Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Feb 21, 2012 12:25 am 
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Modular is the only way to fly. Question is which configuration is best? To fast track to this answer teams should be set up where each team would build one or more small or even tiny pilot plants for study and shakedown. No sense to rush into a full sized configuration, just to find that "Oops" later that sets us back in time (more critical) and money. Once the optimum configuration, cost and other factors are settled then scale up. It may take more than one scale up to arrive at the final optimum configuration. Scaling up has its own problems but with a technically viable pilot the scale up is on a much faster track. We can plan for this. The first steps need to be underway ASAP if all of this is going to get done by 2030.

As the pilot plants prove themselves, the component and material suppliers can also work out their growing pains. It will be best to let the component suppliers and material men work on their own scale up challenges while the modular groups work on theirs. We need redundancy so we never rely on any one thing or company or person. I expect that teams will be working in several countries at the same time. An international approach will result in economies of time and contract the time it will take for the public to embrace the concept.

A good stable of viable pilot configurations that are actually producing power at their own locations will eliminate a myriad of downstream problems, except the scale up problems that, in principal, would be the final challenges to a world wide ramp-up of safe Green Nuclear Energy plants.

Once we have a few viable pilot plants running in key selected countries then it is easy to run a "kick the tires" publicity campaign with facility tours that will convince the public that safe Green Nuclear Energy is a here and now reality. For the public it boils down to confidence in the safety and price of the energy. We have the price with this technology. We have to build the confidence in the safety which ultimately can only be done with the pilot plants in operation in as many places as possible. Diffusion will become strength. The negatives about nuclear will dim down and soon enough be a thing of the past.

We don't need governments for this. There is seed money to fund the pilot plants if we round up a few Power Purchase Agreements, subject to plant commissioning. I don't think the pilots need to be commercially viable since they probably will be too small to be profitable, but they are the key start the scale up plants which will be profitable.

Lot's of "what ifs" here, but we really need to get some teams up and running and get the show on the road. The clock is ticking faster and faster.


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PostPosted: Feb 21, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Nuclear power uprates could accelerated and expanded.
The US and most other countries could get a 10% boost from that.

Annular fuel uprate up to 30-50%
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/11/lightb ... rface.html

South Korea also working on annular fuel uprates.
For 20% gain without changing major systems.

So regular uprates first, for the next 5 years. Gain 10%.
Plus the build that is in the pipeline adding about 50 reactors.

Then advanced uprates in the 2018-2025 timeframe.

Ramp up the build and get the modular reactors.
Put modular reactors on current nuclear plant land. Expand the grid there.
Look at swapping out coal burners and working out legislation to allow nuclear high
temp reactor swap outs.

30% gain for the US from regular and advanced uprates. plant life extensions.
10% gain from new plants to 2025.

China can get to 80-100 GWe by 2020. Can go to 200 GWe by 2025.

India, Russia, South Korea building out.

South Korea and China exporting cheap reactors will expand out
the reactors in middle east and other countries.

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Coal kills 300+/day and fossil fuel pollution 1000+/day and is a major contributor to climate change. Nuclear power is needed until coal and oil are eliminated.


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PostPosted: Feb 25, 2012 4:42 am 
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South Koreans are building reactors for UAE. In a few years you could place an order on China when you want one. At present they are only obliging Pakis. :cry:


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Yes, S. Korea...not because of the UAE but rather...because of S. Korea. We are all sort of fixated, understandability, on the UEA. But S. Korea, along with China, are the only countries seeking to replace fossil with nuclear and not simply to build out nuclear for expanding demand as every other country is, more or less.

And...this is where they are *already* building the APR1400, where as in the UAE they are only doing site clearing. So Korea is the place to watch.

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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2012 1:27 pm 
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I would also watch Sweden. Despite all the usual bad press that Olkiluoto gets, they are transitioning to a nuclear grid, rapidly. No one seems to be realizing this for the moment. Sweden is interesting because it is a western country, is not really a big nuclear tech player or innovator itself, does not give a lot of energy subsidies, but does have a pro-nuclear policy. That last one is clearly very important.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Cryil, can you be more specific. We know the gov't took a "don't phase 'em out" policy, reversing the early 1980s referendum but what actually is "pro-nuclear" about their policy other than that? You are correct...there is like zero chatter on Sweden nuclear circles.

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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Oops, that's a geography slip. Sweden should be "Finland" (Olkiluoto is in Finland).

http://www.world-nuclear.com/info/inf76.html

Though Sweden has come around decently in its nuclear policy, Finland is actively building new sites with a lot of determination despite the usual FUD from Greenpeace et al. If you look at the MWes that they're building, it's clear that almost all their electricity will be nuclear before 2030. It's very similar to what France did.

