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 Post subject: LFTR Licensing in Canada
PostPosted: May 03, 2012 5:54 pm 
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I just looked through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's website for licensing information.
It looks like the only reactors they will license are water-cooled ones.
Any idea how one would go about getting a license to build a prototype LFTR?


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PostPosted: May 03, 2012 8:22 pm 
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I think the best bet would be to try to go for a license for a "research reactor" of relatively low power - enough to "prove the principle."

Who wants to build one ?


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PostPosted: May 04, 2012 2:42 am 
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Hey-hey!
Thanks for the tip, Jaro!
Here are the requirements for licensing what the CNSC calls a small reactor. Anything producing less than 200 MW of thermal energy, regardless of nuclear design or use is considered a small reactor! It could be used for research, steam generation or electrical generation!
We should be able to license a 50 MW LFTR, so now my question is: does Flibe Energy have a design that's ready to build, and what's the complete cost of a facility?

Alberta is currently producing 90% of it's electricity by burning fossil fuels, and there's plenty of small towns just the right size to be powered by a 50 MW reactor, far from populated areas. This should be a prime area for LFTRs.


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PostPosted: May 04, 2012 11:23 am 
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tlhIngan wrote:
Here are the requirements for licensing what the CNSC calls a small reactor.


An MSR type reactor can't respond to these requirements. A paragraph from those requirements states:

Quote:
The fuel assembly design shall include components such as the fuel material, matrix material, cladding, spacers, support plates and movable rods inside the assembly. The fuel assembly design shall also identify all interfacing systems.

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PostPosted: May 04, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Aqeous homogeneous reactor for medical isotope production provide an analogy:

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publicatio ... 01_web.pdf

Quote:
3.3. Licensing of solution reactors for isotope production
Since no operating license applications involving solution reactor facilities for isotope
production have been submitted, world wide nuclear regulatory bodies have not developed
regulations that address solution reactors for commercial isotope production. Two solution
reactors, however, have been licensed in the USA (by the Atomic Energy Commission) but
these were not commercial isotope production facilities. Current US Nuclear Regulatory
Commission regulations address power reactors, ‘commercial’ reactors and research reactors.
Hazard analyses for solution reactors have indicated significantly lower hazard to workers,
surrounding populations and the environment than those reactors currently addressed by
regulatory bodies. New regulations appropriately addressing specific hazards associated with
solution reactors for commercial isotope production will be necessary. Until these regulations
are formulated and issued, it is feasible to address these facilities in a manner similar to
current research reactor standards.

4. STATUS OF SOLUTION REACTORS FOR MEDICAL ISOTOPE PRODUCTION
MIPRs are under development in China, the Russian Federation and the USA. Two
fundamental technologies have been patented in the Europe, the Russian Federation and the
USA. These are solution reactors using LEU solutions of (a) uranyl nitrate salt and (b) uranyl sulphate salt as the fuel.

The ARGUS reactor, a 20 kW(th), high enriched uranium (HEU)
solution reactor has been operated as an experimental development activity by the Kurchatov
Institute in the Russian Federation. Irradiated solution from this unit was processed to
separate and purify 99Mo to European and US pharmacopeia standards.


HEU and liquid fuel; clearly you could build an MSR prototype in Russia!


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PostPosted: May 04, 2012 3:11 pm 
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STG wrote:
tlhIngan wrote:
Here are the requirements for licensing what the CNSC calls a small reactor.


An MSR type reactor can't respond to these requirements. A paragraph from those requirements states:

Quote:
The fuel assembly design shall include components such as the fuel material, matrix material, cladding, spacers, support plates and movable rods inside the assembly. The fuel assembly design shall also identify all interfacing systems.

Hmmm...
I disagree. If you look at the paragraph which immediately follows that one, it sounds to me that they are simply stating that they want the components of the fuel assembly to be described with the fuel assembly itself. I believe they are simply listing examples, not requirements.
Quote:
The fuel assembly design shall include components such as the fuel material, matrix material, cladding, spacers, support plates and movable rods inside the assembly. The fuel assembly design shall also identify all interfacing systems.

Fuel assemblies and the associated components shall be designed to withstand the anticipated irradiation and environmental conditions in the reactor core, and all processes of deterioration that can occur in normal operation and AOOs.


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PostPosted: May 30, 2012 5:50 pm 
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I was just pondering on some of the information I've been gleaning recently.
A 50 MW facility, regardless of design, should suffice for the power requirements of about 25,000 population.
The ballpark figures I've heard for a LFTR of this output fueled for 20 years is 100 million$.
So,
100 million$ / 25,000 people / 20 years ....
That's 200 bucks per year per person for your electricity, you just need to add LOCAL transmission costs, which can't be all that much.
In the dead of winter, I easily pay that PER MONTH.
So I ask again, does Flibe have a design that's ready to get licensed and prototyped?
There's plenty of small towns to guinea pig this on.
:)


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PostPosted: May 30, 2012 6:32 pm 
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From a Speech delivered by CNSC President Michael Binder to the House Standing Committee on Natural Resources - May 15, 2012
Quote:
Mining development in the North will require reliable sources of electricity and one alternative being talked about is small nuclear reactors. The CNSC is ready to review a design if a proponent brings us an application; and we will license it if we are convinced that it will be safe.


