Episode 23 – Can’t Afford a Model T? How About a LFTR? – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 7

15 Millionth Ford Model T
The Model T Ford made motoring what it is today: affordable, reliable, ubiquitous with 20th century living. It’s this same dogmatic approach to manufactured simplification that will make Fission the energy of the 21st Century.

Can’t afford it?

A modern, 1 GW LWR generates 9,000,000 kWhrs per year which, at 10 cents per kWhr, creates revenue of USD 900,400,000 per year. Deduct USD 220 million for operating expenses for a profit of USD 680 million per year. California’s Diablo nuclear plant generates electricity for about 3 cents per kWhr.

If the plant’s two reactors cost USD 7 billion, their combined profit will repay the 7 billion in 5.7 years, after which they will net USD 1.3 billion/year while employing about 1,000 well-paid workers.

While we temporise, Russia and South Korea are building modular reactors (conventional and MSRs), for sale abroad, some of which will be mounted on barges that can be towed to coastal cities, thus making long transmission lines, with their 10% power loss, unnecessary. In 2020, the first of these barges began operation in Pevek, a town in eastern Siberia. (China makes a 1 GWe reactor for USD 3B in less than 5 years – Dr. Alex Cannara.)

MURMANSK, RUSSIA – AUGUST 23, 2018: The Akademik Lomonosov, a barge containing two nuclear reactors, is pictured in Murmansk during its departure for Pevek, Chukotka Autonomous Area, on Russia’s Arctic coast where it will function as a nuclear power station; built at St Petersburg’s Baltic Shipyard, the Akademik Lomonosov was towed in 2018 from the Baltic Sea to an Atomflot base in Murmansk on Russia’s Barents Sea coast to be loaded with nuclear fuel. Lev Fedoseyev/TASS (Photo by Lev Fedoseyev\TASS via Getty Images)

In 2016, Russia inaugurated a commercial Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) that extracts nearly 100% of the energy value of uranium. (LWRs utilize less than 5%.) The FBR creates close to zero waste and guarantees that we will never run out of thorium, uranium and plutonium, which yield 1.7 million times more energy per kilogram than crude oil.

Russia Sets New Domestic Nuclear Generation Record

Canadian Government agrees to work with United Kingdom on nuclear power

Instead of pursuing these profitable programs, we [USA] have spent USD 400 billion on worthless F-35 jet fighters plus USD 2 billion PER WEEK in Afghanistan – AND there’s that missing USD 8.5 TRILLION that the Pentagon can’t find. [The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole, by Michael Rainey, January 23, 2020]

The US Air Force Quietly Admits the F-35 Is a Failure

Penta-Gone! – The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole

Meanwhile, according to the GUARDIAN, “in 2013, coal, oil and gas companies spent USD 670 billion searching for more fossil fuels, investments that could be worthless if action on global warming slashes allowed emissions.”

Leave fossil fuels buried to prevent climate change, study urges

California plans a USD 100 billion high speed train to serve impatient commuters between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in 2014, Wall Street paid over USD 28 billion in bonuses to needy executives. If you include greedy sports team owners and players who, between 2000 and 2010, received 12 billion tax dollars to help pay for their arenas, the total could exceed USD 1 trillion.

“When you’re in a hole, stop digging,”

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org

With that money, we could easily build enough MSRs to end the burning of fossil fuels for generating electricity while drastically cutting carbon dioxide production.

Russia offers nuclear desalination bundle

According to WORLD NUCLEAR NEWS, Russia’s Rosatom Overseas intends to sell desalination facilities powered by nuclear power plants to its export markets: Dzhomart Aliyev, the head of Rosatom Overseas, says that the company sees ‘a significant potential in foreign markets,’ and is offering two LWRs producing 1200 MW each to Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity as part of a combined power and desalination plant.

“Desalination units can produce 170,000 cubic meters of potable water/day with 850 MWh of electricity per day. This would use only about 3% of the output of a 1200 MWe nuclear plant. In addition, two desalination units are also being considered for inclusion in Iran’s plan to expand the Bushehr power plant with Russian technology, and another agreement between Argentina and Russia also includes desalination with nuclear power.” Dzhomart Aliyev, chief executive officer of Rusatom Overseas.

In 2016, the Vice President of Rosatom reported that the company plans to build more than 90 plants in the pipeline worth some USD 110 Billion, with the aim of delivering 1000 GW by 2050.

“By 2030 we must build 28 nuclear power units. This is nearly the same as the number of units made or commissioned over the entire Soviet period… ROSATOM, the Russian nuclear power corporation and builders of the Kundamkulam nuclear power plant in India, has orders for building many nuclear power units abroad.” (XXII Nuclear Inter Jura 2016 Proceedings of the Congress)

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Stratfor Global Intelligence reported in an October, 2015 article titled Russia: Exporting Influence, One Nuclear Reactor at a Time that “Rosatom estimated that the value of orders has reached USD 300 billion, with 30 plants in 12 countries. From South Africa to Argentina to Vietnam to… Saudi Arabia, there appears to be no region where Russia does not seek to send its nuclear exports.”

In addition, China has purchased four, 1200 MW Russian reactors. Rosatom will also supply the fuel for a new Chinese- designed fast reactor.

However, our [USA] nuclear industry, opposed by Climate deniers like Donald J Trump, fervent “greens” and powerful carbon companies that put profit before planet, struggles to stay alive.

In Why Not Nuclear? Brian King described our failure to build Generation IV nuclear plants that, unlike LWRs, take advantage of high-temperature coolants such as liquid metals or liquid salts that improve efficiency.

“Argonne National Laboratory held the major responsibility for developing nuclear power in the U.S. By 1980, there were two main goals: Develop a nuclear plant that can’t melt down, then build a reactor that can run on waste from nuclear power plants…

“In the early 80’s Argonne opened a site for an experimental breeder reactor in Idaho. About five years later [two weeks before Chernobyl], they were ready for a demonstration. Scientists from around the globe were invited to watch what would happen if there was a loss of coolant to the reactor, a condition similar to the event at Fukushima where the cores of three reactors overheated and melted.

“Dr. C. Till, the director of the Generation IV project, calmly watched the gauges on the panel as core temperature briefly increased, then rapidly dropped as the reactor shut down without any intervention!

“The Argonne Generation IV project was a success, but it couldn’t get past the anti-nuke politics of the 1990’s, so it was shut down by the Clinton administration because they said we didn’t need it.

“One can only imagine what the world would look like today, with a fleet of Generation IV nuclear plants that would run safely for centuries on all of the waste at storage sites around the globe. No heat-trapping carbon dioxide would have been created – only ever increasing amounts of clean, reliable power. So why not nuclear power?

“Unfortunately, most environmentalists oppose nuclear power, as do many liberals. The Democratic Party is afraid of anti-nuclear sentiment… like the Nation Magazine, the Sierra Club and others. Why are all these people against such a safe and promising source of energy?

“… nuclear power has been tarred with the same brush as nuclear weapons. Nuclear power plants can’t explode like bombs, but people still think that way….

“There is also a matter of group prejudice, not unlike a fervently religious group or an audience at a sports event of great importance to local fans. People are afraid to go against the beliefs of their peers, no matter how unsubstantiated those beliefs may be.

Biden launches $6 billion effort to save nuclear power plants, to help combat climate change, 22 April 2022

”Finally, some good news: In July, 2018, Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) and Canada’s New Brunswick Power agreed to build a sodium-cooled, small modular reactor (SMR) – and thereafter at other sites worldwide.

The ARC-100 Advanced Small Modular Reactor

“The ARC-100 includes a passive, “walk away-safe” design that ensures the reactor cannot melt down – even if the plant loses all electrical power. The ARC-100 can consume the nuclear waste produced by LWRs and operate for 20 years without refuelling. Ontario approves nuclear.

OPG paving the way for Small Modular Reactor deployment, 6 October 2020

Small Modular Reactors

  • Their operation can be based on Gen II or Gen IV technologies.
  • Most of them generate less than 300 MW.
  • They run independent without active cooling (or offsite power)
  • They are small enough to have the entire reactor module fabricated at a central facility and then shipped by rail or by truck.

TerraPower advances plans for next-gen nuclear plants, earning Bill Gates’ praise

Starting in 2018, China will begin turning coal plants into nuclear reactors, by Graham Templeton,  23 November 2016


Why a Greenpeace co-founder went nuclear, by Erika Lovley 4 March 2008

Patrick Moore: Why I Left Greenpeace

Canada to boost nuclear power to help meet climate target, 15 March 2015

South Korea reactors That “Won’t Melt Down” approved for US in contract between Doosan and NuScale Power.

August 2020

South Korea companies develop molten salt reactor for shipping, power generation, 24 June 2021

Under the agreement, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and Samsung Heavy Industries plan to develop molten salt reactors for marine propulsion and floating nuclear power plants, using molten fluoride salts as the primary coolant at low pressure.

KAERI, 17 June 2021

Poland goes nuclear with plan to build six reactors by 2040, by David Rogers, 9 November 2020


Dr Richard Steeves at Rethinking Nuclear

Advanced Nuclear Reactors by Dr Richard Steeves

Dr. Steeves drives an electric car and flies an electric airplane.

