Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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 Post subject: Kairos Power
PostPosted: Dec 12, 2016 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
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Location: Alabama
A new company has started that appears to be devoted to the salt-cooled, solid-fueled reactor approach. It is called "Kairos Power." Three of their representatives are at the GAIN/EPRI Modeling and Simulation Workshop that I am attending right now at NEI in Washington, DC.

Per Peterson tells me that they don't have their website up yet but that it will be:

Kairos Power


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 Post subject: Re: Kairos Power
PostPosted: Dec 12, 2016 9:47 pm 
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An interesting development and something I'll look for in the future. A couple questions come to mind, since this is a forum on using thorium for energy. Was there any mention of this solid fuel reactor using thorium/U-233 as a potential fuel? Would this reactor be capable of breeding thorium into U-233? Or just generally, what kind of fuel do they intend to use? Is it thermal, fast, somewhere in between? I don't expect anyone here to have all the answers but that's likely the first questions that would come to mind for many.

Another set of questions that I ponder is why consider solid fuel? Don't they know the superiority of molten fuels? Cooling with salts avoids a lot of issues that we see in many currently operating nuclear reactors, such as the threat of water flash boiling explosively. It also retains the issues of solid fuel being potentially damaged by heat, radiation, earthquakes, etc.

I guess I'll just have to wait impatiently for Kairos Power to answer my questions.

Oh, one more thing, does the name of the company have some significance?

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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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 Post subject: Re: Kairos Power
PostPosted: Dec 13, 2016 8:09 am 
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Having fuel that will stay in the vessel in most accidents simplifies the design of the reactor considerably though.
Coated particle fuels and the like have such enormous margins to fuel damage that keeping these salt cooled reactors cool is much easier than you might think.

I even saw one proposal to use vessel insulation that would melt above the normal operating temperature but below the point of coolant boiling so the vessel would de-insulate itself in a station blackout accident.


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 Post subject: Re: Kairos Power
PostPosted: Dec 13, 2016 9:34 am 
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In a thermal-spectrum, uranium-fueled system, a solid-fueled system will likely outperform a liquid-fueled system because there will not be any fuel mixing and fuel pebbles can be discharged at enrichment levels below the average enrichment of the reactor.

These would be examples of a "Stage 1" reactor.

LFTRs running on plutonium or U-233 would be examples of Stage 2 and Stage 3 reactors, and in these stages liquid-fueled systems would have superior performance.

Update: Per Peterson just confirmed to me that their design at Kairos is pebble-fueled rather than prismatic-fueled.


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 Post subject: Re: Kairos Power
PostPosted: Jan 25, 2017 3:36 pm 
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The website http://kairospower.com/ is now up, but not much info on it yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Kairos Power
PostPosted: Jan 27, 2017 5:56 am 
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Low vapor pressure organic fluid cooling of reactors may be a good idea from corrosion point of view. Apprehension of corrosion could be sore point in molten salt coolants.


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