Molten salt reactors and thorium energy pdf

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molten salt reactors and thorium energy pdf

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Thorium-based nuclear power generation is fueled primarily by the nuclear fission of the isotope uranium produced from the fertile element thorium. According to proponents, a thorium fuel cycle offers several potential advantages over a uranium fuel cycle —including much greater abundance of thorium found on Earth, superior physical and nuclear fuel properties, and reduced nuclear waste production. However, development of thorium power has significant start-up costs.

Liquid fluoride thorium reactor

Thorium-based nuclear power generation is fueled primarily by the nuclear fission of the isotope uranium produced from the fertile element thorium. According to proponents, a thorium fuel cycle offers several potential advantages over a uranium fuel cycle —including much greater abundance of thorium found on Earth, superior physical and nuclear fuel properties, and reduced nuclear waste production.

However, development of thorium power has significant start-up costs. Between and , the number of operational thorium reactors in the world has risen from zero, [1] to a handful of research reactors, [2] to commercial plans for producing full-scale thorium-based reactors for use as power plants on a national scale. A nuclear reactor consumes certain specific fissile isotopes to produce energy. Currently, the most common types of nuclear reactor fuel are:.

Some believe thorium is key to developing a new generation of cleaner, safer nuclear power. After studying the feasibility of using thorium, nuclear scientists Ralph W. Moir and Edward Teller suggested that thorium nuclear research should be restarted after a three-decade shutdown and that a small prototype plant should be built.

After World War II, uranium-based nuclear reactors were built to produce electricity. These were similar to the reactor designs that produced material for nuclear weapons.

During that period, the government of the United States also built an experimental molten salt reactor using U fuel, the fissile material created by bombarding thorium with neutrons. In , Nobel laureate and discoverer of plutonium , Glenn Seaborg , publicly announced to the Atomic Energy Commission , of which he was chairman, that the thorium-based reactor had been successfully developed and tested. In , however, the US government settled on uranium technology and largely discontinued thorium-related nuclear research.

The reasons were that uranium-fueled reactors were more efficient, the research was proven, and thorium's breeding ratio was thought insufficient to produce enough fuel to support development of a commercial nuclear industry. As Moir and Teller later wrote, "The competition came down to a liquid metal fast breeder reactor LMFBR on the uranium-plutonium cycle and a thermal reactor on the thoriumU cycle, the molten salt breeder reactor. Science writer Richard Martin states that nuclear physicist Alvin Weinberg , who was director at Oak Ridge and primarily responsible for the new reactor, lost his job as director because he championed development of the safer thorium reactors.

But it was apparent to me that my style, my attitude, and my perception of the future were no longer in tune with the powers within the AEC. Martin explains that Weinberg's unwillingness to sacrifice potentially safe nuclear power for the benefit of military uses forced him to retire:.

Weinberg realized that you could use thorium in an entirely new kind of reactor, one that would have zero risk of meltdown. He failed. Uranium reactors had already been established, and Hyman Rickover , de facto head of the US nuclear program, wanted the plutonium from uranium-powered nuclear plants to make bombs. Increasingly shunted aside, Weinberg was finally forced out in Despite the documented history of thorium nuclear power, many of today's nuclear experts were nonetheless unaware of it.

Stenger , for one, first learned of it in It came as a surprise to me to learn recently that such an alternative has been available to us since World War II, but not pursued because it lacked weapons applications. Others, including former NASA scientist and thorium expert Kirk Sorensen, agree that "thorium was the alternative path that was not taken … " [16] [17] : 2 According to Sorensen, during a documentary interview, he states that if the US had not discontinued its research in it could have "probably achieved energy independence by around The World Nuclear Association explains some of the possible benefits [19].

The thorium fuel cycle offers enormous energy security benefits in the long-term—due to its potential for being a self-sustaining fuel without the need for fast neutron reactors. It is therefore an important and potentially viable technology that seems able to contribute to building credible, long-term nuclear energy scenarios. Moir and Teller agree, noting that the possible advantages of thorium include "utilization of an abundant fuel, inaccessibility of that fuel to terrorists or for diversion to weapons use, together with good economics and safety features … " [7] Thorium is considered the "most abundant, most readily available, cleanest, and safest energy source on Earth," adds science writer Richard Martin.

Summarizing some of the potential benefits, Martin offers his general opinion: "Thorium could provide a clean and effectively limitless source of power while allaying all public concern—weapons proliferation, radioactive pollution, toxic waste, and fuel that is both costly and complicated to process.

A report by the Bellona Foundation in concluded that the economics are quite speculative. Thorium nuclear reactors are unlikely to produce cheaper energy, but the management of spent fuel is likely to be cheaper than for uranium nuclear reactors. CANDU reactors are capable of using thorium, [38] [39] and Thorium Power Canada has, in , planned and proposed developing thorium power projects for Chile and Indonesia.