Dr. Richard Steeves

Nuclear Q&A prepared by The Finnish Greens for Science and Technology


The Tennessee Valley Authority announces new nuclear programme


Nuclear Power: The Road to a Carbon Free Future, IAEA 9 Jan 2020


Coming up next week, Episode 24 – Blowing in the Wind


Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 24 – Blowing in the Wind
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why They Are So Cool
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T
  8. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-cannara-6a1b7a3/
  9. https://rosatom.ru/en/press-centre/news/rosatom-world-s-only-floating-nuclear-power-plant-enters-full-commercial-exploitation/
  10. https://www-atomic–energy-ru.translate.goog/news/2016/08/10/68139?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en
  11. https://www.powermag.com/russia-sets-new-domestic-nuclear-generation-record/
  12. https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/320295-the-us-air-force-quietly-admits-the-f-35-is-a-failure
  13. https://www.stripes.com/branches/navy/2022-01-28/photos-leaked-F-35-fighter-jet-crashed-into-South-China-Sea-4448944.html
  14. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/pentagon-35-trillion-accounting-black-231154593.html
  15. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/much-worlds-fossil-fuel-reserve-must-stay-buried-prevent-climate-change-study-says
  16. https://gofossilfree.org/
  17. https://350.org/
  18. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bill-mckibben-6174131b7/
  19. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Russia-offers-nuclear-desalination-bundle-0403151.html
  20. https://www.rusatom-overseas.com/
  21. https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/457339/Construction-of-phases-2-3-of-Bushehr-nuclear-plant-has-started
  22. http://aidn-inla.be/content/uploads/2016/12/proceedings-new-delhi-2016.pdf
  23. http://en.kremlin.ru/
  24. https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/russia-exporting-influence-one-nuclear-reactor-time
  25. https://neutronbytes.com/2019/04/06/russia-to-build-four-1200-mw-vver-at-two-sites-in-china/
  26. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nuclear-power-biden-climate-change/
  27. https://www.arcenergy.co/technology
  28. https://energyrealityproject.com/nuclear-power-climate-change-warrior-for-the-21st-century-2/
  29. https://www.opg.com/media_releases/opg-paving-the-way-for-small-modular-reactor-deployment/
  30. https://www.geekwire.com/2020/terrapower-advances-plans-next-gen-nuclear-plants-earning-bill-gates-praise/
  31. https://www.energy.gov/ne/versatile-test-reactor
  32. https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/239588-starting-2018-china-will-begin-turning-coal-plants-nuclear-reactors
  33. https://twitter.com/grahamtempleton
  34. https://www.politico.com/story/2008/03/why-a-greenpeace-co-founder-went-nuclear-008835
  35. https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/10/03/greenpeace-co-founder-patrick-moore-makes-case-sustainable-gmo-golden-rice/
  36. https://www.prageru.com/video/why-i-left-greenpeace
  37. https://phys.org/news/2018-03-canada-boost-nuclear-power-climate.html
  38. https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/south-korea-companies-develop-molten-salt-reactor-for-shipping-power-generation/
  39. https://www.samsungshi.com/eng/default.aspx
  40. https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/poland-goes-nuclear-plan-build-six-reactors-2040/
  41. https://emerging-europe.com/voices/the-first-polish-nuclear-plant-will-eventually-be-built/
  42. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opole_Power_Plant
  43. https://rethinkingnuclear.org/who-we-are/
  44. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-steeves-373808a5/
  45. https://rethinkingnuclear.org/advanced-nuclear-reactors/
  46. https://rethinkingnuclear.org/articles/evolution-of-more-innovative-reactor-designs/
  47. https://www.viite.fi/2021/01/20/nuclear-qa/
  48. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/TVA-announces-new-nuclear-programme
  49. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ravKXD4iqQ
  50. https://TheThoriumNetwork.com
  51. https://ThoriumEnergyAlliance.com/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire #Russia #China #SouthKorea #Poland #USA #Iran #ModelTFord

Episode 20 – Got a LFTR? What’s Under the Hood – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 4

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor by fmilluminati

How a LFTR works

In one type of LFTR, a liquid Thorium salt mixture circulates through the reactor core, releasing neutrons that convert Thorium 232 in an outer, shell-like “jacket” to Thorium 233. Thorium 232 cannot sustain a chain reaction, but it is fertile, meaning that it can be converted to fissile U-233 through neutron capture, also known as “breeding.”

Space LFTR by fmilluminati
Newcastle Molten Salt Burner

When a Uranium 233 atom absorbs a neutron, it fissions (splits), releasing huge amounts of energy and more neutrons that activate more Thorium 232. In summary, a LFTR turns Thorium-232 into U-233, which thoroughly fissions while producing only 10% as much “waste” as LWRs produce.

How Thorium “Burns”

“Thorium energy can help check CO2 and global warming, cut deadly air pollution, provide inexhaustible energy, and increase human prosperity. Our world is beset by global warming, pollution, resource conflicts, and energy poverty. Millions die from coal plant emissions. We war over mideast oil. Food supplies from sea and land are threatened. Developing nations’ growth exacerbates the crises. Few nations will adopt carbon taxes or energy policies against their economic self-interests to reduce global CO2 emissions. Energy cheaper than coal will dissuade all nations from burning coal. Innovative Thorium energy uses economic persuasion to end the pollution, to provide energy and prosperity to developing nations, and to create energy security for all people for all time.”

Dr. Robert Hargraves

Dr. Robert Hargraves has written articles and made presentations about the liquid fluoride Thorium reactor and energy cheaper than from coal – the only realistic way to dissuade nations from burning fossil fuels. His presentation “Aim High” about the technology and social benefits of the liquid fluoride Thorium reactor has been presented to audiences at Dartmouth ILEAD, Thayer School of Engineering, Brown University, Columbia Earth Institute, Williams College, Royal Institution, the Thorium Energy Alliance, the International Thorium Energy Association, Google, the American Nuclear Society, the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission of America’s Nuclear Future, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. With coauthor Ralph Moir he has written articles for the American Physical Society Forum on Physics and Society: Liquid Fuel Nuclear Reactors (Jan 2011) and American Scientist: Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (July 2010). Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD. He was chief information officer at Boston Scientific Corporation and previously a senior consultant with Arthur D. Little. He founded a computer software firm, DTSS Incorporated while at Dartmouth College where he was assistant professor of mathematics and associate director of the computation center. He graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967) and Dartmouth College (AB Mathematics and Physics 1961).

Dr. Robert Hargraves – Aim High! @ TEAC3

“This book presents a lucid explanation of the workings of Thorium-based reactors. It is must reading for anyone interested in our energy future.”

Leon Cooper, Brown University physicist and 1972 Nobel laureate for superconductivity

“As our energy future is essential I can strongly recommend the book for everybody interested in this most significant topic.”

Dr. George Olah, 1994 Nobel laureate for carbon chemistry

Amazon 5 Star comments on “Thorium – energy cheaper than coal” by Dr. Robert Hargraves

  • Why Thorium must be the Future of Energy, Robert Orr Jr.
  • Fascinating read with lots of calcs you can perform yourself, DGD
  • Thorium, what we should have done, B. Kirkpatrick
  • Fantastic book about this little known alternative nuclear energy source, ChicagoRichie
  • Should be in the hands of every science class and on top of every policy maker’s desk, R. Kame
  • A MUST HAVE resource on energy generation alternatives, George Whitehead
  • Get Free Energy, Abolish CO2, End Energy Dependency, Clean – Up the Planet and Make a Fortune. Kindle Customer
  • Essential education, Ames Gilbert
  • A solution for global climate change, Lawrence Baldwin
  • Wonderful book, written in text book style, Dot Dock
  • The place to go for Thorium info. Gerald M. Sutliff
  • Global warming killer, Red Avenger
  • Thorium reactors can be civilizations future for energy, Hill Country Bob
  • Thorium fuel in a breeder reactor implies limitless future energy, Fred W. Hallberg
  • On the ESSENTIAL BOOK LIST, James38

The half-life of Thorium 232, which constitutes most of the earth’s Thorium, is 14 billion years, so it is not hazardous due to its extremely slow decay. – Dr. George Erickson

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, American Scientist, 2010

“Given the diminished scale of LFTRs, it seems reasonable to project that reactors of 100 megawatts can be factory produced for a cost of around $200 million.”

Dr. Robert Hargraves – American Scientist, July 2010

Coming up next week, Episode 21 – No Big Noises Here. How a LFTR is Proliferation Proof.


Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 21 – No Big Noises Here. How a LFTR is Proliferation Proof
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 19 – Want a Lift? Grab a LFTR
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://www.deviantart.com/fmilluminati/art/Liquid-Fluoride-Thorium-Reactor-500641963
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium
  9. https://engineering.dartmouth.edu/
  10. https://www.brown.edu/
  11. https://www.earth.columbia.edu/
  12. https://www.williams.edu/
  13. https://www.rigb.org/
  14. https://thoriumenergyalliance.com/
  15. http://www.thoriumenergyworld.com/organization.html
  16. https://talksat.withgoogle.com/
  17. https://www.ans.org/
  18. https://www.energy.gov/articles/blue-ribbon-commission-americas-nuclear-future-charter
  19. https://english.cas.cn/
  20. https://engage.aps.org/fps/home
  21. https://www.bostonscientific.com/en-US/Home.html
  22. https://www.adlittle.com/en
  23. https://home.dartmouth.edu/
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOoBTufkEog
  25. https://www.amazon.com/THORIUM-energy-cheaper-than-coal/dp/1478161299
  26. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1972/cooper/biographical/
  27. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Cooper
  28. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1994/olah/biographical/
  29. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Andrew_Olah
  30. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/liquid-fluoride-thorium-reactors
  31. https://www.americanscientist.org/author/robert_f._hargraves
  32. https://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthargraves/
  33. https://www.americanscientist.org/author/ralph_moir
  34. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralph-moir-3a8b2615/
  35. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/not-so-fast-with-thorium
  36. https://energycentral.com/c/ec/lftr-american-scientist
  37. https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-barton-b081499/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #RobertHargraves #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire

Episode 19 – Want a Lift? Grab a LFTR – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 3

Dr Alvin Weinberg at ORNL Stylised

What’s a LFTR?

