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PostPosted: Apr 19, 2009 3:59 pm 
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charlesH wrote:

I think a lot of people are interested in reducing the volume and toxicity of waste. Isn't closing the fuel cycle related to reducing the volume and toxicity of waste?



Reference:

Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Goals, Strategies, and Challenges.

http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/Fetter/ ... S-INFC.pdf

If you want to know what will happen in the near term regarding the Nuclear Fuel Cycle read this paper. This is where the Obama nuclear policy will come from.

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PostPosted: Apr 19, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Axil wrote:
charlesH wrote:

I think a lot of people are interested in reducing the volume and toxicity of waste. Isn't closing the fuel cycle related to reducing the volume and toxicity of waste?



Reference:

Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Goals, Strategies, and Challenges.

http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/Fetter/ ... S-INFC.pdf

If you want to know what will happen in the near term regarding the Nuclear Fuel Cycle read this paper. This is where the Obama nuclear policy will come from.


from page 68

"Here, too, the committee believes that continued funding for research and development
on fast-reactor concepts and other reactor types not currently being actively pursued in the
United States
and Russia would be desirable, including such concepts as lead-cooled systems,
nonfertile fuels, thorium fuel cycles, and molten salt reactors (MSRs)."

Seems LFTR technology is at least on the radar.


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PostPosted: Apr 19, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Thanks for the link to this report. Here's another very relevant citation of MSR in the report on page 79:

Quote:
An integrated technology—a combined reactor and fuel-processing unit, such as a molten salt
reactor—has the advantage of easy fuel preparation and recycling, because the fluid nature of the
fuel provides extra flexibility and a simpler back-end fuel cycle. The molten salt reactor concept
appears to have substantial promise not only as a transmuter of transuranics, but also as an
advanced TRU-free system operating with the uranium-thorium cycle.


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PostPosted: Apr 20, 2009 8:17 am 
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I read the findings of the NAS report and I agree with them. I could never be a diplomat making so many words out of a simple idea. Have nations have enrichment and reprocessing technologies. Have-nots don't and should be encouraged to stay that way by assuring them of availability of reactor fuel and accepting back all the spent fuel. This has to be under international IAEC auspices so Russia, the US, or another have can't embargo the have-nots energy supply. [Like Russian natural gas to Europe.]

This, of course, was the goal of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership of 16 nations, initiated by the Bush administration and shut down by the Obama administration. In it's review of the Bush GNEP plan the same NAS reported “need for waste management, security, and fuel supply is not great enough” and “GNEP program should not go forward and should be replaced by a less aggressive research program”.

GNEP's website at DOE no longer exists and the budget is zero.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 8:25 am 
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Guess that means NO fissile from spent LWR fuel....

Quote:
NUCLEAR NEWS FLASHES - Friday, June 26, 2009
US NEWS:
--DOE HAS CANCELED ITS GNEP ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT, formalizing the program's long-anticipated demise. DOE said in a notice to be published in the June 29 Federal Register that it has decided to cancel the programmatic environmental impact statement it is developing for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership "because it is no longer pursuing domestic commercial reprocessing, which was the primary focus of the prior Administration's domestic GNEP program." DOE quoted its fiscal 2010 budget request, which said "the department's fuel cycle R&D focus is on 'long-term, science-based R&D of technologies with the potential to produce beneficial changes to the manner in which the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear waste is managed.'" DOE's FY-09 budget provides $145 million for continuation of R&D on "proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies," DOE said.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 8:31 am 
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jaro wrote:
Guess that means NO fissile from spent LWR fuel....


No, that just means no GNEP.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 8:46 am 
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Quote:
DOE's FY-09 budget provides $145 million for continuation of R&D on "proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies," DOE said.

$145 million of R&D ain't gonna buy an LWR SNF reprocessing plant any time soon, IMO.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 9:33 am 
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jaro wrote:
Quote:
DOE's FY-09 budget provides $145 million for continuation of R&D on "proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies," DOE said.

$145 million of R&D ain't gonna buy an LWR SNF reprocessing plant any time soon, IMO.


