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PostPosted: Dec 02, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Rod Adams (from Atomic Insights) did an interview (1h27m) with Mark Massie and Leslie Dewan, the founders of Transatomic Power.

Atomic Show #229 – Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, Transatomic Power

The interview also goes into some detail on the Transatomic MSR design.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 12:53 am 
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camiel wrote:
The interview also goes into some detail on the Transatomic MSR design.
Indeed.
I notice they now completely abandoned the idea of Hastelloy cladding for the ZrH moderator rods -- going for hi-tech SiC tubes now, despite the stated intent to stick with previously proven technologies. Interesting.
This certainly makes the neutronics claims (near-iso-breeder) much more believable, but throws a monkey wrench into the technology development works.
Also, that comment from Rod about NuScale's licensing efforts must have stung.
Not getting my hopes too high.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 2:14 am 
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Perhaps the next change is likely to be moderator. Water/heavy water could be the moderator-coolant if carried in tubes.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 2:34 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Perhaps the next change is likely to be moderator. Water/heavy water could be the moderator-coolant if carried in tubes.


Well that would be a pretty major about face on their design philosophy. After all they touted the use of ZrH as one of their 'major innovations'.

There was a pretty big omission when they discussed the problems faced by the fuel/moderator/cladding though. ;)


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 9:29 am 
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Operating a salt with a high actinide loading pushes the melting temperature up. Assuming the 700C temperature "limitation" on Hastelloy N constrains the high-side temperature, then there is a limited delta-T that can be realized in the salt as it moves through the core. Of course, if you've chosen a steam cycle, where you're raising steam in a steam generator isothermally, then a large delta-T isn't very useful to you. But that means you need a substantially higher mass flow rate.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 2:53 pm 
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I was also surprised to learn that the Transatomic founders did not know anything in late 2010 about molten-salt reactors when they started thinking about their "ideal" reactor. By 2010 there had already been two Thorium Energy Alliance conferences (in DC and at Google), numerous articles and interviews, and this site and its forum had been up and running for about four years. I have found it strange since learning of the existence of Transatomic in the summer of 2011 that neither Dewan nor Massie engages in technical conversations on here with hundreds of people who are interested in MSR technology and some of whom know a great deal about it.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 3:54 pm 
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I listened to the interview/podcast. The Transatomic founders are young and idealistic, and their goals are admirable. I'm no nuclear engineer, but it does seem they will need to overcome both technical challenges with their novel design as well as regulatory challenges here in the USA (not to mention the bread and butter challenges of building any company from scratch). I'm rooting for them to succeed, but all things considered, I'd put my money on Terrestrial Energy with their KISS, low-risk design and friendlier regulatory environment.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 6:14 pm 
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I listened to the interview/podcast. The Transatomic founders are young and idealistic, and their goals are admirable. I'm no nuclear engineer, but it does seem they will need to overcome both technical challenges with their novel design as well as regulatory challenges here in the USA (not to mention the bread and butter challenges of building any company from scratch).


Only 5 full time employees in the company! With all of the paperwork to get a design out and all of the paperwork that the government requires I can certainly imagine that they don't have time to participate in these sights. On the other hand, with all of the brainy people I see writing here, it would seem foolish not to participate. They could get a great review of any ideas and catch mistakes early.

I'm surprised that B&W, GE or some other big company doesn't have a team working on this. Some of these companies could throw 25 young engineers at this and it wouldn't touch their bottom line. It wouldn't even have to be a utility supplier. One of the chemical companies could do it.

Question: Is this a technology race? Will the first company to get a customer to build one of these get the lion's share of the market? The first one will see the teething pains and more of the bugs in their design will be eliminated.

I'm not a nuclear engineer either, but seeing this develop into a "real" product is very interesting.


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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Eino wrote:
Only 5 full time employees in the company!


It sounded to me like there were two full-time employees, the two founders, and then Wilcox and Rothrock helped part-time, probably in fund-raising, and another part-time person did PR for them.


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PostPosted: Dec 04, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
...I have found it strange since learning of the existence of Transatomic in the summer of 2011 that neither Dewan nor Massie engages in technical conversations on here with hundreds of people who are interested in MSR technology and some of whom know a great deal about it.


Maybe they'll find the link that I cross-posted in the comments section. Dewan made a comment during the interview that they were told they should be circumspect about their plans. Maybe that's why they haven't engaged people here.


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PostPosted: Feb 24, 2015 8:35 am 
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Is this new:

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/02/1 ... c-power-3/

Quote:
Transatomic Power, founded by MIT nuclear science graduates, has now raised $4.5 million since last summer.


Lots of start-ups. Would someone like Hitachi or Areva have to buy one to make it a reality?


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PostPosted: Feb 24, 2015 12:02 pm 
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Areva won't be able to afford themselves soon.


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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2016 11:32 am 
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Can Reusing Spent Nuclear Fuel Solve Our Energy Problems?

From NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Explorer Moments

By Gary Strauss

PUBLISHED September 19, 2016 [this past Monday]

Leslie Dewan's Transatomic Power Co. is developing a new type of nuclear power plant.

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: Sep 22, 2016 2:05 am 
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Tim Meyer wrote:


A rule of thumb that I've seen to be quite accurate is that if a news article title asks a question then the answer is no. Reusing spent nuclear fuel is not likely to solve our energy problems, what it might do is solve our problems of nuclear waste piling up.

I really like the concept of a reactor that can burn spent nuclear fuel but the more I learn on the subject the less faith I have in success. Maybe Transatomic did figure this out and all they need is the chance to prove it works. I just think that if they had an answer to the question, and it was yes, then no one would be asking the question any more.

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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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