A thoriumfuelled MSR [Molten Salt Reactor] is a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor – a LFTR

Pronounced ‘LIFTER
A Lifetime of power in the palm of your hand [with Thorium]

With a half-life of 14 billion years, Thorium-232 is one of the safest, least radioactive elements in the world. Thorium-232 emits harmless alpha particles that cannot even penetrate skin, but when it becomes Th-233 in a Molten Salt Reactor, it becomes a potent source of power. Sunlight, living at high altitude and the emissions from your granite counter-top or a coal-burning plant are more hazardous than thorium-232.

LFTRs are even more fuel-efficient than uranium- fuelled MSRs, and they create little waste because a LFTR consumes close to 99% of the thorium-232. LWRs reactors consume just 3% of their uranium before the rods need to be changed. That’s like burning just a tiny part of a log while polluting the rest with chemicals you must store for years.

Just one pound of thorium can generate as much electricity as 1700 tons coal, so replacing coal-burning plants with LFTRs would eliminate one of the largest causes of climate change. That same pound (just a golf ball-size lump), can yield all the energy an individual will ever need, and just one cubic yard of thorium can power a small city for at least a year. In fact, if we were to replace ALL of our carbon-fuelled, electrical power production with LFTRs, we would eliminate 30 to 35% of all man-made greenhouse gas production.

From 1977 to 1982, the Light Water Reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania was powered with thorium, and when it was eventually shuttered, the reactor core was found to contain about 1% more fissile material (U233/235) than when it was loaded. (Thorium has also fuelled the Indian Point 1 facility and a German reactor.)

India, which has an abundance of thorium, is planning to build Thorium-powered reactors, as is China while we struggle to overcome our unwarranted fear of nuclear power. And in April, 2015, a European commission announced a project with 11 partners from science and industry to prove the innovative safety concepts of the Thorium-fuelled MSR and deliver a breakthrough in waste management.

Please read Thorium: the last great opportunity of the industrial age by David Archibald

Thorium: the last great opportunity of the industrial age, by David Archibald

To Slow Global Warming, We Need Nuclear Power by By Lamar Alexander and Sheldon Whitehouse

China Ramps Up New Nuclear Reactor Construction

China is Determined
China Nuclear Build Map – World Nuclear Association

Supplies

Thorium is four times as plentiful as uranium ore, which contains only 1% U-235. Besides being almost entirely usable, it is 400 times more abundant than uranium’s fissile U-235. Even at current use rates, uranium fuels can last for centuries, but thorium could power our world for thousands of years.

Just 1 ton of thorium is equivalent to 460 billion cubic meters of natural gas. We already have about 400,000 tons of thorium ore in “storage”, and we don’t need to mine thorium because our Rare-Earth Elements plant receives enough thorium to power the U. S. every year. Australia and India tie for the largest at about 500,000 tons, and China is well supplied.

A 1 GW LWR requires about 1.2 tons of uranium each year, but a 1 GW LFTR only needs a one-time “kick start” of 500 pounds of U-235 plus 1 ton of thorium each year.

Waste and Storage

Due to their high efficiency, LFTRs create only 1% of the waste that conventional reactors produce, and because only a small part of that waste needs storing for 400 years – not the thousands of years that LWR waste requires – repositories much smaller than Yucca mountain would easily suffice.

Furthermore, LFTRs can run almost forever because they produce enough neutrons to make their own fuel, and the toxicity from LFTR waste is 1/1000 that of LWR waste. So, the best way to eliminate most nuclear waste is to stop creating it with LWRs and replace them with reactors like MSRs or LFTRs that can utilize stored “waste” as fuel.

With no need for huge containment buildings, MSRs can be smaller in size and power than current reactors, so ships, factories, and cities could have their own power source, thus creating a more reliable, efficient power grid by cutting long transmission line losses that can run from 8 to 15%. Unfortunately, few elected officials will challenge the carbon industries that provide millions of jobs and wield great political power. As a consequence, thorium projects have received little to no help from our government, even though China and Canada are moving toward thorium, and India already has a reactor that runs on 20% thorium oxide.

GE Hitachi, ARC to license joint reactor in Canada; Siemens installs first live 3D-printed part

3D Printed Nuclear Reactor Core Microreactor ORNL, 25 May 2020

India on the road map of tripling nuclear power capacity

After our DOE signed an agreement with China, we gave them our MSR data. To supply its needs while MSRs are being built, China is relying on 27 conventional nuclear reactors plus 29 Generation III+ (solid fuel) nuclear plants that are under construction. China also intends to build an additional fifty-seven nuclear power plants, which is estimated to add at least 150 GigaWatts (GW) by 2030.

Nuclear Scientists Head to China to Test Experimental Reactors, by Stephen Stapczynski

China to start building 6-8 new nuclear reactors in 2018

“Global increase in nuclear power capacity in 2015 hit 10.2 gigawatts, the highest growth in 25 years driven by construction of new nuclear plants mainly in China…. We have never seen such an increase in nuclear capacity addition, mainly driven by China, South Korea and Russia,.. It shows that with the right policies, nuclear capacity can increase.”

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, Paris Conference, Reuters, 28 June 2016
Russia Building the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey

“When the China National Nuclear Power Manufacturing Corporation sought investors in 2015, they expected to raise a modest number of millions but they raised more than $280 billion.”

Dr. Alex Cannara

MIT: China Is Beating America In Nuclear Energy

In 2016, the Chinese Academy of Sciences allocated $1 billion to begin building LFTRs by 2020. As for Japan, which began to restart its reactors in 2015, a FUJI design for a 100 to 200 MW LFTR is being developed by a consortium from Japan, the U. S. and Russia at an estimated energy cost of just three cents/kWh. Furthermore, it appears that five years for construction and about $3 billion per reactor will be routine in China.

Fail-Safe Nuclear Power, By Richard Martin

China spending US$3.3 billion on molten salt nuclear reactors for faster aircraft carriers and in flying drones, December 6, 2017 by Brian Wang

Westinghouse’s eVinci would look a lot like a LFTR in operation. See more next week on how a LFTR works.

Westinghouse Electric’s parent company wants to put the nuclear company on the market by Anya Litvak

Westinghouse HQ
eVinci by Westinghouse

Coming up next week, Episode 20 – Got a LFTR? Lets Look Under the Hood


Links and References

1. Next Episode – Episode 20 – Got a LFTR? Lets Look Under the Hood
2. Previous Episode – Episode 18 – Pass the Salt Dear – How Fission Gets Rock Solid Stability
3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shippingport_Atomic_Power_Station
8. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/16/thorium-the-last-great-opportunity-of-the-industrial-age/
9. https://www.amazon.com/David-Archibald/e/B00I32BANS/
10. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/opinion/to-slow-global-warming-we-need-nuclear-power.html?
11. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lamar-alexander-68290688/
12. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-whitehouse/
13. https://neutronbytes.com/2020/07/11/china-ramps-up-new-nuclear-reactor-construction/
14. https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx
15. https://www.reutersevents.com/nuclear/ge-hitachi-arc-license-joint-reactor-canada-siemens-installs-first-live-3d-printed-part?
16. https://www.ornl.gov/news/3d-printed-nuclear-reactor-promises-faster-more-economical-path-nuclear-energy
17. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-on-the-roadmap-of-tripling-nuclear-power-capacity/article64295841.ece
18. https://www.thestatesman.com/india/indian-nuclear-reactor-at-kaiga-sets-world-record-for-continuous-operation-1502700962.html
19. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/nuclear-scientists-head-to-china-to-test-experimental-reactors
20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-stapczynski-61187919/
21. https://thedebrief.org/chinese-fusion-reactor-sets-new-record-of-1056-seconds/
22. https://neutronbytes.com/2018/04/02/china-to-start-6-8-new-nuclear-reactors-in-2018/
23. https://www.iea.org/contributors/dr-fatih-birol
24. https://www.linkedin.com/in/fatih-birol/
25. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-cannara-6a1b7a3/
26. https://dailycaller.com/2016/08/02/mit-china-is-beating-america-in-nuclear-energy/
27. http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/4/planId/15102
28. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuji_MSR
29. https://www.technologyreview.com/2016/08/02/158134/fail-safe-nuclear-power/
30. https://linkedin.com/in/richard-martin-80344410/
31. https://www.patreon.com/posts/39262802
32. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/china-spending-us3-3-billion-on-molten-salt-nuclear-reactors-for-faster-aircraft-carriers-and-in-flying-drones.html
33. https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-wang-93645/
34. https://www.post-gazette.com/business/powersource/2022/05/10/westinghouse-for-sale-brookfield-energy-nuclear-sale-russia-ukraine-europe-evinci-microreactor-temelin-climate/stories/202205100052
35. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anya-litvak-a060096/
36. https://www.westinghousenuclear.com/new-plants/evinci-micro-reactor
37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us1WGZtzVCw

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day

Episode 18 – Pass the Salt Dear – How Fission Gets Rock Solid Stability – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 2

What’s an MSR? A Molten Salt Reactor of Course!

Molten Salt Reactors are superior in many ways to conventional reactors.

