TerraPower's molten chloride fast reactor design

Threads relating to the design of liquid-chloride, fast-spectrum reactors as well as fuel reprocessing.
darryl siemer
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Joined: Jan 21, 2008 9:12 pm
Location: idaho falls

Re: TerraPower's molten chloride fast reactor design

Post by darryl siemer » Sep 07, 2018 1:40 pm

Since we’re talking about chloride salt-based MSRs here, I've found GAIN's description of the reaction that INL's Fuel Management Complex's experts were to spend Elysium’s voucher money "demonstrating"; i.e., reacting powdered MOX-type fuel with ZrCl4 in a molten NaCl/KCl eutectic to produce a MCSFR fuel salt (I don’t know why they were proposing to add K).

https://gain.inl.gov/SiteAssets/2017%20 ... %20(1).pdf

If that's what they really did, then that demonstration will fail because there's no reducing agent. MOx fuel consists primarily of quadrivalent uranium & Pu oxides both of which must be reduced to their trivalent state to produce a cladding-compatible UCl3/PuCl3/alkali chloride-based fuel salt.

Here’s a reaction that is consistent with thermodynamic rules: Powder up the oxides, add one mole of ZrCl4 per mole of total actinide, disperse both in 2 moles molten NaCl/mole actinide and slowly add zirconium powder (or fine ground zircalloy cladding particles) while stirring. That should produce a fuel salt containing trivalent fissile &fertile actinides in sufficient NaCl to exhibit a melting point < 550C along with solid filterable/centrifugable ZrO2.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone because the Japanese demonstrated/published its key steps fourteen years ago:

http://www.oecd-nea.org/pt/iempt8/abstr ... kamura.pdf

I don’t what DOE’s MSR experts are supposed to be demonstrating for Southern Company/Terrapower’s MCFR. Does anyone?

The point I try to get across to everyone in this racket is that being "sneaky" about what you are proposing isn't apt to win hearts and minds - people have been snookered 'way too many times by the nuclear industry's experts.

The folks at DOE's "lead NE Lab" have a terrible history in that respect. It's their habit of not telling "the truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth", that's made it so difficult to convince folks that a DOE-led nuclear renaissance would be in their best interests. DOE's managers routinely lie about technical stuff to convince "stakeholders" to go along with its half-..ssed proposals which is why that “lead lab” hasn't yet managed to turn its own little mountain/lake of reprocessing waste into competent disposal or even "storage" forms.

This is the sort of BS that made me decide not to align myself with any of the nuclear startups either - protecting "IP" is just another excuse for devious behavior.
Darryl Siemer

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