Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Jun 28, 2014 8:44 am 
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The new Russian sodium-cooled fast reactor BN-800 has reached criticality, according to a report by WNN (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Ru ... 06141.html). It is going to be interesting how the Russians will fare with this reactor, as the SFR is generally regarded as the "standard bearer" of the Gen-IV reactor types. Russia has also sold two BN-800 to China and is planning to introduce the BN-1200 in Russia by 2020. India will also bring a SFR to criticality later this year.


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PostPosted: Jul 03, 2014 4:52 pm 
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The BN600 has been operating for 30 years.


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PostPosted: Jul 07, 2014 12:12 am 
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Russians have designed it as a plutonium burner with no blanket.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Curre ... -Reactors/
The first MSR/LFTR should be a liquid fuel version of the same using FNaBe salt and no moderator. BN-800 should have really tried out primary sodium and secondary LEAD coolant. That would have encouraged the Indians to do likewise.


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PostPosted: Sep 28, 2014 11:33 pm 
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Video of BN-800 planned to start producing electricity in October 2014
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCgXcfGv5J8
Published on Sep 27, 2014


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2015 2:47 pm 
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Russia postpones BN-1200 in order to improve fuel design


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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2015 9:36 pm 
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Russia connects BN-800 fast reactor to grid

Ruskies continue to press on with real fast breeders.

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PostPosted: Jan 26, 2016 7:53 pm 
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https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatis ... urrent=451

BN-800 BELOYARSK-4 achieved Commercial operation on Jan, 13th, 2016, without any fanfare.

What is the definition of Commercial operation, a minimum sustained power production above x % ?

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PostPosted: Jan 27, 2016 8:39 am 
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macpacheco wrote:
https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=451

BN-800 BELOYARSK-4 achieved Commercial operation on Jan, 13th, 2016, without any fanfare.

What is the definition of Commercial operation, a minimum sustained power production above x % ?


Interesting - according to
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/-Russ ... 11601.html

Quote:
The total cost of constructing the BN-800 fast neutron reactor has been calculated as nearly RUB146 billion


864MW, for $1.9 billion, =$2,200/KW.

If we use older Roubles, before Putin screwed the Russian economy, that would equate to $5,000. Even that is competitive with PWRs, and BELOYARSK-4 should classify as a FOAK.


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PostPosted: Jan 28, 2016 2:13 pm 
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Quote:
If we use older Roubles, before Putin screwed the Russian economy, that would equate to $5,000. Even that is competitive with PWRs, and BELOYARSK-4 should classify as a FOAK.


I am not sure but I don't think that is competitive with russian PWRs. Their goal is to make the BN1200 competitive with latest russian PWRs but they are not sure that they can do it.

The japanese sodium fast reactor (JSFR) is planned to produce electricity at lower cost than light water reactors. If they can do it this will be impressive but I don't know if they plan to go forward in the project.


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PostPosted: Jan 30, 2016 6:38 am 
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Used LWR fuel is resulting in resistance to nuclear power at many places. Recycling of used fuel via fast reactors consumes the used fuel and is viable even at a higher upfront cost. Even cost conscious Chinese are taking interest in fast reactors.
Operation of a fast reactor mainly for power is an important step in growth of nuclear power.
The advantage of thorium is that it can possibly be recycled even in thermal reactors. It has not yet been achieved except for the Shipping-port experiment.


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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2016 12:39 am 
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Looks like it is producing at 35% which is 300MW

World’s most powerful fast neutron reactor starts supplying electricity to grid

Quote:
Fast neutron reactors use high-energy neutrons to induce fission in fuel rods. This requires the fuel to be enriched to a higher grade than in regular thermal neutron reactors, so the fuel is more expensive.


Even if this is 20%, the increase of production cost to produce a MW of power is pennies more rather then dollars due to the fact that enriching right now is extremely cheap.


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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2016 1:18 pm 
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Wilson wrote:
https://www.rt.com/news/325593-fast-neutron-nuclear-reactor/
Quote" Fast neutron reactors use high-energy neutrons to induce fission in fuel rods. This requires the fuel to be enriched to a higher grade than in regular thermal neutron reactors, so the fuel is more expensive." End of quote

Even if this is 20%, the increase of production cost to produce a MW of power is pennies more rather then dollars due to the fact that enriching right now is extremely cheap.
http://www.uxc.com/review/UxCPrices.aspx


Enrichment is only needed at startup, as the reactor breeds its own fissile. Depleted Uranium is all it takes to sustain operation. And since fast reactors are much less affected by Xe/Kr and other fission products, they can achieve much higher burnups, reducing the need for reprocessing cycles.

Its however important to realize that not only a fast reactor needs much higher enrichment, but also need a lot more fuel (around 5x), so the initial enrichment cost might amount to 10 years worth of enrichment cost for a regular reactor.

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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2016 2:07 am 
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BN-800 Reactor dimensions

Diameter 12.9 M Area = 3.14*6.452*6.45 = 130 M2
Height 15 M Volume = 15*130=1959 M3
Reactor thermal capacity 2100 th MW
2100/1959 = 1 cubic meter per 1 th MW

IMSR-800 Reactor Dimensions

Volume = 200 M3 (Note: This is a guess from drawings)
Reactor thermal capacity 2100 th MW
2100/200 = 1 cubic meter per 10 th MW

Therefore IMSR can produce ten times more energy per cubic meter of reactor space.

Note though, IMSR reactor core last only 7 years where as a BN reactor could last 50 years. 7 years times 7 reactors = 49 years

So, which system will be cheaper if you need 7 IMSR reactor cores compared to 1 BN reactor over a period of 50 years?


Last edited by Wilson on Feb 03, 2016 8:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2016 7:03 am 
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Wilson wrote:
BN-800 Reactor dimensions

So, which system will be cheaper if you need 7 IMSR reactor cores compared to 1 BN reactor over a period of 50 years?

As long as the change out process is well designed, and recycling costs don't kill then, then a core designed for 7 years is going to be a lot cheaper than a core designed for 50 years.

As an aside, graphite swelling determines core life, and that is determined neutron flux. So in theory you could slow down the IMSR 7 fold, and make it last 50 years. They don't do that.

The other point to note is that (1) cost measurement and (2) regulation need to be changed for a core swap out.
(1) So ThorCon for example claim a very low capital cost per KW. But that excludes the Can, which is between an operating expense and a capital expense. But given the high discount rates applied to nuclear, future capital cost is much better than current capital cost.
(2) Reactors tend to be licensed for 40 years, plus an extension. How long will a ThorCon or IMSR be licensed for? In theory, the plant could last forever, with a new core after 4 or 7 years, new turbines after 30 years, new plumbing after 60 years. Will the regulators regulate every core like they currently regulate a PWR? Or will they just submit to a quick set of acceptance tests.


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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2016 11:43 am 
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Quote:
IMSR-800 Reactor Dimensions

Volume = 200 M3 (Note: This is a guess from drawings)
Reactor thermal capacity 2100 th MW
2100/200 = 1 cubic meter per 10 th MW


Based on David's ancient presentations, the power density of the IMSR 600 (with its buffer salt taken into account) is a lot less than that (I don't know if I can write it here).

But I saw that they changed the drawing of the reactor recently so I don't know now.

Also the BN800 is not supposed to be the competitive product, the BN1200 is planned to be more compact.

At the end the IMSR 600 (with the buffer salt) will have a higher power density that the BN1200 but not 10 times more, it will be much closer I think.


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