In a Molten Salt Reactor, the uranium (probably Thorium in the future), is dissolved in a liquid fluoride salt. (Although fluorine gas is corrosive, fluoride salts are not.) Fluoride salts also don’t break down under high temperatures or high radiation, and they lock up radioactive material, which prevents it from being released to the environment.

As noted earlier, Dr. Alvin Weinberg’s Oak Ridge MSR ran successfully for 22,000 hours during the sixties. However, the program was shelved, partly for political reasons and partly because we [USA] favoured Admiral Rickover’s water-cooled reactors.

Schematic of a Molten Salt Reactor

When uranium or thorium is combined with a liquid fluoride salt, there are no pellets, no zirconium tubes and no water, the source of the hydrogen that exploded at Chernobyl and Fukushima. The fluid that contains the uranium is also the heat-transfer agent, so no water is required for cooling. MSRs are also more efficient than LWR plants because the temperature of the molten salt is about 1300 F [700 C], whereas the temperature of the water in a conventional reactor is about 600 F [315 C], and higher heat creates more high-pressure steam to spin the turbines.

Thorium Debunk

This extra heat can also be used to generate more electricity, desalinate seawater, split water for hydrogen fuel cells, make ammonia for fertilizer and even extract CO2 from the air and our oceans to make gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, MSRs can be fueled with 96% of our stored uranium “waste” – spent fuel – and the fissile material in our thousands of nuclear bombs.

Thorium: Kirk Sorensen at TEDxYYC

Why Hydrogen Needs Nuclear Power To Succeed by By Alan Mammoser – Mar 07, 2021

Hydrogen: The best shot for nuclear sustainability? by Susan Gallier, Nuclear News Dec 4, 2021

Because some MSR designs do not need to be water-cooled, those versions don’t risk a steam explosion that could propel radioactive isotopes into the environment. And because MSRs operate at atmospheric pressure, no huge, concrete containment dome is needed.

When the temperature of the liquid salt fuel rises as the chain reaction increases, the fuel expands, which decreases its density and slows the rate of fission, which prevents a “runaway” reaction. As a consequence, an MSR is inherently self-governing, and because the fuel is liquid, it can easily drain by gravity into a large containment reservoir. As a consequence, the results of a fuel “spill” from an MSR would be measured in square yards, not miles.

In the event of a power outage, a refrigerated salt plug at the bottom of the reactor automatically melts, allowing the fuel to drain into a tank, where it spreads out solidifies, stopping the reaction. In effect, MSRs are walk-away- safe.

Even if you abandon an MSR, the fuel will automatically drain and solidify without any assistance.

If the Fukushima reactor had been an MSR, there would have been no meltdown, and because radioactive by-products like caesium, iodine and strontium bind tightly to stable salts, they would not have been released into the environment. (In 2018 Jordan agreed to purchase two, 110 MW, South Korean molten salt reactors,)

May 2021 – Danish firm plans floating SMR for export South Korea firm to build floating nuclear plants. NuScale and Canadian firm to build floating MSRs. Saskatchewan Indigenous company to explore small MSRs.

August 2021 – Wall Street Journal – Small Reactors, Big Future for Nuclear Power


January 2022 – Modular Molten Salt Reactors Starting 2028

Progress

USEFUL MSR BYPRODUCTS

Besides producing CO2-free electricity, fissioning U-233 in an MSR creates essential industrial elements that include xenon, which is used in lasers, neodymium for super-strength magnets, rhodium, strontium, medical molybdenum-99, zirconium, ruthenium, palladium, iodine-131 for the treatment of thyroid cancers and bismuth-213, which is used for targeted cancer treatments.

Why are we so afraid of nuclear? By James Conca, 7 July 2015

Fuel needed for a 1,000 MW Power Plant per day

7 pounds Uranium 235No CO2
3.2 kg Uranium 235No CO2
9,000 tons Coal26,000 tons of CO2
240,000,000 cubic feet Natural gas320,000 cu ft of CO2
4,838 tons Natural gas16.6 tons of CO2

Coming up next week, Episode 19 – Want a Lift? Grab a LFTR


Links and References

1. Next Episode – Episode 19 – Want a Lift? Grab a LFTR
2. Previous Episode – Episode 17 – All At Sea – The Best Technology and Not Used. Why?
3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUg0QdtO6bQ
8. https://periodictable.com/Elements/090/pictures.html
9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6mhw-CNxaE
10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vzotsvvkw
11. https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Hydrogen-Needs-Nuclear-Power-To-Succeed.html
12. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan24/
13. https://www.ans.org/news/article-3472/hydrogen-the-best-shot-for-nuclear-sustainability/
14. https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-bailey-gallier/
15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuScale_Power
16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrestrial_Energy
17. https://www.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-power-generation-electricity-small-reactors-11629239179
18. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2022/01/modular-molten-salt-reactors-starting-2028-in-canada.html
19. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/247017-why-are-we-so-afraid-of-nuclear/
20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-conca-2a51037/
21. https://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/volume-to-weight

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day

「パーフェクトテクノロジー」-バイリンガル記事-日本語/英語 – “The Perfect Technology” – a Bilingual Article – Japanese / English

Full View of FUJI Molten Salt Reactor

この記事は、2022年3月14日にプロイセンの一般新聞Preußische Allgemeine Zeitungによって公開されました。著作権表示:教育目的でフェアユースを適用する。 / This article published 14 March 2022 by Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung, the Prussian General Newspaper. Copyright notice: applying fair use for educational purposes.

トリウムベースの溶融塩原子炉・液体燃料No.1 の責任:上海応用物理学研究所

Responsible for the Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor-Liquid Fuel No. 1: The Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics

トリウム溶融塩原子炉

核燃料が溶融塩の形である原子炉は、多くの恩恵をもたらします。近い将来、中国で試験施設が稼働する予定です。

THORIUM MOLTEN SALT REACTORS Nuclear reactors in which the nuclear fuel is in the form of molten salt offer a wealth of advantages. A test plant will go into operation in China in the near future.

「パーフェクトテクノロジー」

原料は安価で世界中で入手可能であり、冷却水さえも必要ではなく、廃棄物は少なくなり、従来の核廃棄物よりもはるかに速く崩壊する

“Perfect technology”

The raw material is cheap and available worldwide, not even cooling water is needed and the waste is less and decays much faster than conventional nuclear waste: Thorium technology stands for a new quality of the use of nuclear energy

Wolfgang Kaufmann 23.01.2022

中国中部甘粛省の武威近くにある紅沙港工業団地では、パイロットプラントが間もなく稼働し、中国だけでなく世界中のエネルギー生産に革命を起こす可能性があります。 化石燃料の使用による二酸化炭素の排出、風力タービンの景観の劣化、環境に有害な生産による電池の大量使用、風や曇りのない天候での停電、リスクはありません。原子炉の事故による放射能の増加は、革新的なトリウムベースの溶融塩原子炉によって約束されています。 上海応用物理研究所のトリウムベースの溶融塩原子炉No.1(TMSR-LF1)は、原子力エネルギーの使用における新しい品質を表しており、それに「グリーンコート」を与えることになっています。

In the Hongshagang Industrial Park near Wuwei in the central Chinese province of Gansu, a pilot plant will go into operation in the near future, which has the potential to revolutionize energy production not only in the Middle Kingdom, but throughout the world. No more carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the use of fossil fuels, no more landscape degradation by wind turbines, no mass use of batteries from environmentally harmful production, no power outages in calm winds and clouds, but also no radiation risk due to reactor accidents, all this promises the innovative Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor-Liquid Fuel No. 1 (TMSR-LF1) of the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, which advocates a new quality of use of the Nuclear energy is in place and this should give it a kind of “green coat of paint”.

Yoichiro Shimazu – FUJI Molten Salt Reactor [MSR] Passive Heat Removal System @ ThEC12

TMSR-LF1トリウム液体塩原子炉の機能は比較的簡単です。 弱放射性元素のトリウムは液体の塩に溶解し、中性子を照射します。 これにより、核分裂時に大量の熱を放出する同位体ウラン233が生成されます。 したがって、原子炉は独自の燃料を生成します。最終的に、このプロセスは、従来の原子炉の運転よりもはるかに安全であり(以下を参照)、他にも多くの利点があります。

The operation of the Thorium Molten Salt reactor TMSR-LF1 is relatively simple. The weakly radioactive element Thorium is dissolved in molten salt and bombarded with neutrons. This produces the isotope uranium 233, the fission of which releases large amounts of heat. So the reactor produces its own fuel. This process ultimately brings much more safety than the operation of classic nuclear reactors (see below) and also a variety of other advantages.

6つの恩恵

Six Benefits

まず、必要なトリウム232はごく少量です。 イタリアのノーベル物理学賞を受賞したカルロ・ルビアが計算したところ、1トンのトリウムのエネルギー含有量は200トンのウラン金属または2800万トンの石炭のエネルギー含有量に相当するためです。

First, only extremely small amounts of Thorium 232 are needed. The energy content of one ton of Thorium corresponds to that of 200 tons of uranium metal or 28 million tons of coal, as the Italian Nobel Laureate in Physics Carlo Rubbia calculated.

第二に、世界中に主要なトリウム鉱床があります。 原則として、この元素は鉛と同様の頻度で岩石地殻に発生し、希土類の採掘における廃棄物としても発生します。 それが高価ではない理由です。 一方で、最近、従来の原子力発電所の数が再び大幅に増加しているため、ウランの不足や価格の高騰が見込まれます。

Secondly, there are larger Thorium deposits all over the world. In principle, the element occurs in the rock crust as often as lead and is also produced as a waste product in the extraction of rare earths. That’s why it’s not expensive. On the other hand, there is a risk of shortages and price explosions for uranium in the future, because the number of conventional nuclear power plants has recently increased significantly again.

