Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2015 3:57 am 

Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
Posts: 511
Lars wrote:
alexterrell wrote:
Lars wrote:
I think the normal procedure is to bake at 400C for many days. We REALLY don't want water and oxygen hiding out in the graphite.
The evaporated gas will have to be filtered as it may have some nasties in it.

Will the graphite blocks (in the Thorcon proposal) be re-used?

In moving the graphite around and putting it in the can - either first time or re-used, will it soak up some atmospheric water and oxygen? In which case it might need thermal treating (in an inert environment) just before being loaded with fresh salt.

PostPosted: Mar 23, 2015 7:39 am 

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5048
djw1 wrote:
What happens if we combine the ammonia solution with ultrasonic cleaning?

What do you mean Jack? Just about any aqeous solution shoud be suitable for ultrasonic cleaning baths.

Graphite can be cleaned with ultrasonic method and water, but not excessively as it could be damaged (it is brittle as you know). For metals the ultrasonic method works well, but size is limited. It would be cool if we could have a huge ultrasonic cleaning bath where the whole reactor vessel is simply lifted in. Then you'd have clean metal to cut up and recycle.

For graphite I believe we can use the microwave treatment after ammonia solution soaking. It will delaminate the graphite, allowing nearly complete leach out with more ammonia or other solution. Then the graphite is clean and can be pulverized and re-graphitized (but maybe needs some virgin material added) to make new nuclear graphite.

PostPosted: Mar 25, 2015 6:06 am 
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Joined: Jul 14, 2011 9:22 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Forest Park, GA
Lol, you guys may be writing the abstract for my doctoral thesis if I ever get there. So many things to work on.

Just to let y'all know, my grant request was approved! This just means I get a bit of money over the summer to work on this.

I think the wetting, cleaning, and plating are good topics that I may look into working on in the future. Although they're more materials science issues, and I'm just taking materials science as my minor.
One thing I was wanting to look into was "healing" core graphite, so that the swelling issue doesn't add significantly to the waste stream. If we can keep tons of graphite out of the waste stream, the graphite-moderated MSRs will be much more palatable.

PostPosted: Mar 25, 2015 12:03 pm 

Joined: Apr 28, 2011 10:44 am
Posts: 250


On recycling irradiiated graphite, might want to check out Burchell and Pappano, Nucelar Eng and Design, 251 (2012)
Also some much older Russian work including Platonov et al lAnnealing of radiation Damage in Graphite,
Radiation Effects, 1975, Vol 25.


A little concerned about what adding a really high vapor pressure liquid would do the cavitation bubble
creation/implosion process. At these concentrations, probably not much.

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