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Reactors of the Future

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Summary of proposed and completed reactor designs of the future. Includes Generation III+ through Generation V designs like Molten Lead Reactors and Nuclear Lightbulbs.

Summary of proposed and completed reactor designs of the future. Includes Generation III+ through Generation V designs like Molten Lead Reactors and Nuclear Lightbulbs.

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  • In construction.
  • Soon.
  • 600 MW 850C
  • GA announced design in 2010
  • Power: 150-1500 MW Pressure: 0.5 MPa (Atmoshperic: 0.1 Mpa) Temperature: 550C
  • 2015, maybe?
  • Power: 120-1200 MW Temperate: 550-800C
  • Pb melts at, 327C. Pb/Bi melts at 135 degrees C, so coolant can be melted to be brought to power after shutdown. 2019 in Russia, US soonish
  • SNF: 3% of the mass consists of fission products of  235 U and  239 Pu About 1% of the mass is  239 Pu and  240 Pu  resulting from conversion of  238 U, which may be considered either as a useful byproduct, or as dangerous and inconvenient waste. 96% of the mass is the remaining uranium: most of the original  238 U and a little  235 U. Usually  235 U would be less than 0.83% of the mass along with 0.4%  236 U Traces of the  minor actinides  are present in spent reactor fuel.
  • Power: 1000MW Pressure: 0.5 MPa (Atmoshperic: 0.1 Mpa) Temperature: 700C
  • When cold, the fuel salts radiogenically produce corrosive, chemically reactive fluorine gas. Although a very slow process, the salts should be defueled and wastes removed before extended shutdowns to avoid (non-radioactive) fluorine gas production. Unfortunately, this was discovered the unpleasant way, while the MSRE (Oakridge) was shut-down over a 20-year period. Japan is building a 100-200 MW reactor, but full sized ones are 20 years away and no plans are under way yet.
  • Water: 22.1 Mpa, 374C
  • 1700 MW Pressure: 25 Mpa Temperature: 550C
  •   The SCWR concept is being investigated by 32 organizations in 13 countries.
  • 600MW Temperatures >1000C
  • Two full-scale pebble-bed HTGRs, each with 100 - 195 MW e  of electrical production capacity are under construction in China at the present as of November 2009. The US is thinking about it.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture Reactors of the Future Generations III+ through V Ian Flower
    • 2. What will we cover? Tour of Reactor Designs Generation III+ Generation IV Generation V Limitations/Advantages of Each Road Map for the future Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 3. Where are we? Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 4. Advanced Reactors Improvements on current designs: ABWR (Advanced Boiling Water Reactor) ESBWR (Economic Simplified BWR) Subcritical Reactors Thorium-Based Reactors Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 5. ABWR GE Hitachi Huge improvements on existing BWR technology Digital Emergency Cooling Recirculation Cleanup Loop Control Rod precision Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 6. ESBWR No Recirculation Pumps Core is shorter Gravity makes it passively safe. Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 7. Generation IV Goals Environmental Friendliness Minimization of Waste Fuel Utilization Efficiency Lower costs Passive Safety Eliminate need for offsite emergency response Terrorist-proof reactors Designs GFR (Gas-cooled Fast) LFR (Lead-cooled Fast) SFR (Sodium-cooled Fast) MSR (Molten-Salt Reactor) SCWR (SuperCritical Water) VHTR (Very High Temperature) Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 8. Gas-cooled Fast Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 9. Gas-cooled Fast Reactor GFR CO2 or He Higher Temperature Non activated coolant No flashes to steam Have to consider: Neutron absorption leads to positive void coefficient Fuel Elements Ceramics Good at High Temperature Retain Fission Fragments Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 10. A Note About Fast Reactors No Moderator Difficult to control Control rods are too slow to make adjustments Stabilized instead by: Doppler Broadening Neutron Poisons Neutron Reflector Acceptable fuels Uranium, Obviously But more things, too! Thorium yields U233 Transuranics Breeder potential Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 11. Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 12. Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor The closest to construction Cons: Sodium activates Sodium is really reactive Pros: Can reuse high-level waste soon Sodium can be kept at atmospheric pressure Sodium is a bad moderator Several reactors connected to same water system Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 13. Another Note About Fast Reactors Excess heat can be used to produce Hydrogen fuel I’ll leave the deciphering of this diagram to others Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 14. Lead-cooled Fast Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 15. Lead-cooled Fast Reactor I know what you’re thinking. WHY LEAD?! Shielding Terrorism-Prevention Non moderator Non-reacting Thermal conductivity High Boiling Point But current designs would have cores that last 10-30 years! Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 16. A Final Note on Fast Reactors Nuclear Fuel Cycle Life cycle of nuclear fuel from mining to disposal Open Fuel Cycle (aka once through) Use the fuel once, dispose of it Closed Fuel Cycle Fuel is reprocessed Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 17. Molten Salt Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture Two types: •LFTR •UF4
    • 18. Molten Salt Reactor Pros: Leaks are easy to contain High temperature leads to good thermal efficiency Work in all sizes Already proven technology Terrorist-proof Refuel as you go Cons: Chemical processing plants can pose additional risks Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 19. A Note on the Thorium Fuel Cycle Thorium is 3-4 times as abundant as U238 Thorium comes in the isotope you want Higher Melting Point Higher Thermal conductivity Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 20. What the H is Supercritical Water? Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 21. Supercritical Water Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 22. Supercritical Water Reactor Supercritical Water: not as good of a moderator Pros: Could operate as a Thermal Reactor or Fast Reactor Much more efficient energy gain Simpler Designs Don’t have to be as large Cons: Need better materials Need to figure out how to start up Not sure how it will work Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 23. Why would we still use Thermal Reactors? To augment the cycle that we already have: Fast reactors make the waste disposal needs of thermal reactors obsolete Thermal reactors generate lots of power Thermal reactors are easy to build and control Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 24. Very High Temperature Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 25. Very High Temperature Reactor Most common design: Pebble Bed Reactor Tennis-ball sized spheres of moderator and fissile material Ceramics Cooled by a gas, can be cooled naturally Pros: Economic Hydrogen Production Safer than current reactors Cons: Materials research needed Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 26. Generation V Theoretical Designs: Nuclear Thermal Rocket Nuclear Lightbulb (Rocket) Fission Fragment Reactor (Rocket) There is a trend here Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 27. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Pass a working fluid through a reactor Create thrust Liquid Core designs Liquid mixture of fuel/working gas Gas Core designs Toroidal pocket of gaseous fuel Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 28. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Problems: Not incredibly efficient unless Liquid/Gas Liquid/Gas are hard to build Pros: Liquid/Gas would be amazing Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 29. Nuclear Lightbulb Gas Core Very Hot Approx. 25000 C Hotter than the surface of the sun EM produced all Ultraviolet Quartz wall divides core and propellant Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 30. Nuclear Lightbulb As a Power Reactor? Closed loop Working gas instead of propellant Pros: Efficient conversion of energy to power Cons: 25000 C? Wow! Neutron Flux would be unwieldy Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 31. Gas Core EM Reactor Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture Nuclear Lightbulb Photo-Voltaics Photo-Voltaics
    • 32. Fission Fragment Rocket The concept: Fission produces heavy, high energy byproducts Exhaust the fission fragments! Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 33. Fission Fragment Rocket Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture a fissionable filaments, b revolving disks, c reactor core, d fragments exhaust A fission fragments ejected for propulsion B reactor C fission fragments decelerated for power generation d moderator (BeO or LiH), e containment field generator, f RF induction coil
    • 34. Fission Fragment Reactor But what about power? Part C produce electricity Pros: Skip the Carnot Cycle Incredibly efficient Isotopic Separation Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 35. Timeline Viability: Show that it all works in theory Performance Show that it all works individually in practice Demonstration Build large prototypes and watch carefully Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture
    • 36. Two Graphs For You Reed Reactor Special Requal Lecture