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 Post subject: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 5:38 am 
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Joined: Jul 08, 2011 4:38 am
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Interesting presentation from Argonne about why Sodium is the preferred coolant for fast reactors:
http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/SodiumCo ... tation.pdf

Thanks to Max at BNC for the link.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 8:13 am 
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Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
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That presentation was discussed before. It is biased towards sodium since they are working on it.

What the presentation doesn’t say is that there was a sodium fire at one fast reactor recently, and there was also a major sodium fire here in the Netherlands recently, in a modern chemical production facility.

That’s bad publicity. We all know our high school experiments with sodium + water = boom. In my opinion, that’s an almost impossible PR barrier. People won’t buy that this is walk away safe.

If we wanted a fast solid fuelled reactor it would have to be a lead cooled or fluoride cooled reactor.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 9:58 am 
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Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
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there's another post here I think about GE proposing their sodium cooled fast reactor to the UK, as a way of burning up plutonium. The IFR seems like a nice design and is fairly well developed ..... except for the pesky little problem of Sodium. Would anything else do? Lead-Bismuth has been raised.

It seems by Hyperion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Power_Generation

But they've gone very quiet. Are they still a prospect?


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
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Speedy wrote:
Interesting presentation from Argonne about why Sodium is the preferred coolant for fast reactors:
http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/SodiumCo ... tation.pdf

Thanks to Max at BNC for the link.


designed to reassure - but regulators will work on the basis that at some point the Sodium will come into contact with air or water.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Nov 01, 2011 2:15 am
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How about the "bimodal" design that I saw discussed on the forum? If you can make the reactor to have regions that vary from fast to slow wouldn't that give you maximum flexibility?

T. Wang


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Dec 20, 2006 7:50 pm
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Well, it would certainly maximize capital cost. Really, sodium is a great coolant for LMFBRs. Sure you have to design around the sodium contacting water problem, but its lighter than lead-bismuth eutectic and doesn't make that ever so happy polonium radioisotope that the KGB, oops I mean FSB made so popular. Its a giant PR problem, but then the whole fast reactor schtick is a solution that's looking for a problem; Unfortunately that schtick is a shortage of plutonium, or uranium, which reality stubbornly refuses to accommodate.

Yeah I guess you could burn transuranic actinides in it also. Of course there's no shortage of dry storage casks that are some hundreds to thousands of times cheaper than a fast reactor regime that's just begging for more PR problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Nov 18, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
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EnergyUser wrote:
How about the "bimodal" design that I saw discussed on the forum? If you can make the reactor to have regions that vary from fast to slow wouldn't that give you maximum flexibility?

T. Wang

If you have moderator encased thorium rods in the blanket region, you could have a high thermal absorption and formation of U-233. There would be a high reactivity zone near the blanket with neutrons going out absorbed in the blanket and moving inside to fire up the fast spectrum zone. Will the instability make it dangerous?


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 Post subject: Re: Why Sodium?
PostPosted: Feb 10, 2015 11:46 am 
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Joined: Jan 29, 2014 4:05 am
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Location: Vitoria-ES-Brazil
To those interested, here's some research into the real nature of sodium fires:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmlAYnFF_s8

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