Meanwhile the USA is intent on delaying and suing and lawyerizing everything, even putting an anti-nuke in the office of leading the nuclear regulatory agency. It's almost a miracle really that the Vogtle AP1000 project finally got the license (after 30 years).


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Ah...the Finns. Yes. But speaking of Sweden they get the remaining generation from fossil: 9%. Could easily be replaced by 2 new nukes.

Does Finland have a plan to get rid of their fossil?

David

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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2012 10:40 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
Oops, that's a geography slip. Sweden should be "Finland" (Olkiluoto is in Finland).

http://www.world-nuclear.com/info/inf76.html

Though Sweden has come around decently in its nuclear policy, Finland is actively building new sites with a lot of determination despite the usual FUD from Greenpeace et al. If you look at the MWes that they're building, it's clear that almost all their electricity will be nuclear before 2030. It's very similar to what France did.

Meanwhile the USA is intent on delaying and suing and lawyerizing everything, even putting an anti-nuke in the office of leading the nuclear regulatory agency. It's almost a miracle really that the Vogtle AP1000 project finally got the license (after 30 years).

I guess it is only because the Chinese have already built it. It would look downright stupid if it is not permitted in the country of its conception!


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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2012 4:29 am 
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dwalters wrote:
Ah...the Finns. Yes. But speaking of Sweden they get the remaining generation from fossil: 9%. Could easily be replaced by 2 new nukes.

Does Finland have a plan to get rid of their fossil?

David


The new builds that they are doing right now will eliminate pretty much all fossil from the electric grid by 2020-2025. It's enough to almost triple nuclear installed capacity. Even with the scheduled retirement of the two oldest plants they should have plenty.

Transport remains a problem though, it uses a lot of oil and they're not doing enough about it. While sufficient nuclear capacity should be available by 2020, there won't be a lot of electric vehicles by then, and planes and ships are even tougher to tackle. I'm afraid they have to use natural gas if biofuels can't cut the mustard (and we need to be careful with biofuels since it's easy to screw up).

http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/FITPES.pdf


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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2018 11:23 pm 
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The rate of nuclear expansion will be limited predominantly by the worldwide inventory of uranium-233. Therefore we need to create more of it by consuming plutonium inventories in the presence of thorium to create it.


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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Despite my family name being finnish, I am Swedish.
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
The rate of nuclear expansion will be limited predominantly by the worldwide inventory of uranium-233. Therefore we need to create more of it by consuming plutonium inventories in the presence of thorium to create it.

Where can I find plans for building those plants?
What is the cost of materials and labour for the different designs?

Because I assume people here know the engineering, my priorities have been:
1. Politics (talking with people and figuring out how to make people support nuclear power)
2. Finance (how to organize finances using different ideas like company bylaws and cryptocurrencies)
3. Engineering (mostly geometry because it is fun)


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PostPosted: Jul 02, 2018 3:05 am 
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There are no concrete plans for converting Thorium. There are plans for consuming plutonium, perhaps the best known being the PRISM reactor. GE-Hitachi are promoting this and are involved with the UK Government in evaluating options for plutonium disposal at Sellafield. Of course, these discussions take years.

The Molten Salt reactors all have Thorium breeding concepts. Moltex specifically breaks down it's design in to three types:
1. Waste burner (fast)
2. Graphite moderated
3. Uranium/Thorium breeder
http://www.moltexenergy.com/stablesaltreactors/
I gather (1) is their main focus at present.


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PostPosted: Jul 02, 2018 9:59 am 
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alexterrell wrote:
There are no concrete plans for converting Thorium. There are plans for consuming plutonium, perhaps the best known being the PRISM reactor. GE-Hitachi are promoting this and are involved with the UK Government in evaluating options for plutonium disposal at Sellafield. Of course, these discussions take years.

The Molten Salt reactors all have Thorium breeding concepts. Moltex specifically breaks down it's design in to three types:
1. Waste burner (fast)
2. Graphite moderated
3. Uranium/Thorium breeder
http://www.moltexenergy.com/stablesaltreactors/
I gather (1) is their main focus at present.


Oh, so the usd 300M figure I saw is including cost of detailed design!
First I need a design for producing U-233 at a minimum working with 95% U-235.
Best would be if it works with normal reactor fuel enrichment, just building more reactors to get enough U-233.

I guess I should:
1. Create a concrete plan myself.
2. Get it critiqued and improve it.
3. Expect to have to build 3 plants until it works right.


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