第三に、トリウム溶融塩反応器は、例えば砂漠地域を含む事実上どこにでも建設することができる。冷却水を必要としないからです。

Thirdly, a Thorium Molten Salt reactor can be built virtually anywhere, including desert regions, for example. Because it does not require any cooling water.

第四に、そのオペレーション(原典はドイツ語であるので、この場合ビトリーブとなりうるか)はまた、大幅に少ない放射性廃棄物を生成します。また、TMSR-LF1からの核廃棄物の99%以上は、遅くとも300年後には無害な同位体に崩壊したと言われています。さらに、より高度な溶融塩反応器で後でより長い放射材料の少量の残留量を処理し、したがって完全に中和することができる。比較すると、ウランを動力源とする従来の原子炉は、使用される核燃料のほんの一部しか使用されていないにもかかわらず、数千年の半減期を持つ長寿命の放射性核分裂生成物を生成します。

Fourthly, its operation also generates significantly less radioactive waste. In addition, more than 99 percent of the nuclear waste from the TMSR-LF1 is said to have decayed into harmless isotopes after 300 years at the latest. Furthermore, it is possible to process the small residual amounts of longer radiating material later in more advanced molten salt reactors and thus completely neutralise. By way of comparison, conventional nuclear reactors powered by uranium produce long-lived radioactive fission products with half-lives of many thousands of years, even though only a small fraction of the nuclear fuel used is used.

第五に、トリウム溶融塩炉の建設と運転のコストは、通常使用される軽水炉のコストよりも低い。これは主に、システムの動作圧力が低いため、多くの安全上の注意が不要であること、および燃料棒を調達する必要がないという事実によるものです。

Fifthly, the costs for the construction and operation of Thorium Molten Salt reactors are lower than those of the light-water reactors that are usually used. This is mainly due to the low operating pressure of the systems, which makes numerous safety precautions superfluous, as well as the fact that no fuel rods have to be procured.

第六に、TMSR-LF1のような原子炉は、ウラン233がインキュベートされるだけでなく、核医学などで必要とされる他の多くの放射性核分裂生成物も生成されるため、非常に経済的に運転することができます。そして、放射性核種のいくつかは、ルビジウム、ジルコニウム、モリブデン、ルテニウム、パラジウム、ネオジム、サマリウムなどの非常に求められている元素にさえ変わります。同様に、希ガスキセノンが放出され、とりわけ絶縁媒体として、またレーザーおよび航空宇宙技術において使用される。

Sixthly, reactors such as the TMSR-LF1 can also be operated extremely economically because not only uranium 233 is incubated in them, but also many other radioactive fission products are produced, which are required, for example, in nuclear medicine. And some of the radionuclides even turn into highly sought-after elements such as rubidium, zirconium, molybdenum, ruthenium, palladium, neodymium and samarium. Likewise, the noble gas xenon is released, which is used, among other things, as an insulation medium as well as in laser and aerospace technology.

戦争は万物の父

War is the father of all things

TMSR-LF1の基礎となる技術は、中国ではなく米国で発明されました。早くも1954年には、空軍は長距離爆撃機に動力を供給するために小型の溶融塩原子炉を実験しました。しかし、このプロジェクトは、米国が大陸間弾道ミサイルを保有していたときに急速に終了しました。同様に、1970年代初頭、ユーリッヒ原子力研究施設の西ドイツの科学者は、溶融塩炉に関するいくつかの研究を発表しましたが、当時の原子炉開発責任者ルドルフ・シュルテンの消極的な態度のために最終的に注目されませんでした。

The technology underlying the TMSR-LF1 was not invented in China, but in the USA. As early as 1954, the Air Force experimented with a small molten salt reactor to power long-range bombers. However, the project came to a rapid end when the United States had intercontinental ballistic missiles. Likewise, at the beginning of the 1970s, West German scientists from the Jülich nuclear research facility presented some studies on molten salt reactors, which ultimately received no attention because of the negative attitude of the then head of reactor development, Rudolf Schulten [main developer of the pebble bed reactor design, a non fluid fuel system].

代替原子炉の受け入れの欠如のもう一つの理由は、世界中の原子力産業の関心の絶対的な欠如でした。古典的な原子炉では、優れたお金を稼ぐことができ、燃料棒の生産からの収入なしには誰もやりたがらなかった。したがって、腐食のリスクが高いとされるものや、誰かが原子炉を誤用して兵器級の核分裂性物質を製造するという仮説的な危険性など、溶融塩反応器の使用に反対するあらゆる種類のふりをした議論が持ち込まれた。

Another reason for the lack of acceptance of the alternative reactor type was the absolute lack of interest of the nuclear industry around the world. With the classic nuclear reactors, excellent money could be earned, and no one wanted to do without the income from the production of fuel rods. Therefore, all sorts of pretended arguments against the use of molten salt reactors were brought into play, such as the allegedly higher risk of corrosion and the hypothetical danger that someone will misuse the reactors to produce weapons-grade fissile material.

これは、中華人民共和国が2011年以来、TMSR-LF1の開発に4億ユーロ相当を投資することを妨げていない。結局のところ、北京の指導者たちは、2050年までに中国を「クライメートニュートラル」にするという野心的な目標を追求しており、溶融塩反応器の「完璧な技術」は絶対に不可欠であることを証明することができるだろう。

This has not prevented the People’s Republic of China from investing the equivalent of 400 million euros in the development of the TMSR-LF1 since 2011. After all, Beijing’s leaders are pursuing the ambitious goal of making the Middle Kingdom “climate neutral” by 2050, and the “perfect technology” of molten salt reactors could prove absolutely indispensable.

250MW溶融塩核分裂エネルギー発電設備 / 250 MW Molten Salt Fission Energy Power Facility

現在ゴビ砂漠の端でテストされている原子炉は、当初の公称出力はわずか2メガワットです。これは、約1000世帯にしか電力を供給できないことを意味します。しかし、TMSR-LF1の設計原理が成功すれば、出力373メガワットのトリウム溶融塩反応器の最初のプロトタイプが2030年頃までに稼働し、その後、中国全土で同じプラントが急速に連続して稼働します。ドイツが今なお原子力から遠ざかり続けるのか、それとも今も「グリーン原子力エネルギー」に頼っているのかは、まだ分からない。

The reactor, which is now to be tested on the edge of the Gobi Desert, initially has a nominal output of only two megawatts. This means that it can only supply around 1000 households with electricity. If the design principle of the TMSR-LF1 proves successful, however, the first prototype of a Thorium Molten Salt reactor with an output of 373 megawatts would go into operation by around 2030, which will then be followed by identical plants throughout China in rapid succession. It remains to be seen whether Germany will still remain in its abstinence from nuclear power at this time or whether it will now also rely on “green nuclear energy”.

中国ゴビ砂漠溶融塩工業施設 / Chinese Gobi Desert Molten Salt Industrial Facility

Development of GH3535 Alloy for Thorium Molten Salt Reactor

Wuwei, Gansu, China


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The Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung (PAZ) is a unique voice in the German media landscape. Week after week, it reports on current events in politics, culture and business and takes a stand on the fundamental developments in our society. In their work, the editors feel committed to the traditional Prussian canon of values: The old Prussia stood and stands for religious and ideological tolerance, for love of homeland and open-mindedness, for the rule of law and intellectual honesty, and not least for reason-guided action in all areas of society . With this in mind, the PAZ maintains an open culture of debate, which passionately represents its own point of view and respects the opinions of those who think differently – and also lets them have their say. Beyond day-to-day events, the PAZ feels committed to remembering historical Prussia and caring for its cultural heritage. With these principles, the Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung is a unique journalistic bridge between yesterday, today and tomorrow, between the countries and regions in West and East – as well as between the different social currents in our country.


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Links and References

  1. Original article: https://paz.de/artikel/perfekte-technologie-a6180.html
  2. https://paz.de/impressum.html
  3. https://english.sinap.cas.cn/
  4. https://www.ans.org/news/article-3091/china-moves-closer-to-completion-of-worlds-first-thorium-reactor/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forschungszentrum_J%C3%BClich
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Schulten
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Reactor_Experiment
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Nuclear_Propulsion
  11. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/china-spending-us3-3-billion-on-molten-salt-nuclear-reactors-for-faster-aircraft-carriers-and-in-flying-drones.html
  12. https://regulatorwatch.com/reported_elsewhere/china-spending-us3-3-billion-on-molten-salt-nuclear-reactors-for-faster-aircraft-carriers-and-in-flying-drones/
  13. https://www.nuclearaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Mark_Ho_20210512.pdf
  14. http://samofar.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-TMSR-SAMOFAR%E2%80%94%E2%80%94Yang-ZOU-PDF-version-1.pdf
  15. https://threeconsulting.com/mt-content/uploads/2021/04/chinatmsr2018.pdf
  16. https://www.gen-4.org/gif/upload/docs/application/pdf/2017-05/03_hongjie_xu_china.pdf
  17. https://msrworkshop.ornl.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MSR2016-day1-15-Hongjie-Xu-Update-on-SINAP-TMSR-Research.pdf
  18. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324580866_Development_of_GH3535_Alloy_for_Thorium_Molten_Salt_Reactor
  19. Wuwei, Gansu, China
  20. https://tcw15.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/TMSRstatus-liuwei.pdf
  21. https://paz.de/anerkennungszahlung.html
  22. https://www.patreon.com/TheThoriumNetwork
  23. https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/translation/

#PreußischeAllgemeineZeitung #PAZ #ShanghaiInstituteofAppliedPhysics #SINAP #ThoriumMoltenSalt #MoltenSaltFissionEnergyTechnology #MSFET #Thorium #Japan

The „Perfekte Technologie“ – a Bilingual Article

Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics
This article published 14 March 2022 by Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung, the Prussian General Newspaper. Copyright notice: applying fair use for educational purposes.

