Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 23, 2014 1:20 am 
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jagdish wrote:
A Calutron or mass spectrogram would be more suitable for Li ions than uranium for many reasons:-
1. It is more difficult to get Li as a gas, except at a high temperature.
2. It has high charge per unit mass, and more proportionate difference of 6:7 between ions.
3. The equipment would cost less.
4. Very high purity of Li-7 is required.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calutron also refers.


You cannot be serious. The cost structure of high energy particle accellerators, of any type, is way out there.

If this can compete with simple liquid liquid extraction, I will eat my hat.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 24, 2014 3:17 am 
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I am never serious about 99.995% Li-7 as a component of the solvent-coolant. Li-6 is a strong neutron poison. I'd rather do with Na, Be and Zr fluorides. It was a far out but technically possible solution to get 99.995% Li-7.
Even the bombs can be detonated with 93% U-235.
Quote from wikipedia
Quote:
A calutron is a mass spectrometer used for separating the isotopes of uranium. It was developed by Ernest O. Lawrence[1] during the Manhattan Project and was similar to the cyclotron invented by Lawrence. Its name is a concatenation of Cal. U.-tron, in tribute to the University of California, Lawrence's institution and the contractor of the Los Alamos laboratory.[2] They implemented industrial scale uranium enrichment at the Oak Ridge Y-12 plant established during the war and provided much of the uranium used for the "Little Boy" nuclear weapon, which was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

99.75% D2O purity is OK for heavy water. Li-7 needs to be 50 times purer.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 24, 2014 8:04 am 
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So what are you saying here Jagdish? The Manhattan Project had billion dollar funding. Cost per kg wasn't an item and a bomb has only tens of kg of enriched material in it. If the Manhattan Project used this technique, that itself is a very good reason to stay away from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 25, 2014 11:02 am 
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An army of calutrons would need years-to-decades to produce the Li7 in the amount of mass needed. How many grams/day would a calutron produce? And at what cost?? The paper cited by Kirk shows an enormous amount of energy required, per *gram*.
High temperature/high vacuum distillation may theoretically work in a lab, but again producing Li7 by thousands of kilograms is a tough challenge - controlling vacuum to milli Torr tolerances is tough, and the same goes for temperature, when dealing with industrial scale equipment.
Liquid-liquid extraction is clearly the real world winner.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7the
PostPosted: Nov 17, 2014 3:04 pm 
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The only real solution to high cost of lithium-7 is to do without it. Sodium is a good replacement. Calutrons or the mass spectrograph is a technical solution only.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Jul 27, 2015 4:57 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Everything about LFTR is easy compared to fusion.
So then, why persue fusion? Why, 46 years ago, did we land on the Moon?

We landed on the Moon, because we choose the Moon! We choose the Moon ... not because it was easy, but because it was hard; because that goal served to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge was one that we were willing to accept, one we were unwilling to postpone, and one we intended to win.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Jul 27, 2015 12:31 pm 
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We are no longer at the stage of project Manhutton or fusion in case of nuclear energy. In the US, you are competing, in cost. with gas. Elsewhere, it could be coal. MSR must be started with FNaBe or some other easier to get salt. FLiBe with the purity of 7Li required is just too much trouble for initial reactors.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Jul 27, 2015 8:20 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
We are no longer at the stage of project Manhutton or fusion in case of nuclear energy. In the US, you are competing, in cost. with gas. Elsewhere, it could be coal. MSR must be started with FNaBe or some other easier to get salt. FLiBe with the purity of 7Li required is just too much trouble for initial reactors.
Until someone actually orders a goodly amount of 7-9s Li7, we really have no idea how expensive it will be. But it seems it shouldn't be too bad.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Jul 28, 2015 8:08 am 
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BSFusion wrote:
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Everything about LFTR is easy compared to fusion.
So then, why persue fusion? Why, 46 years ago, did we land on the Moon?

We landed on the Moon, because we choose the Moon! We choose the Moon ... not because it was easy, but because it was hard; because that goal served to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge was one that we were willing to accept, one we were unwilling to postpone, and one we intended to win.


"we" did not land on the moon. You and I we will never walk on the moon. But we both use energy. That's exactly the problem with the moon analogy. A handful of elite astronauts landed on the moon, at costs of billions of dollars per human.

The energy problem is not about a handful of people doing something remarkable. It affects us all. We need a solution for that works not for 10 people, but for 10 billion.

Whole different ballgame. All of a sudden you can't just throw more money at the problem; the energy solution must be cheap so we can all afford it. With the moon program, more money throwing was the solution. With the energy problem, more money throwing quickly becomes the problem. Would we be happy if fusion works reliably, but costs $100/Watt? I think not. We'd say "wow" at the first working prototype. And then continue to burn coal.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 03, 2015 7:02 am 
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Well said. A nuclear power plant has to compete with other power plants, irrespective of energy source. Consider this phased approach.
One. The PWRs are run on fuel bundles with 20%LEU core and thorium blanket. They continue to produce power with longer lasting fuel.
Two. Irradiated thorium pins are reprocessed separately. 233U is produced.
Three. An MSR or LFTR is run with Th 233U fuel and FNaBe carrier salt. It could be a breeder or near breeder.
Perhaps the Chinese will take a hint.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 06, 2015 12:57 pm 
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I think that Thorcon and Terrestrial Energy have the right idea. Any nuclear is better than coal, get the technology deployed as FAST and WIDELY as POSSIBLE. Once the MSR technologies are commercialized and accepted, investment in LFTR and related systems will become much easier.

I also think the Li7, will be viable, but it will require a large upfront investment to make it economical. When the MSR’s are commercialized and there is a clear path forward to LFTR that will enable that to happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 07, 2015 4:35 am 
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michael.runyan wrote:
I think that Thorcon and Terrestrial Energy have the right idea. Any nuclear is better than coal, get the technology deployed as FAST and WIDELY as POSSIBLE. Once the MSR technologies are commercialized and accepted, investment in LFTR and related systems will become much easier.

There is one more requirement where nuclear is getting a beating in the US. Economy. We must quickly develop a SiC or NiF2 enamel to counter salt corrosion. Stick to easier salts, even if it requires a fast spectrum. Either do without a moderator or reverse the Candu with water/HW moderator in tubes. Coolant could be a separate system.
Let us see who does the obvious first.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 07, 2015 8:26 am 
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What 7Li enrichment is actually required for say a DMSR?
(I understand as high as possible is wanted for tritium containment reasons, but what do we actually need).


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 07, 2015 9:23 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
What 7Li enrichment is actually required for say a DMSR?
(I understand as high as possible is wanted for tritium containment reasons, but what do we actually need).


The economic optimum is quite high. If you have the enrichment tech available, you can run it at higher enrichment (lower product output). Higher is also beneficial for the reactivity coefficient... so the safety optimum is also quite high. Li6 is a powerful absorber.


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 Post subject: Re: Lithium-7
PostPosted: Aug 07, 2015 10:08 am 
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Unfortunately the only really available-in-the-west technology of crown ether extraction is apparently not very amenable to the SWU approximation, you can't stack it really.


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