Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Nov 22, 2017 12:03 am 
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It is nice if Thor energy is already developing it but it has to be subjected to user trials.
The aim should be a closed cycle, reduce dependence on further mining and reduce used fuel stocks.


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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2017 2:35 am 
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jagdish wrote:
It is nice if Thor energy is already developing it but it has to be subjected to user trials.
The aim should be a closed cycle, reduce dependence on further mining and reduce used fuel stocks.


Thor Energy is a consortium that has companies like Westinghouse and several nuclear operators as its partners. So user testing will take place naturally once commercial usage permission is achieved.
Thor Energy is NOT an academic experiment it is solely meant to obtain the data for commercial solid fuel production using Thorium. Every other benefit is incidental.

They are testing thorium+plutonium MOX fuel, which is part of a possible closed fuel cycle.
It might be possible to indefinitely reprocess the spent fuel from ThPuMOX into ThPuU233MOX (with some minor actinides mixed in) and keep that cycle fully closed.
But as this cycle continues, the Uranium content and minor actinide content of such fuel will vary.
It seems such a variation in fuel formulations would require several testing cycles.
That's expensive and complex.

I think its far wiser to simply stop wanting the perfect instead of the good.
Its likely that after ThPuMOX fuel loads run though their complete burnup cycles and the world has a several extra tons of U233 mixed in spent fuels, then a truly closed cycle testing can begin.

It doesn't seem likely from a political perspective that the only known U233 stockpile (in the USA) would be sold to Norway to do this testing.

But I'm not entirely sure what exactly you hope to see as a closed cycle (so many ways to do it).

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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2017 8:51 am 
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Closed cycle would mean minimum waste fuel particularly actinides which can be used for fission, some in more than one step.
Creation of U233 will require use of thorium as part of fuel or as a blanket. In production reactors, only the Indian pfbr is being built to use a thorium blanket. Shippingport reactor was the only one earlier that I know of.


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PostPosted: Nov 24, 2017 1:38 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Closed cycle would mean minimum waste fuel particularly actinides which can be used for fission, some in more than one step.
Creation of U233 will require use of thorium as part of fuel or as a blanket. In production reactors, only the Indian pfbr is being built to use a thorium blanket. Shippingport reactor was the only one earlier that I know of.


See you're mixing up fuel formulations and fuel testing with reactor features.
Thor Energy is only testing fuel formulations that can be put to use quickly.
Doing things the market wants and that have other positive side effects.
You're hoping for something that put the positive side effects above economics.
You gotta do it the other way around.

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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2018 1:55 pm 
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U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan questions SRS, MOX futures during federal hearing

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On Tuesday, Duncan asked Dan Brouillette, the DOE deputy secretary, if he believes MOX construction to be 70 percent along and, if that's really true, why completion is estimated to be 30 years out. A 2016 baseline performance report, handled by the DOE's project management division, estimates MOX completion in 2048.


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PostPosted: Feb 13, 2018 5:31 pm 
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Trump's budget kills MOX in favor of downblending, encourages NNSA modernization

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The budget request includes $220 million to close MOX safely and orderly, according to the DOE. Approximately $59 million has been requested to pursue dilute and dispose methods, also known as downblending.


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PostPosted: Feb 14, 2018 4:23 pm 
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S.C. nuclear project backers thought they had friends in the White House. They were wrong.

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South Carolina members of Congress have been fighting for years to protect an over-budget, behind-schedule project at a local nuclear facility. The battle to save the effort has gotten even tougher. Not even White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, who until a year ago was a former South Carolina Republican congressman, is willing or able to intervene. In previous years, the state’s majority-Republican congressional delegation was able to rebuff a Democratic president’s opposition to the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication, or MOX, program at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. But having a Republican president is proving to be no help. For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump is taking the same stance that the program should end.


Editorial: Aiken County has MOX, we have to stand by it

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This is where we are as a state… and as a community of Aiken County. We gained MOX, we have MOX and we have to stand by it. We are past the point of no return.


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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2018 3:40 pm 
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MOX could be shut down by 2021, DOE documents state


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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2018 3:34 pm 
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MOX construction afforded $335M in proposed federal spending bill


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PostPosted: Apr 13, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Spar over MOX: U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry debate unfinished facility

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Duncan, a South Carolina Republican, supports MOX, a currently unfinished facility at the Savannah River Site designed to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial reactors. Perry, the former governor of Texas, does not support MOX – and neither does President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget request, the topic of Thursday's U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. Duncan told Perry he believes MOX "is absolutely the right facility" to process surplus plutonium housed at SRS.


I'll bet Duncan's opinion about MOX would change instantly if he didn't live in South Carolina...

Quote:
"We didn't ask for the plutonium to come there," Duncan said, adding that the plutonium was specifically brought to SRS for MOX consumption.