Zeichnet für den Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor-Liquid Fuel No. 1 verantwortlich: Das Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics

Responsible for the Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor-Liquid Fuel No. 1: The Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics

THORIUM-FLÜSSIGSALZREAKTOREN Kernreaktoren, in denen der Kernbrennstoff in Form geschmolzenen Salzes vorliegt, bieten eine Fülle von Vorteilen. In China wird in nächster Zukunft eine Versuchsanlage in Betrieb gehen

THORIUM MOLTEN SALT REACTORS Nuclear reactors in which the nuclear fuel is in the form of molten salt offer a wealth of advantages. A test plant will go into operation in China in the near future.

„Perfekte Technologie“

Der Ausgangsstoff ist billig und weltweit vorhanden, nicht einmal Kühlwasser wird benötigt und der Müll wird weniger und verfällt viel schneller als herkömmlicher Atommüll: Die Thorium-Technologie steht für eine neue Qualität der Nutzung der Kernenergie

Wolfgang Kaufmann, 23.01.2022

“Perfect technology”

The raw material is cheap and available worldwide, not even cooling water is needed and the waste is less and decays much faster than conventional nuclear waste: Thorium technology stands for a new quality of the use of nuclear energy

Wolfgang Kaufmann 23.01.2022

Im Hongshagang-Industriepark bei Wuwei in der zentralchinesischen Provinz Gansu wird in nächster Zukunft eine Versuchsanlage in Betrieb gehen, die das Potential besitzt, nicht nur die Energieerzeugung im Reich der Mitte, sondern in der ganzen Welt zu revolutionieren. Keine Kohlendioxidemissionen mehr infolge der Nutzung fossiler Brennstoffe, keine Landschaftsverschandelung durch Windräder, kein massenhafter Einsatz von Akkus aus umweltschädlicher Produktion, keine Stromausfälle bei Windstille und Bewölkung, aber auch kein Strahlungsrisiko aufgrund von Reaktorhavarien, alles das verspricht der innovative Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor-Liquid Fuel No. 1 (TMSR-LF1) des Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, der für eine neue Qualität der Nutzung der Kernenergie steht und dieser quasi einen „grünen Anstrich“ geben soll.

In the Hongshagang Industrial Park near Wuwei in the central Chinese province of Gansu, a pilot plant will go into operation in the near future, which has the potential to revolutionize energy production not only in the Middle Kingdom, but throughout the world. No more carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the use of fossil fuels, no more landscape degradation by wind turbines, no mass use of batteries from environmentally harmful production, no power outages in calm winds and clouds, but also no radiation risk due to reactor accidents, all this promises the innovative Thorium-based Molten Salt Reactor-Liquid Fuel No. 1 (TMSR-LF1) of the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, which advocates a new quality of use of the Nuclear energy is in place and this should give it a kind of “green coat of paint”.

Die Funktionsweise des Thorium-Flüssigsalzreaktors TMSR-LF1 ist relativ einfach. Das schwach radioaktive Element Thorium wird in Flüssigsalz aufgelöst und mit Neutronen beschossen. Dadurch entsteht das Isotop Uran 233, dessen Spaltung große Wärmemengen freisetzt. Der Reaktor produziert also seinen Brennstoff selbst. Dieses Verfahren bringt letztlich sehr viel mehr Sicherheit als der Betrieb klassischer Kernreaktoren (siehe unten) und darüber hinaus auch noch eine Vielzahl weiterer Vorteile.

The operation of the Thorium Molten Salt reactor TMSR-LF1 is relatively simple. The weakly radioactive element Thorium is dissolved in molten salt and bombarded with neutrons. This produces the isotope uranium 233, the fission of which releases large amounts of heat. So the reactor produces its own fuel. This process ultimately brings much more safety than the operation of classic nuclear reactors (see below) and also a variety of other advantages.

Sechs Vorteile

Six Benefits

Zum Ersten werden nur äußerst geringe Mengen an Thorium 232 benötigt. Denn der Energiegehalt einer Tonne Thorium entspricht der von 200 Tonnen Uran-Metall oder 28 Millionen Tonnen Kohle, wie der italienische Physik-Nobelpreisträger Carlo Rubbia errechnete.

First, only extremely small amounts of Thorium 232 are needed. The energy content of one ton of Thorium corresponds to that of 200 tons of uranium metal or 28 million tons of coal, as the Italian Nobel Laureate in Physics Carlo Rubbia calculated.

Zum Zweiten gibt es überall auf der Welt größere Thorium-Vorkommen. Im Prinzip kommt das Element in der Gesteinskruste ähnlich häufig vor wie Blei und fällt zudem als Abfallprodukt bei der Förderung von Seltenen Erden an. Deshalb ist es auch nicht teuer. Dahingegen drohen perspektivisch Verknappungen und Preisexplosionen beim Uran, weil die Zahl der konventionellen Kernkraftwerke neuerdings wieder deutlich zunimmt.

Secondly, there are larger Thorium deposits all over the world. In principle, the element occurs in the rock crust as often as lead and is also produced as a waste product in the extraction of rare earths. That’s why it’s not expensive. On the other hand, there is a risk of shortages and price explosions for uranium in the future, because the number of conventional nuclear power plants has recently increased significantly again.

Zum Dritten kann ein Thorium-Flüssigsalzreaktor praktisch überall errichtet werden, also beispielsweise auch in Wüstenregionen. Denn er benötigt keinerlei Kühlwasser.

Thirdly, a Thorium Molten Salt reactor can be built virtually anywhere, including desert regions, for example. Because it does not require any cooling water.

Zum Vierten entstehen bei seinem Betrieb auch deutlich weniger radioaktive Abfälle. Außerdem sollen über 99 Prozent des Atommülls aus dem TMSR-LF1 nach spätestens 300 Jahren in harmlose Isotope zerfallen sein. Des Weiteren besteht die Möglichkeit, die geringen Restmengen an länger strahlendem Material später in fortgeschritteneren Flüssigsalzreaktoren zu verarbeiten und damit gänzlich zu neutralisieren. Zum Vergleich: In mit Uran betriebenen konventionellen Atommeilern fallen langlebige radioaktive Spaltprodukte mit Halbwertszeiten von vielen tausend Jahren an, obwohl nur ein kleiner Bruchteil des verwendeten Kernbrennstoffs genutzt wird.

Fourthly, its operation also generates significantly less radioactive waste. In addition, more than 99 percent of the nuclear waste from the TMSR-LF1 is said to have decayed into harmless isotopes after 300 years at the latest. Furthermore, it is possible to process the small residual amounts of longer radiating material later in more advanced molten salt reactors and thus completely neutralise. By way of comparison, conventional nuclear reactors powered by uranium produce long-lived radioactive fission products with half-lives of many thousands of years, even though only a small fraction of the nuclear fuel used is used.

Zum Fünften liegen die Kosten für den Bau und Betrieb von Thorium-Flüssigsalzreaktoren niedriger als bei den sonst zumeist verwendeten Leichtwasser-Reaktoren. Das resultiert vor allen aus dem geringen Betriebsdruck der Anlagen, der zahlreiche Sicherheitsvorkehrungen überflüssig macht, sowie der Tatsache, dass keine Brennstäbe beschafft werden müssen.

Fifthly, the costs for the construction and operation of Thorium Molten Salt reactors are lower than those of the light-water reactors that are usually used. This is mainly due to the low operating pressure of the systems, which makes numerous safety precautions superfluous, as well as the fact that no fuel rods have to be procured.

Zum Sechsten lassen sich Reaktoren wie der TMSR-LF1 auch deshalb ausgesprochen wirtschaftlich betreiben, weil in ihnen nicht nur Uran 233 erbrütet wird, sondern zusätzlich noch viele andere radioaktive Spaltprodukte entstehen, die zum Beispiel in der Nuklearmedizin benötigt werden. Und manche der Radionuklide verwandeln sich sogar in ausgesprochen begehrte Elemente wie Rubidium, Zirconium, Molybdän, Ruthenium, Palladium, Neodym und Samarium. Desgleichen wird das Edelgas Xenon frei, das unter anderem als Isolationsmedium sowie in der Laser- und Raumfahrttechnik zum Einsatz kommt.

Sixthly, reactors such as the TMSR-LF1 can also be operated extremely economically because not only uranium 233 is incubated in them, but also many other radioactive fission products are produced, which are required, for example, in nuclear medicine. And some of the radionuclides even turn into highly sought-after elements such as rubidium, zirconium, molybdenum, ruthenium, palladium, neodymium and samarium. Likewise, the noble gas xenon is released, which is used, among other things, as an insulation medium as well as in laser and aerospace technology.

