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PostPosted: Oct 23, 2015 12:22 pm 
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I've been looking forward to making this post for a long time:

Program on Technology Innovation: Technology Assessment of a Molten Salt Reactor Design -- The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR)

Quote:
Abstract

EPRI collaborated with Southern Company on an independent technology assessment of an innovative molten salt reactor (MSR) design—the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR)—as a potentially transformational technology for meeting future energy needs in the face of uncertain market, policy, and regulatory constraints. The LFTR is a liquid-fueled, graphite-moderated thermal spectrum breeder reactor optimized for operation on a Th-233U fuel cycle. The LFTR design considered in this work draws heavily from the 1960s-era Molten Salt Reactor Experiment and subsequent design work on a similar two-fluid molten salt breeder reactor design. Enhanced safety characteristics, increased natural resource utilization, and high operating temperatures, among other features, offer utilities and other potential owners/operators access to new products, markets, applications, and modes of operation. The LFTR represents a dramatic departure from today’s dominant and proven commercial light water reactor technology. Accordingly, the innovative and commercially unproven nature of MSRs, as with many other advanced reactor concepts, presents significant challenges and risks in terms of financing, licensing, construction, operation, and maintenance.

This technology assessment comprises three principal activities based on adaptation of standardized methods and guidelines: 1) rendering of preliminary LFTR design information into a standardized system design description format; 2) performance of a preliminary process hazards analysis; and 3) determination of technology readiness levels for key systems and components. The results of the assessment provide value for a number of stakeholders. For utility or other technology customers, the study presents structured information on the LFTR design status that can directly inform a broader technology feasibility assessment in terms of safety and technology maturity. For the developer, the assessment can focus and drive further design development and documentation and establish a baseline for the technological maturity of key MSR systems and components. For EPRI, the study offers an opportunity to exercise and further develop advanced nuclear technology assessment tools and expertise through application to a specific reactor design.

The early design stage of the LFTR concept indicates the need for significant investment in further development and demonstration of novel systems and components. The application of technology assessment tools early in reactor system design can provide real value and facilitate advancement by identifying important knowledge and design performance gaps at a stage when changes can be incorporated with the least impact to cost, schedule, and licensing.


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PostPosted: Oct 27, 2015 1:14 pm 
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Congrats! I've been looking forward to reading this for a long time.


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PostPosted: Oct 27, 2015 2:22 pm 
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This is a pretty impressive assessment of the LFTR by the EPRI. Congratulations !


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PostPosted: Oct 27, 2015 3:06 pm 
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Sweet! It is enjoyable to read and understand where the various subsystems stand in development. Now, to get the TRL's up to 6 and beyond..... 8)


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PostPosted: Oct 27, 2015 4:54 pm 
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This design is the reference for the LFTR concept. I would greatly appreciate it if someone would update the Wikipedia article on LFTR using this information.


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PostPosted: Oct 28, 2015 8:38 am 
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+1


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PostPosted: Mar 09, 2016 1:49 pm 
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Thank you, Kirk, for approving my membership to your useful forum. This is my first post.

The EPRI report seems to me to be the main reason for this forum.

There are over 700 members here. The top 30 are of the most active. Charles Barton is number 30 at this writing with 253 posts. His father was an ORNL chemist whose work contributed to the success of the MSRE upon which I feel all owe a debt of gratitude. Charles has not yet added his praise of your achievement here. Cthorm (219) was the first to offer congratulations followed by camiel (291) and Jim L (91). The last is MSJ (67) who posted "+1" and takes the prize since brevity is the soul of wit.

You are third at 2742, Lars is second at 3081, and our most vocal member here is the mercurial Cyril R at 4961. Who is Cyril R?

Is this report not a triumph? Is the LFTR doomed? Is energy from thorium using a molten lithium-7/beryllium fluoride salt mix, two-fluid reactor design a dead-end technology? Or maybe Flibe's LFTR is the front-runner and the others are sour grapes? I would think Lars could add a good word here. The Soviets didn't officially recognize the U.S. success of Apollo 11.

I'm voting for Team Flibe-Teledyne backed by Southern. I, too, congratulate you, Kirk, not only for enlisting Vanderbilt's help and EPRI's endorsement, but for your great courage and personal sacrifices to champion what I hope will become one of the most important technological achievements in human history. Going head-to-head with Jack D seems to me fearsome. That's another topic.

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PostPosted: Mar 09, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Tim Meyer wrote:
Is this report not a triumph?


Well, I certainly think so.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Is the LFTR doomed?


No, but I certainly share your surprise that more of the commenters on this site would rather talk about a thousand other things of far lesser significance than the first thought-out, carefully-described, credibly-backed design work on a thorium molten-salt breeder reactor since the 1970s. It just goes to show how poorly I guess at how people will respond to things.

Tim Meyer wrote:
I'm voting for Team Flibe-Teledyne backed by Southern.


