Poland pursues IV Gen reactors R&D

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Joined: Dec 01, 2011 6:19 am

Poland pursues IV Gen reactors R&D

Post by Pliftr » Jan 21, 2013 5:21 pm

On several occasions question was raised in this forum how best to build and deploy LFTRs. Various styles of projects were proposed to get LFTR materialized soonest. Poland seems to have recently devised ways to initiate Gen IV reactors project. Driver for the efforts will be supply of heat to fertilizers production. Although liquid flouride thorium reactors are not on the list they have a chance to be included.
http://www.newseria.pl/news/elektrownia ... 1273027476 article in Polish, my translation below:
Nuclear Plant to Power Industry. Poland working on New Technology.

Polish engineers intend to research nuke plants as sources of both electric power and heat. They expected that after 10 odd years nuke reactors will be supplying heat to power voracious chemical industry. Beginning of 2013 the European Commission shall decide if the Polish NCBJ National Centre for Nuclear Research will take the lead of international team investigating such applications.

– For the first time we will be coordinating this year an important European program of researching nuclear cogeneration of heat and electricity to provide heat from nuclear reactors to industry. – said Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna, Director of the NCBJ interviewed by the News Agency Newseria.

The program has been launched as NC2I-R (Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative – Research) and application for funds was submitted to the European Commission end of last year. Upon acceptance the team will get down to work autum this year. Then NCBJ will be coordinating work of a consortium including over 20 international research labs and energy utilities. The funding of the project amounts to 2,4 m Euro.

The research effort will mainly concentrate on solutions to obtain heat from nuclear reactors which would be utilized in industry and in particular in chemical manufacturing. Such energy consumers include fertilizers plants depending on massive heat supply which today is generated predominantly from natural gas burning. The fuel expenses belong to the most costly bills in the fetrtilizer plants.

– Changing to nuclear as heat source would considerably cut costs and ensure against fuel supply disruptions. We are at the beginning of our project and expecting our plans will be accepted we are ready to start our work. – adds Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna.

Several weeks ago Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna joined the governing board of the SNETP Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform. The platform memebers are specialists of European universities and research labs, energy corporations, nuclear industry suppliers and technical safety organizations. Tasks of Prof. Wrochna within the platform will include solutions of simulatnous electric energy and heat cogenereation. The NCBJ nuclear centre represented by Prof. Wrochna belongs to the founding members of the SNETP and was co-authoring the platform’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.

– OurAgenda task is developement of various reactors including fast ones with higher burn-ups so as to reach better fuel utilization. Such reactor designs would ensure that the world uranium deposits are meeting demand not for 200 years when fissioned in curently operated reactors but even for 200 thousand years – adds Prof. Wrochna.

He refers to the so called fourth generation reactors. These include fast and breeding machines in which the nuclear fuel is burnt and fresh fuel is bred in parallel. Such reactors feature very high operating temperatures and are known as VHTR. This is the preferred reactor solution for supplying heat to industry. Earliest date for the VHTR could be after 2030.

The NCBJ engineers have already begun researching possible solutions. In December 2012 an agreement has been signed to found consortium of over dozen Polish organizations under leadership of AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow and with participation of the government agency National Centre for Research and Development. The team will be working on project „Development of IV Gen reactors technology – in particular HTR, GCFR, LFR to achieve strategic synergy goals”. The research will concentrate on heat supplies for industrial needs with applications in the Polish industry. Funds alloted for the project amount to 6,4 m Zloty and the results are expected in 2014.
Most important is that participant of the Polish consortium is Zaklady Azotowe, PULAWY a major manufacturer of ammonium fertilizers and other chemical products. http://www.zapulawy.pl/index.php?lang=GB Enough to say the chemical processes require PULAWY are burning 1^9 m3 of natural gas and 700.000 coal per year. The gas supplies are strategically not safe because Poland needs to buy gas from Russia until fracking of own deposits is developed.

Although the thorium molten salt technology has been not mentioned by Prof. Wrochna the SNETP web page has added paper on MSFR which clearly refers to the Grenoble team construction. http://www.snetp.eu/www/snetp/index.php ... &Itemid=36

Assuming the European Commision allots funds the NC2I-R project will be kicked off October/November.

Note the current situation in Poland with its 38 m nation stuck for all its turbulent history between Germany and Tzar/Soviet/New Russia. Flat and mostly agricultural in its central and northern part has Silesia with coal mines and steel industry in the south. Obtaining its energy at incredible 90%+ from coal and lignite Poland is desperate to diversify its energy sources which include risky Russian natural gas supplies. Emitting enormous volumes of CO2 per person and having abandoned construction of its first nuke plant of 4 Soviet WWER440 reactors in 1990 Poland is now reverting to its earlier plans and has declared its firm intention to build two 3000 MW III/III+ gen nuke plants, first of which would switch into grid about 2024. In the meantime the greens are fighting a tough battle to make the Poland administration follow the crazy German "Energiewende" strategy with domination of renewables and ban on nukes. It seems that Polish leaders will be able to resist. One of promissing omens is the discussed NC2I-R initiative pursuing development of high temperature small modular reactors in parallel to the a/m III/III+ behemots. Keep fingers crossed for the LFTR chances in NC2I-R.

Pliftr (Polish LFTR)