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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2014 1:09 pm 
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http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsmol ... me-4290903

Here is an interesting article (and lecture, which I haven't watched yet) from a website called Nuclear Engineering International. But the last sentence threw me for a loop:

"Littler said that MSRs could fill the gap between the end of the current generation of nuclear reactors and the development of commercial fusion power, and start up about 2050."

What? 2050? That's 36 years away! You've got to be kidding. Is the practical MSR really that far off? Good grief, that's worse than fusion! Will someone who knows about this please clarify? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2014 6:10 pm 
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Many that tout fusion really could not be called upon to provide accurate timelines in my opinion. Just an opinion.


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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2014 8:16 pm 
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Saying that commercially viable MSR won't happen until 2050 is equivalent to saying that it will never happen. Either that statement is bogus or we may as well all go home.


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PostPosted: Jun 17, 2014 10:38 pm 
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That statement is bogus. Feel better now?

None of the people who yap in these articles know anything about the state of the technology.


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PostPosted: Jun 18, 2014 12:48 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
That statement is bogus. Feel better now?


Yes, thanks!

I figured it was bogus, but I just wanted corroboration from someone who has an inside track on the situation.


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PostPosted: Jun 18, 2014 7:47 pm 
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It is not clear if the date of 2050 is for fusion or for LFTR. Only a focused effort like that of the Chinese can achieve the MSR/LFTR before that.
However, separate efforts in various aspects could bring higher benefits.
a. Sodium cooled fast reactors could introduce a salt eutectic as secondary coolant. It will develop the salt handling technology and reduce sodium fire hazard.
b. Use of thorium with a fissile feed (20%LEU, RG plutonium) will partly introduce thorium fuel and create long burn up fuel.
c. Introduction of thorium blanket with high burn up fuel (in PWR) will create U-233 for various uses including thorium fuel as fissile fuel. It is already in hand in the Indian PFBR.


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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 1:08 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
It is not clear if the date of 2050 is for fusion or for LFTR. Only a focused effort like that of the Chinese can achieve the MSR/LFTR before that.


Well it seems clear to me that the 2050 date referred to LFTR. And your second sentence leaves me a bit confused. As everyone on this site probably knows, a prototype MSR was built and operated for years by Alvin Weinberg back in the 1960s. My limited understanding is that this prototype demonstrated the basic feasibility of MSR/LFTR. lf that is the case, then why should it take so long to complete the engineering?

Yes, I understand that regulatory, political, and funding issues could delay the technology for decades, but let's put those aside for now and just focus on the technical aspects. Given a reasonable level of funding, why shouldn't someone be able to build a fully functional LFTR prototype within, say, 8 years?


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 12:02 pm 
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Russ wrote:
jagdish wrote:
It is not clear if the date of 2050 is for fusion or for LFTR. Only a focused effort like that of the Chinese can achieve the MSR/LFTR before that.


Yes, I understand that regulatory, political, and funding issues could delay the technology for decades, but let's put those aside for now and just focus on the technical aspects. Given a reasonable level of funding, why shouldn't someone be able to build a fully functional LFTR prototype within, say, 8 years?


'I understand that regulatory, political, and funding issues could delay the technology for decades'.

I think that is his (Jagdish) point.

If there is a plan with a timeline ... technology path, resources required, and how those resources will be obtained, then experts can judge whether it is reasonable (pretty rare for any plan to actually work out in detail of course). That plan would have milestones, funding sources, regulatory strategy, schedules for various stages of prototypes.

Even the Chinese 'plan' seems a little vague.

I would guess Kirk has a plan, and David LeBlanc and ... ? But, I don't think they are public (not a criticism).

If this development is not 'easy' (cheap), then it might seem like the resources of a state, are going to be necessary. For nations like America or China, those resources are almost without limit. Imagine if the development of a LFTR was considered an existential issue for the United States. There would be thousands of Scientists/Engineers working on it day and night (Manhattan Project).


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 4:24 pm 
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SteveK9 wrote:
I would guess Kirk has a plan, and David LeBlanc and ... ? But, I don't think they are public (not a criticism).


viewtopic.php?f=50&t=4358

Nothing secret about the plan. Feel free to come and help. I even saw David LeBlanc's guy Simon Irish there, for the first day.


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PostPosted: Jun 25, 2014 11:11 pm 
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I always thought that graphite takes too much volume in the core and increases cost. There was a posting that it takes about 90% of core volume. 'Why not go for a Water tube in boiler' arrangement and use water as moderator-coolant? Transatomic design suggests Zirconium Hydride but stolid old water may be better.
With a moderate neutron economy of a water moderator-coolant, FNaBe may be a better low cost match as solvent salt. Reduced moderation or a dual mode (thermal spectrum near the tubes and fast further away), you could still get a near breeder.
Cost economy and easier availability of materials rather than the neutron economy may be a better idea in the prototype.


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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
SteveK9 wrote:
I would guess Kirk has a plan, and David LeBlanc and ... ? But, I don't think they are public (not a criticism).


http://www.energyfromthorium.com/forum/ ... =50&t=4358

Nothing secret about the plan. Feel free to come and help. I even saw David LeBlanc's guy Simon Irish there, for the first day.


Thanks Kirk!


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