Der Krieg ist aller Dinge Vater

War is the father of all things

Erfunden wurde die dem TMSR-LF1 zugrunde liegende Technologie nicht in China, sondern in den USA. Dort experimentierten die Luftstreitkräfte bereits ab 1954 mit einem kleinen Flüssigsalzreaktor, der zum Antrieb von Langstreckenbombern dienen sollte. Das Projekt fand jedoch ein rapides Ende, als die Vereinigten Staaten über Interkontinentalraketen verfügten. Ebenso legten bundesdeutsche Wissenschaftler aus der Kernforschungsanlage Jülich zu Beginn der 1970er Jahre einige Studien über Flüssigsalzreaktoren vor, die letztlich wegen der ablehnenden Haltung des damaligen Leiters der Reaktorentwicklung, Rudolf Schulten, keine Beachtung fanden.

The technology underlying the TMSR-LF1 was not invented in China, but in the USA. As early as 1954, the Air Force experimented with a small molten salt reactor to power long-range bombers. However, the project came to a rapid end when the United States had intercontinental ballistic missiles. Likewise, at the beginning of the 1970s, West German scientists from the Jülich nuclear research facility presented some studies on molten salt reactors, which ultimately received no attention because of the negative attitude of the then head of reactor development, Rudolf Schulten [main developer of the pebble bed reactor design, a non fluid fuel system].

Ein weiterer Grund für die fehlende Akzeptanz des alternativen Reaktortyps war das absolute Desinteresse der Nu-klearindustrie rund um die Welt. Mit den klassischen Atommeilern ließ sich hervorragend Geld verdienen, und auf die Einnahmen aus der Herstellung von Brennstäben wollte auch niemand verzichten. Deshalb wurden allerlei vorgeschobene Argumente gegen den Einsatz von Flüssigsalzreaktoren ins Spiel gebracht, wie beispielsweise das angeblich höhere Korrosionsrisiko und die hypothetische Gefahr, dass jemand die Meiler missbraucht, um waffenfähiges Spaltmaterial zu produzieren.

Another reason for the lack of acceptance of the alternative reactor type was the absolute lack of interest of the nuclear industry around the world. With the classic nuclear reactors, excellent money could be earned, and no one wanted to do without the income from the production of fuel rods. Therefore, all sorts of pretended arguments against the use of molten salt reactors were brought into play, such as the allegedly higher risk of corrosion and the hypothetical danger that someone will misuse the reactors to produce weapons-grade fissile material.

Dies hat die Volksrepublik China nicht davon abgehalten, seit 2011 umgerechnet 400 Millionen Euro in die Entwicklung des TMSR-LF1 zu investieren. Schließlich verfolgt die Pekinger Führung das ehrgeizige Ziel, das Reich der Mitte bis 2050 „klimaneutral“ zu machen, und dabei könnte sich die „perfekte Technologie“ der Flüssigsalzreaktoren als absolut unverzichtbar erweisen.

This has not prevented the People’s Republic of China from investing the equivalent of 400 million euros in the development of the TMSR-LF1 since 2011. After all, Beijing’s leaders are pursuing the ambitious goal of making the Middle Kingdom “climate neutral” by 2050, and the “perfect technology” of molten salt reactors could prove absolutely indispensable.

250 MW Molten Salt Fission Energy Power Facility

Der Reaktor, der nun am Rande der Wüste Gobi erprobt werden soll, hat erst einmal nur eine Nennleistung von zwei Megawatt. Damit kann er lediglich um die 1000 Haushalte mit Strom versorgen. Sollte sich das Konstruktionsprinzip des TMSR-LF1 bewähren, dann würde allerdings bis etwa 2030 der erste Prototyp eines Thorium-Flüssigsalzreaktors mit 373 Megawatt Leistung in Betrieb gehen, dem dann in schneller Folge identische Anlagen in ganz China folgen. Ob Deutschland zu diesem Zeitpunkt immer noch in seiner Atomkraft-Abstinenz verharrt oder inzwischen auch auf die „Grüne Kernenergie“ setzt, bleibt abzuwarten.

The reactor, which is now to be tested on the edge of the Gobi Desert, initially has a nominal output of only two megawatts. This means that it can only supply around 1000 households with electricity. If the design principle of the TMSR-LF1 proves successful, however, the first prototype of a Thorium Molten Salt reactor with an output of 373 megawatts would go into operation by around 2030, which will then be followed by identical plants throughout China in rapid succession. It remains to be seen whether Germany will still remain in its abstinence from nuclear power at this time or whether it will now also rely on “green nuclear energy”.

Chinese Gobi Desert Molten Salt Industrial Facility

Die Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung (PAZ) ist eine einzigartige Stimme in der deutschen Medienlandschaft. Woche für Woche berichtet sie über das aktuelle Zeitgeschehen in Politik, Kultur und Wirtschaft und bezieht zu den grundlegenden Entwicklungen unserer Gesellschaft Stellung. In ihrer Arbeit fühlt sich die Redaktion dem traditionellen preußischen Wertekanon verpflichtet: Das alte Preußen stand und steht für religiöse und weltanschauliche Toleranz, für Heimatliebe und Weltoffenheit, für Rechtstaatlichkeit und intellektuelle Redlichkeit sowie nicht zuletzt für ein von der Vernunft geleitetes Handeln in allen Bereichen der Gesellschaft. In diesem Sinne pflegt die PAZ eine offene Debattenkultur, die gleichermaßen den eigenen Standpunkt mit Leidenschaft vertritt wie sie die Meinung von Andersdenkenden achtet – und diese auch zu Wort kommen lässt. Jenseits des Tagesgeschehens fühlt sich die PAZ der Erinnerung an das historische Preußen und der Pflege seines kulturellen Erbes verpflichtet. Mit diesen Grundsätzen ist die Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung eine einzigartige publizistische Brücke zwischen dem Gestern, Heute und Morgen, zwischen den Ländern und Regionen in West und Ost – sowie zwischen den verschiedenen gesellschaftlichen Strömungen in unserem Lande.

The Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung (PAZ) is a unique voice in the German media landscape. Week after week, it reports on current events in politics, culture and business and takes a stand on the fundamental developments in our society. In their work, the editors feel committed to the traditional Prussian canon of values: The old Prussia stood and stands for religious and ideological tolerance, for love of homeland and open-mindedness, for the rule of law and intellectual honesty, and not least for reason-guided action in all areas of society . With this in mind, the PAZ maintains an open culture of debate, which passionately represents its own point of view and respects the opinions of those who think differently – and also lets them have their say. Beyond day-to-day events, the PAZ feels committed to remembering historical Prussia and caring for its cultural heritage. With these principles, the Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung is a unique journalistic bridge between yesterday, today and tomorrow, between the countries and regions in West and East – as well as between the different social currents in our country.


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References and Links

1. Original article: https://paz.de/artikel/perfekte-technologie-a6180.html
2. https://paz.de/impressum.html
3. https://english.sinap.cas.cn/
4. https://www.ans.org/news/article-3091/china-moves-closer-to-completion-of-worlds-first-thorium-reactor/
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium
6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forschungszentrum_J%C3%BClich
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Schulten
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Reactor_Experiment
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Nuclear_Propulsion
11. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/china-spending-us3-3-billion-on-molten-salt-nuclear-reactors-for-faster-aircraft-carriers-and-in-flying-drones.html
12. https://regulatorwatch.com/reported_elsewhere/china-spending-us3-3-billion-on-molten-salt-nuclear-reactors-for-faster-aircraft-carriers-and-in-flying-drones/
13. https://www.nuclearaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Mark_Ho_20210512.pdf
14. http://samofar.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-TMSR-SAMOFAR%E2%80%94%E2%80%94Yang-ZOU-PDF-version-1.pdf
15. https://threeconsulting.com/mt-content/uploads/2021/04/chinatmsr2018.pdf
https://www.gen-4.org/gif/upload/docs/application/pdf/2017-05/03_hongjie_xu_china.pdf
16. https://msrworkshop.ornl.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MSR2016-day1-15-Hongjie-Xu-Update-on-SINAP-TMSR-Research.pdf
17. https://tcw15.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/TMSRstatus-liuwei.pdf
18. https://paz.de/anerkennungszahlung.html
19. https://www.patreon.com/TheThoriumNetwork
20. https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/translation/

#PreußischeAllgemeineZeitung #PAZ #ShanghaiInstituteofAppliedPhysics #SINAP #ThoriumMoltenSalt #MoltenSaltFissionEnergyTechnology #MSFET #Thorium

Interview #1, Prof. Akira Tokuhiro of Ontario Tech University. Part of the Student Guild Interview Series, “Leading to Nuclear”

Bruce Power - A Nuclear Generating Station

World’s first reactor was built in 1942 in Chicago by Enrico Fermi and his team. Since then several hundred nuclear reactors were built, shut downed and rebuilt. For the future, six types of Generation 4 fission machines wait to be born. The world needs the energy to develop and maintain life but above all these reasons there is an essential one: going to Mars and supplying all energy that is needed for life. That’s my priority motivation and purpose for choosing the nuclear area to work. History tells us that “never forget to take lessons from past” and future tells us that “enlighten your ways from your mistakes”. The nuclear accidents that happened in the past led us to Gen 4 designs. As students, we are the ones who determine the nuclear reactor’s destiny. One of the Gen 4 designs is Molten Salt Reactor. We are trying to understand what can we do to design and build a molten salt reactor. We do this by interviewing nuclear experts, engineers all over the world. Come and join our story!

Stagg Field, Chicago Pile 1
Enrico Fermi
Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology

The Student Guild’s first interview was with Professor Akira Tokuhiro. He recently stepped down as the Dean of the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at Ontario Tech University in Canada. Also, he was in the American Nuclear Society’s President’s Committee on the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan. He is an international nuclear energy expert.

Rana
President of the Student Guild
The Thorium Network


Interview 001, Prof Akira Tokuhiro of Ontario Tech University – Leading to Nuclear Interview Series

What does nuclear energy expert do?

