Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2017 10:58 pm 
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MOX contractor earns only fraction of performance award fee


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PostPosted: Mar 24, 2017 5:07 pm 
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MOX contractor pens response to NNSA criticism


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PostPosted: Apr 30, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Moscow Ready to Consider Renewal of Russia-US Deal on Weapon-Grade Plutonium

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Russia is ready to consider the prospects of renewal of the bilateral Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) if the United States sticks to an agreed method of disposition, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. "The Russian side is ready to consider the possibility of reactivation of the PMDA if the US side eliminates the causes that led to a radical change of conditions that were in effect at the moment, when the agreement came into force. [Such consideration could take place], including if the United States will adhere to the agreed method of disposal [of weapons-grade plutonium]," the statement said.


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PostPosted: May 02, 2017 4:34 am 
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There is enough fissile material available for weapons or energy with many states. Any coordination required now is for best industrial and trade processes for energy production and safe management of used fuel.


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PostPosted: May 06, 2017 12:25 am 
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I just re-read some of the articles posted in this thread and it seems this dumpster fire has been burning for how long now? Six years? I think that is where the six ton plutonium problem mentioned in one of the articles came from. The "penalty" for not completing the MOX fuel processing plant at SRS on time is the removal of one ton of plutonium for every year delayed. Six tons of excess plutonium to deal with seems to add up to a six year delay in construction.

Can someone help me with the math on what six tons of plutonium means in energy? How long would it take to produce that in a common LWR? How long would it take to burn that up in a common LWR if used as MOX fuel? How much coal would we have to burn to get an equivalent amount of energy? How many Libraries of Congress is this?

I don't mean I want all of these specific questions answered but some sort of magnitude of the problem would help me understand just how serious this is.

I have an idea. The US Coast Guard wants some heavy ice breakers. How about a half dozen shiny new nuclear ice breakers for them? That should meet the specifications of the treaty. That might not make a six ton dent in the problem but it'd be a start, no?

I know Rick Perry hasn't been the Secretary of Energy for all that long but has he made any statement about this yet? Any indication that he is aware of this problem?

I know that's a lot of questions from me and no one may have any answers. I'm just a bit frustrated that this problem has been allowed to get this bad and after reading the articles linked in this thread I now have more questions then when I started.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 23, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Trump budget calls for MOX termination at Savannah River Site

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The Department of Energy’s preferred alternative of dilute and dispose is a hands-on process that mixes plutonium with inert material. Plutonium is ground up in a “glove box” by hand with a mortar and pestle. A small amount is then placed inside a canister and shaken with inert materials. The canister is then shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for permanent interment at the salt-mine facility in New Mexico.


This high-grade plutonium was produced at a staggering expense, both financial and environmental, and this is an absurd waste of all that effort, just like the downblending of HEU was.


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PostPosted: May 25, 2017 1:56 pm 
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DoE requests to terminate MOX nuclear disposition programme, again

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The US Department of Energy (DoE) has once again requested that Congress terminate a multi-billion-dollar project aimed at disposing weapon-grade plutonium, the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). The MFFF has strong backing among South Carolina's congressional delegation and has survived repeated DoE efforts to curtail or terminate the programme, and last year even survived Russia's suspension of the arms control agreement that underpins the project. In its fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018) budget request, the DoE - just as it did last year under different leadership - asked for USD270 million "to terminate the Mixed Oxide [MOX] Fuel Fabrication Facility with an orderly and safe closure of the facility". Instead, it also again asked for funding, USD9 million this year, to pursue a so-called 'dilute and dispose' method as an alternative for plutonium disposition. The alternative dilute and dispose option would send the surplus US weapon-grade plutonium to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) geologic repository in New Mexico. Nearly USD5 billion has been spent on the MFFF so far, and supporters' and detractors' estimates to complete and then operate the facility vary widely, from USD15 billion to USD30 billion or more. The facility is the United States chosen means of disposing the material under the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) non-proliferation deal between the United States and Russia, signed in 2000 and updated in 2010. Russia, however, backed out of the PMDA in October 2016. Each party was to de-weaponise at least 34 tonnes of excess weapon-grade plutonium, about enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons, by converting it to MOX and then using it in nuclear reactors.


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PostPosted: May 28, 2017 12:52 am 
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The best use of fissile material is combining it with thorium fuel. A paper on this use is available on DAE website. This will get maximum energy due to higher conversion of thorium to U233. It will also produce superior reactor use fissile. Can't they find users?


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