ResearchGate query about thorium

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ResearchGate query about thorium

Post by robert.hargraves » Jun 03, 2014 1:29 pm

Jorge Morales Pedraza wrote an informative short article in response to a question, Who is researching thorium. ... ium_energy

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Tim Meyer
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Re: ResearchGate query about thorium

Post by Tim Meyer » Jun 01, 2016 12:00 pm

Molten Salt Reactors:

In the 1960s the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA) designed and built a demonstration MSR using U-233 as the main fissile driver in its second campaign. The reactor ran over 1965-69 at powers up to 7.4 MWt. The R&D program demonstrated the feasibility of this system and highlighted some unique corrosion and safety issues that would need to be addressed if constructing a larger pilot MSR.

There is significant renewed interest in developing thorium-fuelled MSRs. Projects are (or have recently been) underway in China, Japan, Russia, France and the USA. It is notable that the MSR is one of the six ‘Generation IV’ reactor designs selected as worthy of further development (see information page on Generation IV Nuclear Reactors).
The thorium-fuelled MSR variant is sometimes referred to as the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR), utilizing U-233 which has been bred in a liquid thorium salt blanket.

Safety is achieved with a freeze plug which if power is cut allows the fuel to drain into subcritical geometry in a catch basin. There is also a negative temperature coefficient of reactivity due to expansion of the fuel.

The China Academy of Sciences in January 2011 launched an R&D program on LFTR, known there as the thorium-breeding molten-salt reactor (Th-MSR or TMSR), and claimed to have the world's largest national effort on it, hoping to obtain full intellectual property rights on the technology. The TMSR Research Centre has a 5 MWe MSR prototype under construction at Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP, under the Academy) with 2015 target for operation.

The TMSR-SF stream has only partial utilization of thorium, relying on some breeding as with U-238, and needing fissile uranium input as well. SINAP aims at a 2 MW pilot plant by about 2015, and a 100 MWt demonstration pebble bed plant with open fuel cycle by about 2025. TRISO particles will be with both low-enriched uranium and thorium, separately.
UPDATE: Status Report by Wei Liu, Zhimin Dai, Hongjie Xu, TMSR Center, CAS on October 27, 2015

TMSR Project in China
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic

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