Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor Blue Ribbon Commission
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Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor Blue Ribbon Commission

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Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor presented to ...

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor presented to
President's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future 30 Aug 2010
Aim High! Energy cheaper than from coal solves more than just global warming.

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  • Global warming has the public’s ear. Deforestation, desertification and drought makes food hard to grow. Brazil rainforest clearing 3x last years rate. Overfishing has already ended most sealife. Tuna are 90% gone. Air pollution kills 23,000 annually in the US; 100,000s in China.
  • No need for young to work in fields or care for aging parents. …to plan on child deaths. Access to contraceptives. Educated women in workforce choose. . “prosperity” is ~ $7,500.
  • No need for young to work in fields or care for aging parents. …to plan on child deaths. Access to contraceptives. Educated women in workforce choose. . “prosperity” is ~ $7,500.
  • No need for young to work in fields or care for aging parents. …to plan on child deaths. Access to contraceptives. Educated women in workforce choose. . “prosperity” is ~ $7,500.
  • also education, rule of law and property rights, financial system, non-oppressive government. Electricity for heat, water, transportation, food, goods, IT. Say 2000 KWH is target. US is 12000.
  • Talk about CO2 emissions, global warming
  • US average coal costs, delivered. New coal capital costs $2/watt or another 2 cents
  • Aircraft Reactor Experiment
  • thorium breeding blanket never installed
  • can maintain actinides in solution until destroyed; converts thorium; low press salt circuits; nonradioactive to generator let's look at history to this point
  • No fissiles in our out after startup. How to start? U-233 half life is 160,000 years. Only enough U-233 for research. Discuss HEU/LEU, Pu.
  • 6 more neutron absorptions needed; full burnup
  • First observed in aircraft production by Wright in 1936. Typically LR 20%. Moore's law is 50% in info tech. Univ Chicago economists estimate 10% in nuclear.
  • GE bwr< 160 atm
  • only 100 MW LFTR
  • The higher the temperature (differential) the better the efficiency.
  • Same safety goals, same hi-tech construction, design, materials concerns
  • Gen IV Int'l Forum Shippingport built in 32 months; Weinberg's Oak Ridge reactor #2 in 9 months
  • Turn now to benefits Meaning zero coal produced CO2 World total 12,624 billion KWH
  • Hydrogen per se is a difficult fuel to contain, cool, compress, transport. Combine with nitrogen to make transportable ammonia. Use coal plant CO2 to make standard fuels. Energy critical to
  • No need for young to work in fields or care for aging parents. …to plan on child deaths. Access to contraceptives. Educated women in workforce choose. . “prosperity” is ~ $7,500.
  • LMFBR had eclipsed all LFTR funding. IF WE HAVE AN ENERGY/POPULATION/POLLUTION CRISIS, then the US should restore R&D funding for technologies that can produce energy cheaper than from coal.
  • Gen IV Int'l Forum Shippingport built in 32 months; Weinberg's Oak Ridge reactor #2 in 9 months
  • Gen IV Int'l Forum Shippingport built in 32 months; Weinberg's Oak Ridge reactor #2 in 9 months
  • widespread deployment would help. Less poverty. Less need for enrichment. 57% of CO2 emissions from weapons states. DMSR with 30 yr once-through cycle for at-risk nations.

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor Blue Ribbon Commission Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor Blue Ribbon Commission Presentation Transcript

  • Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor Aim High! Robert Hargraves Hanover NH [email_address]
  • Global warming, overpopulation, and resources competition are increasing.
  • Prosperity stabilizes population. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/rankorderguide.html GDP per capita Children per woman 82 nations with populations over 10 million.
  • Prosperity stabilizes population. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/rankorderguide.html GDP per capita Children per woman 82 nations with populations over 10 million.  Stable replacement rate
  • Prosperity stabilizes population. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/rankorderguide.html GDP per capita Children per woman 82 nations with populations over 10 million.  Stable replacement rate Prosperity
  • Prosperity depends on energy. Prosperity https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2042rank.html GDP per capita Annual kWh per capita Nations with populations over 10 million.
  • Energy and coal use is growing rapidly in developing nations. Non-OECD energy use World coal use http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/world.html
  • Can energy be cheaper than from coal? Copenhagen failed. Coal costs $40 a ton – $0.02 / kWh just for the coal.
  • Weinberg and Oak Ridge developed the first molten salt nuclear reactor in 1954. 860 C Red hot! 100 hours 2.5 MW
  • http://www.ornl.gov/~webworks/cppr/y2006/pres/124659.pdf
    • The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment succeeded.
      • Hastelloy
      • Xe off-gas
      • Graphite
      • Pumps
      • Fluorination
      • Dump tanks
      • U-233
      • 17,655 hours
  • In a liquid fluoride thorium reactor the Th-232 blanket becomes the U-233 core.
  • Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor fuel is dissolved in liquid. Molten fluoride salt mix: LiF and BeF 2 Excellent heat transfer Continuous chemical processing Atmospheric pressure Room temp solid
  • Start up the LFTR with a fissile fuel. Chemical separator Chemical separator Fertile Th-232 blanket ? Th-232 in n n US DOE already has 500 kg of U-233. Or use U-235, or spent LWR fuel.
  • Lemhi Pass has enough thorium to power the US for millennia. Thorium Energy, Inc. claims 1,800,000 tons of high-grade thorium ore at Lemhi Pass. 500 tons of thorium can supply all US electricity needs for one year. The US has 3,200 tons stored in the Nevada desert.
  • LFTR produces much less long lived radiotoxic actinide waste.
  • Energy can be cheaper than from coal. Estimate Year $/watt 2009 $/watt Sargent & Lundy 1962 0.650 4.64 Sargent & Lundy ORNL TM-1060 1965 0.148 1.01 ORNL-3996 1966 0.243 1.62 Engel et al, ORNL TM7207 1978 0.653 2.16 Moir 2000 1.580 1.98
  • LFTR needs no costly 160-atmosphere pressure vessel and containment dome. GE-Hitachi ABWR 39 months 1,356 MW 36 x 29 meter containment 1,000 ton crawler cranes
  • The Westinghouse AP-1000 is massively larger than LFTR. 1.4 m 1.4 m AP-1000 Samen, China Jan 2010
  • LFTR relies on simple, intrinsic safety systems, not costly defense in depth. Stable reactivity. Fuel already melted. Atmospheric pressure. Salt from rupture or leak will solidify. Melting freeze plug dumps salt to tank. Freeze plug
  • High thermal energy efficiencies keep LFTR compact and low cost. Molten salt is a high thermal capacity heat exchange fluid, better than water, sodium, or helium. Carbon composite heat exchangers presage future higher temperatures.
  • Closed cycle Brayton turbine raises power conversion efficiency to 45+%. Halving rejected heat enables air cooling.
  • Boeing makes one $200 million aircraft per day.
  • One-a-day production of 100 MW LFTRs can be a $70 billion industry. 2010 2015 2020 Develop Scale up Produce Commercialize Export
  • Aim High! Zero coal emissions worldwide. http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table63.xls Install one 100 MW LFTR each day, worldwide, to replace all coal power. 2020 2058 10 billion tons CO 2 Annual emissions from coal power plants  1400 GWY
  • Aim High! Synthesize fuel and fertilizer. http://wwwtest.iri.tudelft.nl/~klooster/reports/hydro_slides_2003.pdf Dissociate water at 900 o C to make hydrogen: sulfur-iodine process. CO 2 + 3 H 2  CH 3 OH + H 2 O Methanol for gasoline Dimethyl ether for diesel Ammonia for fertilizer
  • Aim High! Stabilize population. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/rankorderguide.html GDP per capita Children per woman 82 nations with populations over 10 million.  Stable replacement rate
  • But US advanced nuclear fission R&D has dropped – near zero for breeders. IAEA, via Inter. Panel on Fissile Materials Feb 2010 $16 billion ($2011) Cumulative LMFBR investment. 2011 DOE Nuclear Energy budget items $103 million NGNP high temperature gas reactor with TRISO fuel. $22 million Advanced reactor concepts, principally fast reactors. $40 million Advanced fuel cycles, but no liquid fuel, no closed fuel cycle.
  • LFTR project results are tangible. 2010 2015 2020 Develop Scale up Produce $ 1 B $ 5 B $ 70 B per year industry Export Cut 10 billion tons/year CO 2 emissions to zero by 2058. Avoid carbon taxes. Improve developing world prosperity, and check growth. Avoid weapons proliferation. Reduce radiotoxic waste; consume world fissile stocks. Use inexhaustible thorium fuel, available in all nations.
  • Thank you. 2010 2015 2020 Develop Scale up Produce $ 1 B $ 5 B $ 70 B per year industry Export Cut 10 billion tons/year CO 2 emissions to zero by 2058. Avoid carbon taxes. Improve developing world prosperity, and check growth. Avoid weapons proliferation. Reduce radiotoxic waste; consume world fissile stocks. Use inexhaustible thorium fuel, available in all nations.
  •  
  • Uranium separator Fertile Th-232 blanket Fissile U-233 core New U-233 fuel New Th-232 n n Uranium from a commercial LFTR will not be used for weapons. Breeds only as much U-233 as it consumes. Removing any will stop the LFTR. U-232 contamination will be ~0.13%. A 5 kg sphere of it radiates 4,200 mrem/hr at 1 meter. After 72 hours of exposure a weapons worker will likely die. India, Pakistan, and North Korea demonstrated far less technically challenging and costly paths.
  • Fission/Absorption Cross Sections