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PostPosted: Jun 03, 2012 6:15 pm 
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That sounds like good news.

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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2012 1:47 pm 
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I have heard rumours that the CNSC has been surprisingly open minded to the idea of an MSR. I think a great way to build one here would be giving the guys at AECL the project. Huge knowledge base there and a lot of people seem to be waiting for a real project to come along. There is only so much design change you can make to a CANDU and Chalk River is going to need something to replace the NRU when it shuts down.


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PostPosted: Jun 06, 2012 11:36 pm 
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CNSC wrote:
Anything producing less than 200 MW of thermal energy, regardless of nuclear design or use is considered a small reactor!
Sounds like you just need a 199MW design spec. and perhaps that's per reactor, which might mean that you can build a 1.9GW facility with 10 reactors and still qualify as "small".

Kinda reminds me of minimum wage...Gov't raises it and employers offset it with a higher benefits deduction.


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PostPosted: Jun 07, 2012 9:41 am 
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For a research reactor is there also a constraint that you are not allowed to sell generated electricity or perhaps not allowed to put it on the grid?

It seems unlikely that you can produce commercial reactors at 199MWth as "research reactors".


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PostPosted: Jun 07, 2012 7:47 pm 
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According to RD-367, Design of Small Reactor Facilities, http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/pubs_cat ... ties_e.pdf
Quote:
A small reactor facility is defined as a reactor facility containing a reactor with a power level of less than approximately 200 megawatts thermal (MWt) that is used for research, isotope production, steam generation, electricity production or other applications.

RD-367 references IAEA's NS-R-4 for reaerch reactors, but goes beyond it -- for instance by including small electricity production reactors.

NS-R-4 Safety of Research Reactors: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publicatio ... 20_web.pdf

Quote:
EXCLUDED
Sub critical facilities
Prototype NPPs
Desalination plants
Naval reactors
Electricity production reactors
Prototype reactors


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PostPosted: Jun 12, 2012 10:58 am 
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Location: Toronto, Ont
Greetings from Toronto.

As a new member, I'll post a little of my background: mechanical engineer, graduated in 2008 from Queen's University. employment post-recession has been difficult, but I've managed to work in mostly the electric vehicle sector - I've been at ZENN Motor Company for the last 2 years. My educational background is therefore mechanical (thermo, fluids, mechanics, dynamics etc) with some electrical.

My interest in various projects outside of my expertise has drawn me towards thorium-fuelled reactors. For the last year I've been theorizing, watching video seminars, and reading everything I can on them. I'm no expert, but I find it promising and worth pursuing.

Back to the topic at hand; I'm going to begin researching what is required to license an experimental reactor - I worked at RMC in Kingston for a summer, and I know they had a small reactor in the building. I have contacts for funding; but capital generation makes me nervous. That is, as an engineer, nuclear physics aren't intimidating, and I'm not so bad with a sales-pitch either. I just fear the gut-wrenching feeling of failure, after going all in. As far as ideas go, suggesting a nuclear reactor has to be near the top of the most bizarre and seemingly risky investment opportunities.

I'd love to be part of getting this going - the task like eating an elephant. Just one bite at a time.

Sim


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2012 11:27 am 
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simey_binker wrote:
Greetings from Toronto.

As a new member, I'll post a little of my background: mechanical engineer, graduated in 2008 from Queen's University. employment post-recession has been difficult, but I've managed to work in mostly the electric vehicle sector - I've been at ZENN Motor Company for the last 2 years. My educational background is therefore mechanical (thermo, fluids, mechanics, dynamics etc) with some electrical.

My interest in various projects outside of my expertise has drawn me towards thorium-fuelled reactors. For the last year I've been theorizing, watching video seminars, and reading everything I can on them. I'm no expert, but I find it promising and worth pursuing.

Back to the topic at hand; I'm going to begin researching what is required to license an experimental reactor - I worked at RMC in Kingston for a summer, and I know they had a small reactor in the building. I have contacts for funding; but capital generation makes me nervous. That is, as an engineer, nuclear physics aren't intimidating, and I'm not so bad with a sales-pitch either. I just fear the gut-wrenching feeling of failure, after going all in. As far as ideas go, suggesting a nuclear reactor has to be near the top of the most bizarre and seemingly risky investment opportunities.

I'd love to be part of getting this going - the task like eating an elephant. Just one bite at a time.

Sim



RMC does have a small nuclear reactor, however, it is 17 kWth and is a LEU solid rod pool type reactor cooled by natural convection. It is close to the most basic reactor design you can get, much more basic than any sort of molten salt idea. They still have a hell of a time with the CNSC if any sort of electronic system is changed though.

If you want, Dr. David LeBlanc (he is a member on here) is "the" molten salt ambassador for Canada. I had him talk here at RMC about a month ago and he also gave a talk at the annual CNS conference recently held in Saskatoon. The audience at the conference consisted of industry people from across Canada, very positive feedback afterwards. You should contact him as he is very informed and is a wealth of knowledge.


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