Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 10:00 pm 
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jaro wrote:
How many times have I said it already: Forget non-standard fuel enrichment. Relying on "unobtainium" is a complete non-starter.


Hyperion folks told me that they already have the 10% LEU fuel contracted. Half of the current fuel in the US comes from HEU down-blending, so I guess here is where you get it...


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PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 10:08 pm 
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B&W guys...not Hyperion. Other threads for that.


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PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 10:17 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
B&W guys...not Hyperion. Other threads for that.

Yeah, I didnt realized that mPower uses 5% LEU anyway.

B&W website features a nice aircraft carrier, but it seems they haven't really made any navy reactor, looking at the Wikipedia. Is this correct?


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PostPosted: Jun 12, 2009 9:14 pm 
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The most interesting aspect of all this is that it's semi-modular and...it can be completely built by B&W *today*. It makes the B&W about the only completely vertically integrated nuke producer outside China.

The big issue also is the overseas market since it wouldn't require the years wait for NRC approval. In theory, B&# can start building these suckers today.

David

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Dr. Isaac Asimov:
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PostPosted: Jun 12, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Medical Devices analogy

I worked in the medical devices industry for Boston Scientific. It was important to launch new medical devices in foreign countries outside the jurisdication of the FDA. These countries all had regulatory requirements, of course, but the experience gained there could be used for gaining FDA approvals for US use.


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PostPosted: Jun 13, 2009 3:06 am 
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robert.hargraves wrote:
Medical Devices analogy

I worked in the medical devices industry for Boston Scientific. It was important to launch new medical devices in foreign countries outside the jurisdication of the FDA. These countries all had regulatory requirements, of course, but the experience gained there could be used for gaining FDA approvals for US use.

That is the right way for all advanced nuclear designs. There is no percentage in trying to get approval in the US of A.


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PostPosted: Jun 13, 2009 9:27 am 
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...and...it's good politics and economy as well. Think about the AP1000 of which there are a dozen or so applications for in the U.S. The U.S. operators will get "FREE STUFF" because they are allowing the Chinese too do the "R&D" on construction techniques for these units. All the modular building, concrete work, scheduling, all of it, is being shaken out by the Chinese, Shaw, and Westinghouse. The U.S. operators get the benefit of advanced Chinese construction techniques. What's not to like?

David

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PostPosted: Jun 13, 2009 4:52 pm 
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don't know if it matters but the reactor vessel on my sub was made by B&W.

Westinghouse design, B&W fab. Lowest bidder doncha know. My skipper was a bear. I had to memorize some arcane fracture mechanics charts and equations before he'd let me heat it up. I highly value the experience now, even though I don't use it directly.


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PostPosted: Jun 21, 2009 12:20 am 
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I hope the nuclear business folks get more excited about the mPower reactor than the ho-hum posts on this forum :| . I can think of several reasons to like it.

1) It shows that the U.S. nuclear industry is alive. Without a viable nuclear industry, we have no hope of substantially decreasing our coal consumption, and certainly no possibility of deploying LFTRs (this is true even if a startup company rather than an established player is first to build a LFTR – dying industries can’t attract new investment) .

2) It’s a new size. For nuclear to supply a really big share of world electrical consumption, we’ll need a range of sizes, not just extra-large. My own local utility serves ¾ of a million people and has about 6 GW of total generation. There’s no way they’d buy a 1.4 GW LWR, but a pair of 125MW reactors would be a good first step (or maybe a 335 MW Westinghouse IRIS reactor, assuming it is marketed). So even if the cost per Watt is slightly more than for a big reactor, it could still have a good market.

3) The little reactors are easier to make passively safe. They can hold more water per unit power, and they usually have the steam generators built into the reactor vessel so they don’t have big water pipes leading out of the reactor (therefore eliminating large pipe-break accidents), both of which greatly reduce the chances of a loss-of-coolant accident.

4) In my view, small burners complement large breeders. Due to the economies of scale for chemical processing, breeder reactor plants will probably start out large (like 2 GW+). So the small LWRs may eventually be the only ones that get built.

5) I like the plan for 60 years worth of spent fuel storage in the basement. It reminds me that spent nuclear fuel really takes up amazingly little space.

On the other hand, the claim that it will be air-cooled may just be a salesman exaggeration. Probably, they’ll offer it with the option of air or water cooling, and most customers will opt for water cooling because it makes the cost lower and efficiency higher. We’ll see.

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PostPosted: Jun 21, 2009 1:30 am 
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Nathan2go wrote:
4) In my view, small burners complement large breeders. Due to the economies of scale for chemical processing, breeder reactor plants will probably start out large (like 2 GW+). So the small LWRs may eventually be the only ones that get built.

The next breeder reactor to go online is expected to be Indian PFBR. It is to be followed, hopefully, by 4 more, fissile feed availability permitting. I think you could call it a start.


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