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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Dec 19, 2011 7:04 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Berkeley, CA
I haven't had time to read through this, but the GAO report notification popped up in my inbox today: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-545


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PostPosted: Jun 26, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Dec 24, 2011 12:43 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Newport Beach, CA
I'm still reading through it, but the section discussing FHR is...interesting. I also can't help but think how flawed the GAO's framework is for making recommendations...it relies so heavily on what vested interests want (EXPLICITLY!) instead of which technology has the most promise. NGNP Alliance obviously wants to resurrect NGNP ex ante, even though there would be huge overlap between NGNP and an FHR.

Quote:
The fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor design takes advantage
of the physical characteristics of liquid-salt coolant to enable the
development of a high-temperature system that is scalable to larger
power and able to operate at lower pressure and higher power density
than the helium-cooled high-temperature gas-cooled reactor.
With these
characteristics, according to NE officials and DOE documents, these
reactors could provide potential safety benefits and increased efficiency
over existing light water reactors while maintaining the benefit of providing
both electricity and process heat for industrial applications
. NE officials
told us that this mix of characteristics is the reason why NE provides
limited funding research into fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature
reactor.
However, the fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor
technology is not very mature or well tested, and because of this is
considered more of a long-range advanced reactor technology, according
to NE officials. NE funds R&D into fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature
reactors mainly through NE’s Nuclear Energy University Program, with
the research mainly conducted at universities across the country. Two
industry representatives we interviewed took issue with NE for funding a
reactor technology that is unproven and that in their view has little chance
of ever being built. In response, NE officials told us that the potential
benefits of fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor over other
advanced reactor technologies warrant providing limited funds and
utilizing university research capabilities.


Emphasis is mine. I like how the text in bold can be interpreted in two ways: 1) NE provides limited funding research into FHR because of its superior characteristics 2) NE provides funding for FHR in the first place because of its superior characteristics.

Then they justify their decisions based solely on a pre-emptive technological intertia argument.


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PostPosted: Jun 30, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Dec 19, 2011 7:04 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Berkeley, CA
Cthorm wrote:
Then they justify their decisions based solely on a pre-emptive technological intertia argument.

Yeah, that was frustrating to read:
Quote:
Two industry representatives we interviewed took issue with NE for funding a reactor technology that is unproven and that in their view has little chance of ever being built.

For what its worth, at least they are transparent about this fact <sigh>.


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