In , the New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation announced the participation of Moltex Energy in the nuclear research cluster that will work on research and development on small modular reactor technology. At the annual conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences , it was announced that "China has initiated a research and development project in thorium MSR technology. Jiang Mianheng , son of China's former leader Jiang Zemin , led a thorium delegation in non-disclosure talks at Oak Ridge National Laboratory , Tennessee, and by late China had officially partnered with Oak Ridge to aid China in its own development.

In March , with their reliance on coal-fired power having become a major cause of their current "smog crisis," they reduced their original goal of creating a working reactor from 25 years down to Now they are more interested because of smog," said Professor Li Zhong, a scientist working on the project. Currently two reactors are under construction in the Gobi desert, with completion expected in China expects to put thorium reactors into commercial use by The German THTR was a prototype commercial power station using thorium as fertile and highly enriched U as fissile fuel.

Though named thorium high temperature reactor, mostly U was fissioned. The THTR was a helium-cooled high-temperature reactor with a pebble-bed reactor core consisting of approximately , spherical fuel compacts each 6 centimetres 2. It fed power to Germany's grid for days in the late s, before it was shut down for cost, mechanical and other reasons. India has the largest supplies of thorium in the world, with comparatively poor quantities of uranium.

They estimated the reactor could function without an operator for days. According to Dr R K Sinha, chairman of their Atomic Energy Commission, "This will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, mostly imported, and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change. India's government is also developing up to 62, mostly thorium reactors, which it expects to be operational by India is the "only country in the world with a detailed, funded, government-approved plan" to focus on thorium-based nuclear power.

In late June , India announced that their "first commercial fast reactor" was near completion making India the most advanced country in thorium research.

The challenge is to develop technology for converting this to fissile material," stated their former Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission. As of July the major equipment of the PFBR had been erected and the loading of "dummy" fuels in peripheral locations was in progress.

The reactor was expected to go critical by September Kumar asserted. The original cost of the project was Rs. Thereafter, thorium is to be the only fuel. Delays have since postponed the commissioning [criticality? In May , researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York began to collaborate on the development of thorium reactors, [68] aimed at being self-sustaining, "meaning one that will produce and consume about the same amounts of fuel," which is not possible with uranium in a light water reactor.

In June , Japan utility Chubu Electric Power wrote that they regard thorium as "one of future possible energy resources. In late , Norway's privately owned Thor Energy, in collaboration with the government and Westinghouse , announced a four-year trial using thorium in an existing nuclear reactor.

In Britain, one organisation promoting or examining research on thorium-based nuclear plants is The Alvin Weinberg Foundation. In its January report to the United States Secretary of Energy , the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Future notes that a "molten-salt reactor using thorium [has] also been proposed.

Some experts and politicians want thorium to be "the pillar of the U. Alvin Radkowsky , chief designer of the world's second full-scale atomic electric power plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania , founded a joint US and Russian project in to create a thorium-based reactor, considered a "creative breakthrough. The reactor construction has not yet begun. On the research potential of thorium-based nuclear power, Richard L.

Garwin , winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom , and Georges Charpak advise further study of the Energy amplifier in their book Megawatts and Megatons , pp. World monazite resources are estimated to be about 12 million tons, two-thirds of which are in heavy mineral sands deposits on the south and east coasts of India.

There are substantial deposits in several other countries see table "World thorium reserves". However, if thorium-based power plants were adopted on a large-scale, virtually all the world's thorium requirements could be supplied simply by refining monazites for their more valuable REEs.

According to the World Nuclear Association , there are seven types of reactors that can be designed to use thorium as a nuclear fuel. Six of these have all entered into operational service at some point.

The seventh is still conceptual, although currently in development by many countries: [20]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. Use the lead layout guide to ensure the section follows Wikipedia's norms and is inclusive of all essential details. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Occurrence of thorium. Further information: List of countries by thorium resources.

Retrieved 30 March Mitigate tritium using the CO2 cycle in the supercritical CO2 power conversion system; capture the tritium with the oxygen in the supercritical C02 as mitigated water. This approach keeps the materials in chemical equilibrium during the process, while reducing the volume of waste materials such as CO2, with shorter radioactive half-lives than the uranium series' half-life.

Retrieved Environmental Science. Bibcode : EnST This article was Teller's last, published after his death in Jan 9, Huffington Post. Yogi, ed. Everett Controlling threats to nuclear security a holistic model , pp. Retrieved 27 October Certain issues of economic prospects of thorium-based nuclear energy systems PDF Report. Bellona Foundation. Retrieved 10 March Progress in Nuclear Energy.

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Molten Salt Reactors and Thorium Energy

Molten salt reactors MSRs use molten fluoride salts as primary coolant, at low pressure. This itself is not a radical departure when the fuel is solid and fixed. But extending the concept to dissolving the fissile and fertile fuel in the salt certainly represents a leap in lateral thinking relative to nearly every reactor operated so far. However, the concept is not new, as outlined below. MSRs may operate with epithermal or fast neutron spectrums, and with a variety of fuels. Much of the interest today in reviving the MSR concept relates to using thorium to breed fissile uranium , where an initial source of fissile material such as plutonium needs to be provided. There are a number of different MSR design concepts, and a number of interesting challenges in the commercialisation of many, especially with thorium.