We do many things. We design Generation 4 (IV) systems. We look at the safety issues of current reactors and reactors that will be constructed. We are always looking for continuous safety improvements. We have 4 questions to be answered about safety and accidents, “what can happen, how often can it happen, how does it happen and what are the consequences?”. We ask these questions and we do the engineering design, safety analysis for that. Now nuclear engineering requires computer programming and engineering analysis. Applications of virtual reality, augmented reality, new applications of artificial intelligence, and machine learning will be used by new nuclear engineers to design and operate reactors.

In one of your interviews, you said “Nuclear reactors are challenging, that’s why I choose the nuclear energy area to work”. What is the most complex and challenging thing in the nuclear area or reactor physics?

For me, the most interesting and challenging thing is you have to know many things. You may find the solution for a small area but nuclear power plant is many different things. If you find a solution for a small area, it may impact other things. That’s why you have to look at many different things and you have to integrate them. That’s challenging for me. That integration that I teach to my students. How do you design a reactor? You design from the reactor core and then outward from the core.

What are the most common safety design features for Gen 4 that at the same time can be used for Gen 3 or Gen 2 reactor safety designs?

We have learned from Generation 2, 3 and 3+ about human factors engineering. There are two things about human beings, one is human beings are unreliable, other is unpredictable. When you apply these to safety systems, you want to design the reactor that minimizes probability for human error. Gen 4 and small modular reactors are designed so that cooling is assured, and do not rely on human operators because they can make mistakes under pressure. You have to design the reactor so that after shutdown decay heat can be removed without human intervention.

What is the biggest problem about safety that must be redesigned immediately now? For example, for PWR Generation 2 designs, what is the biggest safety problem about that reactor, and how can it be redesigned?

My opinion is reactor is designed so that it can shut down when a postulated event occurs. Even if an earthquake happens, the reactor can shut down like the reactors are located at Fukushima. The reactor was shut down after the earthquake. To remove the decay heat that’s remaining, pumps may be required to facilitate cooling for the first 72 hours. After two weeks the decay heat has to be much less. That has to change in all plants. Cooling after shut down is possible, we can do that but we have to make sure that even if we have a terrible earthquake, sufficient cooling has to remove thermal energy from the core. In SMR’s we don’t need pumps, like large reactors; when you have a pump, you also need a source of water in order to maintain cooling to take the heat. The safety problem of Gen 2 and Gen 3 designs is to prevent the meltdown of the core.

“By 2030 or 2035 Gen 4 large reactors or small modular reactors will be built by Russia or China.”

When do you think the first Gen 4 reactor will be built and where will it be built and which design will be built?

I think by 2030 or 2035 some Gen 4 reactors will be built. It may be Gen 4 large reactors but it is also possible that small modular reactor may be built too. It depends on the country. Russia and China have their designs and they are being constructed. It is difficult to call them Gen 4 but recent VVER is an improved design. China is building different kinds of reactors and operating them. So by 2030 or 2035 Gen 4 large reactors or small modular reactors will be built by Russia or China. In the west, new reactors very much depends on investment. For example, in North America before 2035 there will be a small modular reactor constructed and ready to operate as well.

What are your thoughts about thorium molten salt reactors?

Thorium Molten Salt reactors combine interesting reactor design with a fresh look at a new type of fuel. In the least next 3-5 years, we need much more engineering to finish the design and to get the regulatory approval of the completed design. Since my background is from the US, I am familiar with US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and they will importantly ask safety questions about design basis accidents. If you don’t have a pump, as part of the design natural convection cools the reactor so it may be a preferred design. Molten salt reactors are an interesting design and thorium is a different type of fuel. Perhaps by analogy, the nuclear industry is very similar to a restaurant or the automotive sector. You have to have customers and people come to eat at a restaurant. You have to make a popular automobile and people have to trust the safety and they are buying the safety in design that comes with it. Thorium Molten Salt design has to be finished and the design has to convince the regulator that it is a sufficiently safe design and that is constructed.

You are an expert on nuclear safety. Do you think passive safety systems designed for molten salt reactors are sufficient? Are there any other passive systems projects running? Can you please give us the details?

The molten salt reactor concept came from the 1950s and 1960s. Modernized design of the MSR started with Oak Ridge Molten Salt Reactor. (MSRE) They operated a research and demonstration reactor for a few years so fifty years later we are updating this design. I think the concept is solid but needs details; safety cases are convincing. If you have the money and engineers the first step to building a reactor is making a research and demonstration reactor to show that the reactor is very safe. For example, in molten salt reactors, fuel flows in a tank by gravity when an unanticipated event occurs. That is when a PS may be needed. So this means no operator, no human error.

“We need more nuclear power plants because we need a quick transition to a lower CO2 economy or scale.”

About thorium molten salt reactors, what can students do?

Now in the last five years, I think it is very important for students to find friends all over the world and to be interested in solving the challenges posed by climate change. We need to reach net-zero as quickly as possible: even before 2050. I think we have to make progress every five years or it will become very difficult to meet our net-zero carbon economy. We have to make as much progress by 2030. By 2050 we have to make substantial progress or net-zero carbon economy. If we don’t have any progress by 2030 reaching a net-zero carbon economy becomes increasingly difficult. Now we have the power of social media. Students have to ask many questions to old people like me about safety, design. We have to change and seek from the regulator, approval of the new reactors designs. We have a lot of experts from many countries. We already have about 440 nuclear power plants in the world but we need as many as ten times as many reactors to tackle climate change. We need more nuclear power plants because we need a quick transition to a lower CO2 economy or scale. It is not the ultimate solution for climate change but it is a solution that we have now. Young people can become involved through social media and by asking good questions. We need to convince people that by combining nuclear energy, wind, and solar we can reach a net-zero carbon economy. We need nuclear power, it may be risky, but risk and fear are a spectrum. If you think the benefit is greater than the risk then you would do it. People are usually afraid when they don’t understand the risk so they think the risk is very big and the benefit is not so big.

How did you decide to join the Thorium Network? What was the most attractive thing that impressed you about Thorium Network?

I contacted one of the founders Jeremiah Josey. I thought the thorium molten salt reactor is interesting and thorium is an alternative to uranium. It is a network. This network includes many people all around the world. That’s why I joined. The network is a new way to design a reactor.


I had a great time while talking with Professor Tokuhiro. I would like to thank him for his time and perfect answers.

Thorium Network Student Guild continues to inspire people all around the world. Come and join our team! You can find the Student Guild application on this page:

The Student Guild of The Thorium Network


Links and References

  1. Professor Akira Tokuhio on LinkedIn
  2. Rana on Linkedin
  3. The interview on YouTube
  4. Ontario Technical University
  5. Generation IV Fission Technology
  6. Chicago Pile 1
  7. ANS Committee Report: Fukushima Diiachi
  8. Launching “Leading to Nuclear, Interviews by the Thorium Network Student Guild”
  9. The Thorium Student Guild

#ThoriumStudentGuild #LeadingToNuclear #Interview #AkiraTokuhiro #OTU

Launching the Student Guild Interview Series, “Leading to Nuclear”

Nuclear Power Station

We live in a finite world. Our world has a limited time until its end. There are 7.753 billion people who are trying to survive every day out there. Climate change is real and our world continues to warm. If we don’t do something about climate change, we will never live in the same world that we used to live in. Our lives might change completely. We are responsible for all the actions that we have done to the world and nature. So it is time to correct our mistakes and take the action! 

Bill Gates

“Nuclear energy, in terms of an overall safety record, is better than other energy.” 

Bill Gates

We all know that wind and solar are not enough to stop climate change. We need a combination of nuclear, solar, and wind because nuclear energy has zero carbon emissions. That’s what we need! Do your research, ask what you want to ask at the end of the day you will see that nuclear is the only answer. Now we have an even better option which is Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology. It is safe, reachable but needs committed research and development programs worldwide. We need to convince the world that now nuclear power is safer than ever.

Students have the power of changing minds, creating new ideas, and supporting each other. At this point we are going to do all the things that we can do since still we have time. We are going to interview nuclear engineers, nuclear energy experts, and people who are interested in nuclear power to learn how we can reach a net-zero carbon economy with nuclear power. Also, we are going to learn how Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology can be accepted by regulators and what can we do about Thorium-based fuel. We are going to publish blogs about every interview. We interview people as much as we can. This way we will create a new era about Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology and Thorium fuel. It is a long journey but hopefully, at the end of it, we will have smiles on our faces with champagnes in our hands. 

Our first interview is with Professor Akira Tokuhiro of Canada. He recently stepped down as the Dean of the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at Ontario Tech University in Canada. Also, he was in the American Nuclear Society’s President’s Committee on the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan. As international nuclear energy expert readers of this interview will gain a rare insight few will experience in their lifetime.

Prof. Akira Tokuhiro

Our interview with Professor Tokuhiro will be one of many coming over the next several months as we bring you key insights on an industry rarely discussed outside.

Rana,
President
The Student Guild


Thorium Network Student Guild continues to inspire people all around the world. Come and join our team! You can find the Student Guild member application on this page:

The Student Guild of The Thorium Network

Links and References

1. Leading to Nuclear, Interview #1, Prof. Akira Tokurio, Ontario Technical University, Canada
2. Launching “Leading to Nuclear, Interviews by the Thorium Network Student Guild”
3. The Student Guild
4. Rana on Linkedin

#StudentGuild #LeadingToNuclear #Interview #MoltenSaltFissionEnergy #Thorium