Life-cycle Costs?

General discussion of thorium and nuclear energy.
jagdish
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by jagdish » Jan 01, 2015 7:17 pm

All metallic materials should be recovered and recycled after heat treatment to overcome neutron damage in more nuclear plants. Mechanisation and remote handling are the way to do it. The recovered concrete should be used for covering up the waste burials of all description and filling up the disused mines.

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Lindsay
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Lindsay » Jan 02, 2015 1:46 am

For MSR's the the total mass of hot or activated materials is much smaller. Clean it in situ, crush and bury in a dry place. Recycle the non-activated metals, demolish the concrete structures and bury the rest in place and we're done.

Cyril R
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Cyril R » Jan 02, 2015 11:11 am

Vince Hughes wrote:Will they mix radioactive steel at any plants?
I just got to go on a tour of a steel plant a few months ago, and they had several processes to detect radioactivity.
They even told us flat out that if they detect radioactivity in a batch as its melting down they will scrap the entire 20 ton melt.
This is just another example of the crazy LNT stuff combined with overly conservative regulations combined with the ease of detection of radioactivity.

The Taiwanese appartments clearly showed no bad effect even with monstrous amounts of radiocobalt in the steel. Whereas we know that the particulate emitted by the steel plant is extremely damaging to the health of everyone who works in the plant and lives downwind of the stacks. Even a ppm of cadmium in the steel is much more hazardous than possible radio contamination, but no one will care or even know about a ppm of cadmium. As a result we are left guarding chunks of steel in stainless steel canisters with massive concrete overpacks as if it were the One Ring of Sauron, rather than just melting and diluting it down to microsieverts levels and then sold and used purposefully as the good steel it is.

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Jan 02, 2015 11:56 am

Vince Hughes wrote:I just got to go on a tour of a steel plant a few months ago, and they had several processes to detect radioactivity. They even told us flat out that if they detect radioactivity in a batch as its melting down they will scrap the entire 20 ton melt.
Yes, two-and-a-half years ago I toured a steel plant not far from where I live and they were very concerned about any radioactivity in any of the scrap steel they used as feed for their electric-arc furnace. My own wishes for "recycled" mildly-radioactive steel or nickel were really slapped by reality after that visit.

Cyril R
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Cyril R » Jan 02, 2015 12:14 pm

From a company perspective - the guys and gals that call the shots - it is a sensible decision. They don't want bad press, don't want a bed rep. Better to reject the entire cargo of steel. Send it back to their supplier. Place the burden back to where it came from. That's just good business. But it is a travesty to worry about microsieverts from the steel whilst letting your own workers breathe loads of particulate matter and let toxic contaminants go into the steel batches. This is the double standard that nuclear anything has to deal with as a fact of life.

HolgerNarrog
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by HolgerNarrog » Jan 02, 2015 4:27 pm

Actually in Germany we have about 3 dozen radioactive incidents at scrap dealers. Most of them came from oil/gas production or geothermie.

The question is would there be more cancer if we would melt this scrap plus the scrap of 1 LWR in Germany or 2 in the US?

E Ireland
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by E Ireland » Jan 02, 2015 5:46 pm

How much would it complicate the manufacture of LWR pressure vessels if they used such scrap steel?

What about fast reactor cladding?

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Vince Hughes
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Vince Hughes » Jan 02, 2015 6:39 pm

whilst letting your own workers breathe loads of particulate matter
This was what got me. The entire area around where the fired the heats was coated in a thick, fine white dust. It was thick enough that the guys had to scuff the floor with their shoes a few times to find the lines in the concrete that marks the safe area while watching the heat.

At the end of the day this whole circus seems to be about perceived danger rather than any conservative sense of safety.

I was reading Thor-Cons white paper the other day. With the manufacturing process he's suggesting (i.e. shipyard), and the supporting recycling plant, perhaps there could be a single location where active steel is remelted and blended for specific use with nuclear application. Could save a bundle on future construction costs if we can cleanly cannibalize old reactors for their structural elements.

Cyril R
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Cyril R » Jan 03, 2015 5:33 am

E Ireland wrote:How much would it complicate the manufacture of LWR pressure vessels if they used such scrap steel?

What about fast reactor cladding?
LWR pressure vessels are made of high quality pressure vessel steel. The best thing to do with it is wait a few decades for the activated stuff to decay, the cut it into pieces, melt them, cast to plates, and forge and treat the plates to make... new LWR pressure vessels, of course!

If you're overly cautious you could just recycle the non beltline steel and store the core beltline part and stainless steel liner of the pressure vessel in dry storage for some time.

Cladding recycling is hard, because of the extreme contamination. Scrap metal is no use, this is very special alloy.

Ida-Russkie
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Ida-Russkie » Jan 03, 2015 3:04 pm

Can you etch the inside? of course by the time you do this it will cost more then virgin steel. Which why they now just end up trashing it.

Cyril R
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Cyril R » Jan 03, 2015 5:49 pm

Ida-Russkie wrote:Can you etch the inside? of course by the time you do this it will cost more then virgin steel. Which why they now just end up trashing it.
Producing contaminated acid doesn't seem to help. Mechanical recycling is likely best.

There is something else to consider. Nuclear plants aren't that common, since it is hated. The ones that exist often last a long time, unless they are hated so much that they must close. The result is that the recycling source amount is small, so it hasn't been important yet. In a nuclear powered world, if the mindless hate and fear hyperbole ever stops, you would see a lot of recycling. We would be seeing many standardized designs being built at the same time and all lasting about the same lifetime, so entire waves of recyclable material will later be available. Recycling would be the norm. After all, nuclear reactors consume actinides, not steel.

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Eino
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Re: Life-cycle Costs?

Post by Eino » Jan 04, 2015 9:15 pm

"There is something else to consider. Nuclear plants aren't that common, since it is hated."

Sometimes, I think people forget about the other nuclear industry. I refer, of course, to the many defense works from which the commercial industry was spawned. The DOE has been doing a lot of cleanup of environmental sites. Hanford, Idaho Falls, Bethel Valley, Fernald and others. The legacy of bomb making left a lot of stuff "crapped" up. Contaminated metals may be a bit more common than some would at first think. Some of this stuff was buried in the desert with no record.

You sure are right about some people hating nuclear plants. Maybe, they just gotta hate something.

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