Certainly not one based on PUREX or any of its variants. Fluorination, on the other hand, might be viable, especially if fuel refabrication is not part of the "reprocessing".


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 10:14 am 
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I don't want government money spent on building more PUREX plants.
I would rather see the money spent in R&D on a more reasonable plan.

I think one could assemble a processing plant using many of the same techniques as we plan to use for LFTR.
The major difference being a high uranium capacity front-end.

I would expect we can provide as separate streams:
Xe (I think by this point non-radioactive since Xe isotopes either have short half-lives <36 days or long ones >1e14 years)
Kr (still radioactive so it ought to be stored for 100 years)
U (?can be used in HW reactors or enriched for LWRs but some comments about it being too radioactive for normal handling in enriching)
Np (useful to generate Pu238 but we probably would swamp the market)
Pu
noble metals (Zn, Ga, Ge, As, Nb, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Pd, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb)
Zr (comes off early in the vacuum distillation step)
THE REST (Rb, Cs, Sr, Ba, Y, the lanthanides) PLUS actinides (Thorium, Americum and Curium)

For processing LWR SNF there is no thorium and the burnup is low enough that there is only a small amount of Am or Cm. I would prefer that we could remove it but we can save that job for another decade. We still have removed 99+% of the actinides.

Unfortunately, THE REST includes both Cs137 and Sr90 so it will include the major heat sources.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 6:35 pm 
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There is a facility at the INTEC campus of the INL. This building ( FPR)was built to replace the old reprocessing building which is now going through D&D. Construction was stopped when piece broke out under Reagan. All of the concrete cells were completed with the walls and roof put on. There are several buildings with hot cells in them and a large amount of spent navy fuel located in the building next to it. If needed I am guessing they could finish it within 5 years. It seems that if you wanted to reprocess or reformulate spent fuel in any way then this would be a place to investigate.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2009 9:51 pm 
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Fatal blow to GNEP?

Although the future of GNEP looks uncertain, with its budget having been cut to zero, the DoE will continue to study proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 provides $145 million for such research and development (R&D). As described in the President Obama's 2010 budget request, the DoE's fuel cycle R&D's focus is on "long-term, science-based R&D of technologies with the potential to produce beneficial changes to the manner in which the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear waste is managed."

The draft PEIS assessed six programmatic domestic alternatives: no action alternative-existing once-through uranium fuel cycle; fast reactor recycle fuel cycle alternative; thermal/fast reactor recycle fuel cycle alternative; thermal reactor recycle fuel cycle alternative; once-through fuel cycle alternative using thorium; and once-through fuel cycle alternative using heavy water reactors or high temperature gas-cooled reactors.

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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2013 11:27 am 
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Wow, it has been so long since this program was axed that the other day I was just trying to remember the acronym and couldn't do it. A cautionary tale to those who would advocate a big, government-led, "crash" program to "do something about nuclear energy".

Even thorium MSR would likely get completely screwed up in their incompetent hands.


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2013 10:39 pm 
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The initially stated goals and the planned activities seemed unrelated to each other.

These 50-50 public-private partnerships usually just results in public fund give-aways. A better model could be "pay for results" where the government only pays at verified project milestones. No progress - no pay.

T. Wang


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PostPosted: Jun 30, 2017 1:37 pm 
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I put all of my GNEP-related documents and resources in this 34 MB zip file, if anyone cares.

http://www.flibe-energy.com/pdf/gnep-resources.zip


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PostPosted: Jul 01, 2017 1:41 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
jaro wrote:
Quote:
DOE's FY-09 budget provides $145 million for continuation of R&D on "proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies," DOE said.

$145 million of R&D ain't gonna buy an LWR SNF reprocessing plant any time soon, IMO.


Certainly not one based on PUREX or any of its variants. Fluorination, on the other hand, might be viable, especially if fuel refabrication is not part of the "reprocessing".

I think it might be important to leach out water soluble Cs and Sr salts due to high heat output. They could be reused as cheap RTG fuels for use on ground.
A lower degree of separation than the weapons grade processing could be acceptable for reactor work if it can keep down costs. Fractional distillation of chlorides or fluorides deserves a study.
Fractional crystallisation may also be useful.


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