Actually you did. Lots and lots of the weapons-grade plutonium in the United States was born right there in South Carolina, at the Savannah River Site in their heavy-water reactors...


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2018 8:14 am 
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S.C. governor, attorney general recommend audit of MOX to Energy Department

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S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson are interested in a third-party audit of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility as to resolve long-term cost discrepancies, according to a letter obtained by the Aiken Standard. The letter, sent from McMaster to U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette in February, states the governor's top concern is President Donald Trump's administration shuttering MOX "with only a conceptual plan, 'Dilute and Dispose,' as the alternative." "It is imperative that this successful MOX program is not stopped based on faulty assumptions," McMaster's letter further reads. The letter then asks if Brouillette, or the U.S. Department of Energy in general, is "willing to have" a "neutral," third-party costs and alternatives audit conducted. The idea was first raised by McMaster and Wilson during a Jan. 31 meeting with Brouillette, according to the letter.


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2018 11:06 am 
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DOE Justified MOX Project Fee Claw-Back With Bad Reading of Contract, Contractor Says


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PostPosted: May 10, 2018 10:41 am 
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S.C. governor wants to talk to President Donald Trump about protecting MOX

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S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster wants to personally speak with President Donald Trump about the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility's potential shutdown. Asked about what options he has to safeguard MOX, McMaster suggested going straight to the top. "Well the president, I'm hoping to have a chance to talk to him directly. Of course this thing has a long history. There's a lot of details about it," McMaster said following a speech at an Aiken GOP event on Tuesday night. The two have a working relationship: McMaster endorsed Trump's presidential campaign early on, and Trump recently backed McMaster's 2018 bid for governor. Two years ago, Trump selected Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, to be his secretary of energy. Perry has recently, and publicly, led the charge to defund and close MOX, clashing head-on with McMaster, who wants to see MOX through to completion. Mothballing the facility, McMaster said Tuesday, would be a "bad error," a "very unwise thing" and a "travesty." MOX is an approximately 70 percent complete facility at the Savannah River Site designed to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial reactors. Perry prefers dilute-and-dispose, a MOX alternative that involves mixing plutonium with inert material for burial at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. It's a plan that raises environmental and timetable concerns, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency correspondence obtained by the Aiken Standard. McMaster has previously met with Perry – albeit "briefly," McMaster said – and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. MOX was discussed at least once, according to letters obtained by the Aiken Standard. Both Perry and Brouillette visited SRS this year, as did National Nuclear Security Administration chief Lisa Gordon-Hagerty. Perry specifically toured MOX during his two-day local swing. McMaster's other considered option is to sue the U.S. Department of Energy in an effort to stop a MOX closure by rule of law. The governor threatened such litigation in a May 2 letter sent directly to Perry. The state "will use all legal recourse available" to protect MOX, McMaster wrote, ending his letter with: "I will utilize all available options to protect South Carolina from becoming a permanent plutonium waste repository." On Tuesday, McMaster said the warning shot was made in earnest. "Man, we've been working on this thing a lot, with the lawyers in my office and the lawyers up there," the governor said. "But I wanted to make it clear what's going to happen. One thing is we're going to be in court. … That's the last sentence of that letter, and I'm serious." U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Tim Scott, R-S.C.; U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.; and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson were sent copies of McMaster's May 2 letter. On Monday, a spokesperson for Graham said the senator supports "the state doing what it needs to do to ensure DOE follows the law." The same spokesperson said Graham is worried about MOX's future and continues to advocate for the project's preservation. McMaster said he has spoken with Graham at length about MOX. McMaster also said South Carolina's legislators have his back regarding the potential lawsuit. "Oh yeah, they got mine, I got theirs," McMaster said Tuesday. "We're working." Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget request allocates $220 million for the orderly end of MOX, but the 2018 federal spending omnibus funded MOX construction at $335 million. Moves to close MOX were also made by former President Barack Obama's administration. MOX was initially scheduled to open in 2016 and is now billions over budget. On Wednesday morning, during a U.S. House committee hearing, Perry alluded that MOX was and continues to be a "questionable" expenditure.


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PostPosted: May 17, 2018 9:45 am 
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Partial work stoppage ordered for MOX

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The National Nuclear Security Administration has issued a partial stop work order for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site. The order does not mean immediate layoffs. The halt, though, does put a freeze on hiring new staff, initiating new or awarding ongoing procurements and beginning new construction, among other things. The partial stop work order, issued May 14 and signed by procuring contracting officer Geary Pyles, is effective immediately. The order stands for 90 days but can be canceled sooner, according to Pyles' accompanying explanation.


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PostPosted: May 19, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Perry scraps completion of US MOX facility

Plan to make fuel from weapons-grade plutonium oxides dead on arrival

Trump administration axes project to generate power from plutonium


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