the talented folks at Rez do some great work with it!


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