Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Aug 24, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Japan is planning to open a massive spent reactor fuel reprocessing plant at Rokkasho in the fall of 2018. It is designed to produce 8,000 kilograms of weapons-usable plutonium, enough to make more than 1,000 nuclear weapons a year.


The article is about reactor-grade plutonium, right?


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PostPosted: Dec 06, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Operator submits 30-yr plan to scrap trouble-prone Monju reactor in Japan

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Under the latest proposal, the Monju operator -- the Japan Atomic Energy Agency -- plans to divide the 30-year period through 2047 into four phases. In the first phase, nuclear fuel will be extracted from the reactor core and other places by March 2022, followed by the second phase in which the operator prepares to decommission pipes and pumps where sodium coolant has circulated. The agency will begin scrapping the reactor in the third phase but has not disclosed detailed working processes from this point.


What a nightmare. How much do you want to bet they'll yet try to build another one?


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PostPosted: Dec 14, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Japan’s Monju Fast Breeder Reactor Officially Shut Down For Good

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The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulation Authority for approval of a decommissioning plan for its prototype Monju fast breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, southwest Japan, the Tokyo-based industry group Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) said. The application is required by law and as a result the Monju FBR is now officially classified as permanently shut down, JAIF said. The NRA has established a safety oversight team to monitor activities at the Monju site. Decommissioning and dismantling is scheduled to be finished by 2047 and cost $3.2bn (€2.86bn). JAIF said the immediate priority is to remove the fuel, which will be done by March 2023. JAIF said the government has not yet specified any alternative destination for the spent fuel, but said officials will work out details of the transportation plan before the fuel is completely removed from the reactor. In earlier statements, JAIF said this might happen by 2022. JAIF said the reactor’s sodium coolant will also be removed from Fukui Prefecture. Monju is a 246-MW sodium-cooled fast reactor designed to use mixed fuel rods of uranium and plutonium and to produce more fissile material than it consumes. Monju reached criticality for the first time in 1994, but it has mostly been offline since 1995 when 640 kg of liquid sodium leaked from a cooling system, causing a fire. Monju was allowed to restart in May 2010 after JAEA carried out a review of the plant’s design, and its safety procedures, which were shown to be inadequate. However, operation was again suspended in August 2010 after a fuel handling machine was dropped into the reactor during a refuelling outage. Monju is a 246-MW sodium-cooled fast reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power station. It was designed to use mixed fuel rods of uranium and plutonium and to produce more fuel than it consumes. Regarded as the core facility of the government’s policy for nuclear fuel recycling, Monju is different from conventional nuclear power plants, which use water as coolants. Monju uses sodium as the coolant, meaning more sophisticated technology is required for its operation.


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PostPosted: Dec 14, 2017 6:07 pm 
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We are left wondering if the antinuclear hysteria would have shut down Monju permanently even if they hadn't dropped the fuel loader and had operated normally up to the big earthquake.


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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2018 3:06 pm 
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JAEA to begin defueling troubled Monju reactor in July


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PostPosted: Apr 12, 2018 12:10 pm 
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Japan prepares to shut troubled 'dream' nuclear reactor

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In July, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency will begin decommissioning what was hailed as a "dream" reactor that was expected to produce more nuclear fuel than it consumed. The government has so far spent more than 1 trillion yen ($9.44 billion) on the plant, which has barely ever operated.


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PostPosted: May 14, 2018 6:02 pm 
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Japan nuclear research project did not pay off: auditors

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Japan's nuclear research project using a fast-breeder reactor did not yield sufficient results despite taxpayer money spent on it, state auditors said Friday. The project involving the trouble-plagued Monju prototype reactor, developed to play a key role in fuel recycling, only achieved 16 percent of the planned results while costing the government at least 1.13 trillion yen ($10.3 billion), the Board of Audit of Japan said. The government has already decided to scrap the reactor, estimating an additional cost of 375 billion yen. But the board noted that the 30-year decommissioning plan could cost more.


Monju reactor project failed to pay off after swallowing Y1.13 trillion of taxpayers’ money: auditors

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But the report also spotlights the absence of a systematic evaluation system for the project. During the entire experiment, the auditors expressed their opinions on Monju’s research and development costs only once — in 2011. Monju was only up and running for 250 days in total after repeatedly failing to complete test items, according to the report.


Watch...they'll still try to build another sodium-metal-cooled fast breeder reactor. Just like France.


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PostPosted: May 14, 2018 7:25 pm 
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That leaves Russia as the fast reactor champion. India and China are following behind. Others have fallen on the wayside.
Closed cycle via fast reactors is really the future of nuclear energy. Thorium is useful as a source of superior fissile U233. Who will lead in thorium use?


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