Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Feb 15, 2010 4:50 pm 

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5045
Lars wrote:
Fair enough but I at least do not fully understand the current restrictions as regards 233U inside the core. My guess is that the rules for this have not been developed yet. There is the denatured MSR design that the British declared to be the most proliferation resistant reactor design. If we do have to run denatured then the advantages of a heavy water reactor become much stronger.

I interpreted some of Dr. Peterson's comments as meaning that we would likely be allowed to have relatively rich 233U in the core as long as it was protected by plenty of radiation. This makes some sense to me. The difference in the current treatment of spent fuel versus isolated plutonium for MOX also suggests that we are given anti-proliferation credit for keeping fissile together with plenty of radiation.

Frankly, I liked the no thorium version of Jaro's CANDU-MSR better, even if it couldn't run breakeven (it should actually be pretty close at least). I'm hesitant to say that since this forum is called 'energy from thorium' but Jaro has a good point that any LFR advancement is hugely helpful and we have to be pragmatic in this. However, Jaro thought that thorium fluoride could be used to lower the melting point, ie a ternary UF4 UF3 ThF4. That seems to me as adding more trouble than it's worth. Single fluid aggressive processing is rather ambitious, even without a carrier salt, plus a little more enrichment is likely required with thorium in there, add to that the proliferation headaches (not real but a political reality) and things start to look risky to me.

My preferred strategy would be Jaro's CANDU-MSR burning NU with high burnup, followed by a pure two fluid CANDU-MSR using the calandria as solution or suspension blanket.

Hmm. This thread was about fluorides versus chlorides. How did we get to this discussion :?

Ah yes, I remember: fluoride versus chloride is a discussion of thermal vs fast. How does bi-modal fit into this?

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