Amongst all TMSR configurations, many studies have highlighted the configurations with no moderator in the core as simple and very promising. Thus, the current fuel cycle can be closed thanks to TMSRs started with transuranic elements on a Thorium base, i. We analyze the characteristics of these reactor configurations, in terms of fissile matter inventory, salt reprocessing, waste production and burning, and finally deployment capabilities. We thus confirm, beyond the classical advantages of molten salt reactors, the satisfactory behaviour of the TMSR and the excellent level of deterministic safety which can be achieved in such reactors. We then illustrate how the reactor can be driven with no control rod, either by controlling the extracted power or by monitoring the operating temperature. Finally we stress the hardiness and the flexibility of this TMSR concept, allowing it to be adjustable without loosing its advantages in the event of any technological stumbling block. Unable to display preview.

The liquid fluoride thorium reactor LFTR ; often pronounced lifter is a type of molten salt reactor. LFTRs use the thorium fuel cycle with a fluoride -based, molten, liquid salt for fuel. In a typical design, the liquid is pumped between a critical core and an external heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to a nonradioactive secondary salt. The secondary salt then transfers its heat to a steam turbine or closed-cycle gas turbine. Molten-salt-fueled reactors MSRs supply the nuclear fuel mixed into a molten salt. They should not be confused with designs that use a molten salt for cooling only fluoride high-temperature reactors, FHRs and still have a solid fuel. LFTRs are defined by the use of fluoride fuel salts and the breeding of thorium into uranium in the thermal neutron spectrum.

Thorium-based nuclear power

Molten Salt Reactors is a comprehensive reference on the status of molten salt reactor MSR research and thorium fuel utilization. There is growing awareness that nuclear energy is needed to complement intermittent energy sources and to avoid pollution from fossil fuels. Light water reactors are complex, expensive, and vulnerable to core melt, steam explosions, and hydrogen explosions, so better technology is needed.

Molten salt reactors MSRs use molten fluoride salts as primary coolant, at low pressure. This itself is not a radical departure when the fuel is solid and fixed. But extending the concept to dissolving the fissile and fertile fuel in the salt certainly represents a leap in lateral thinking relative to nearly every reactor operated so far.

Question or comments to click here send an e-mail to us. More people were invited to this WS, but WS notice was too short, and attendance was not big. Koshi Mitachi. Nuclear energy can play an important role in this context since it does not emit CO2 for power generation. However, there are still some concerns and difficulties in the current nuclear power such as nuclear proliferation, radioactive waste, safety, economy, usability etc.

Liquid fluoride thorium reactor

The latter would provide abundant, reliable and safe energy with no CO2 production, no air pollution, and minimal waste production. The ThEC13 proceedings are a source of reference on the use of thorium for energy generation. They also describe how thorium can be used in critical reactors and in subcritical accelerator-driven systems ADS , answering the important questions:. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available.

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 Слабое сердце… да к тому же еще испанская жара. Не забывай и о сильнейшем стрессе, связанном с попыткой шантажировать наше агентство… Сьюзан замолчала. Какими бы ни были обстоятельства, она почувствовала боль от потери талантливого коллеги-криптографа. Мрачный голос Стратмора вывел ее из задумчивости. - Единственный луч надежды во всей этой печальной истории - то, что Танкадо путешествовал .

 Возможно.  - Стратмор пожал плечами.  - Имея партнера в Америке, Танкадо мог разделить два ключа географически. Возможно, это хорошо продуманный ход. Сьюзан попыталась осознать то, что ей сообщил коммандер. Она сомневалась, что Танкадо мог передать ключ какому-то человеку, который не приходился ему близким другом, и вспомнила, что в Штатах у него практически не было друзей. - Северная Дакота, - вслух произнесла она, пытаясь своим умом криптографа проникнуть в скрытый смысл этого имени.

Вы отпускаете меня и Сьюзан на вашем лифте, мы уезжаем, и через несколько часов я ее отпускаю. Стратмор понял, что ставки повышаются. Он впутал в это дело Сьюзан и должен ее вызволить. Голос его прозвучал, как всегда, твердо: - А как же мой план с Цифровой крепостью. Хейл засмеялся: - Можете пристраивать к ней черный ход - я слова не скажу.  - Потом в его голосе зазвучали зловещие нотки.  - Но как только я узнаю, что вы следите за мной, я немедленно расскажу всю эту историю журналистам.

Все это было так неестественно, так непохоже на Хейла, а список преступлений больше напоминал перечень сданного в прачечную белья. Он признался во всем - в том, как понял, что Северная Дакота всего лишь призрак, в том, что нанял людей, чтобы те убили Энсея Танкадо и забрали у него кольцо, в том, что столкнул вниз Фила Чатрукьяна, потому что рассчитывал продать ключ от Цифровой крепости.

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