I appreciate that, but the contractual relationship between the parties ended at the conclusion of this study. I am always open to seeing it reestablished in the future but at present Southern Company Services is pursuing the molten-chloride fast reactor concept that has been put forward to them by TerraPower. Although I suspect they will come back around in time.

Tim Meyer wrote:
I, too, congratulate you, Kirk, not only for enlisting Vanderbilt's help and EPRI's endorsement, but for your great courage and personal sacrifices to champion what I hope will become one of the most important technological achievements in human history. Going head-to-head with Jack D seems to me fearsome.


Thank you.

Not too worried about Jack though.


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PostPosted: Mar 09, 2016 11:03 pm 
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A very nice public statement of immense value. EPRI should be doing more promotion of your concept to foster even greater interest among a diverse audience, some of which are surely relatively uninformed and do not even know it.


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PostPosted: Mar 10, 2016 4:40 am 
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EPRI report is an achievement but insufficient for an NRC design approval. The Chinese have their own program and are unlikely to support the LFTR.
EPRI have mentioned the need of further development. This would include procurement of materials
a. 99.995% pure Li-7. The fastest way would be a mass spectrometer.
b. U-233. It can be created in the LWR by having some bundles of 29%LEUcore and Th metallic pin blanket. In one normal fuel change period, thorium will be sufficiently irradiated to be electro-refined for U-233.
Is it administratively feasible?


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PostPosted: Mar 10, 2016 9:34 am 
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Now that there is a reference design, does this help with development of the various components/subcomponents in the design? There should be some overlap between the various MSR designs out there - pumps, seals, He sparging, off-gas handling, and so on. I've followed Dr. Peterson's work, and I'd think other researchers would be interested in developing some the equipment, determining constraints and optimizing them.

As far as the forum's commentators, we seem to be like a herd of cats, each with their own mix of ADHD and OCD.... :lol:


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PostPosted: Mar 10, 2016 11:24 pm 
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Those are my recollections from Mr. Sorensen's comments years past:

Large scale U233 production using LFTR would entail startup of LFTR with reprocessed SNF or fresh LEU fuel.
Such LFTRs would operate under close scrutinity in a centralized location, because:
Instead of flowing new U233 from the blanket to the core, that U233 would be diverted to startup new LFTRs, those other LFTRs would run purely on the U233 cycle.
Because the normal LFTRs have their cores operating on 100% fissile and in the thermal spectrum, it wouldn't need much U233 to startup a new LFTR, like 90% less than a fast plutonium breeder.


The following have been discussed here about 3 years ago, but my memory could be fuzzy:

It might also be possible to startup all LFTRs with U235 or SNF fissile, and let each LFTR breed its own U233 from Th232. Within a decade the startup charge will mostly be gone.
This is one of the many LFTR advantages over LWR, LFTR can handle much higher Am/Cu concentrations, those can be kept in the core until fully fissioned, while LWR have reactivity issues, otherwise one could fuel LWR with higher enrichment level LEU and run longer burnup cycles.

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PostPosted: Mar 11, 2016 5:03 am 
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I appreciate all your work, Kirk. Even if one of the denatured salt designs, or the solid fuel fluoride cooled reactors, or the Chinese, are the first off the starting blocks, a thorium breeder will be needed, though it's not much consolation to you in the meantime. You deserve a lot of credit for publicising the whole field.
For those of us concerned about climate change, the preamble is also disappointing -
'electric utilities are taking notice of advanced nuclear generation technologies as options for the 2035 time horizon—a period during which existing nuclear plants in the United States will reach 60 years of operation and a substantial fraction of coal generation will require replacement.' I'm hoping that it won't be another twenty years before most of the coal plants are closed.That's about when molten salt should be punching gas out of the ring as well. Obviously the power companies, in a static market, are more concerned about milking every last dollar from their existing plant than replacing it with something radical.


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PostPosted: Mar 19, 2016 5:29 am 
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There was an interesting link on page xviii in the paper concerning isotopic separation of Li6/7.


Attachments:
iS2XaGaech4e.zip [326.76 KiB]
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PostPosted: Mar 19, 2016 2:45 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Southern Company Services is pursuing the molten-chloride fast reactor concept that has been put forward to them by TerraPower. Although I suspect they will come back around in time.
http://energyfromthorium.com/2016/01/16/doe-terrapower/

From the link you supplied there (thanks, Kirk):

http://www.energyfromthorium.com/pdf/NSE_moltenFluorides.pdf

Briant and Weinberg say way back in 1957 (my birth year),
Quote:
"However, because of the very high (n,p) cross section of 35-Cl, only the isotope 37-Cl would be tolerable in such a reactor. This requires a difficult isotope separation and makes a fast reactor based on molten chlorides rather unlikely."
So this would mean 37-Cl enrichment is something TerraPower is advancing? And your LFTR depends on economical, highly enriched 7-Li.

Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Although I suspect they will come back around in time.
I was disappointed when you posted how Southern Company Services joined with TerraPower on molten chloride salt fast spectrum remaining in the uranium fuel cycle. Your LFTR prototype ought to be expedited so its superior characteristics will become clear and convincing.

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