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[MSN]US licenses first nuclear reactors since 1978 - Page 15

post #141 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clamtell View Post

Not sure how that is different than any fuel material with a keff less than 1. Also as far as I know thorium still has decay heat and produces less actinides than uranium fuel.

heh I am no expert and its been a few years since i've studied this stuff, but isn't the thing that makes thorium fuel different that it doesn't need control rods to maintain keff < 1? So yeah all reactors are sub-critical, but using thorium fuel makes it naturally so.

As far as decay heat goes...I know thorium was a much cleaner reaction with less steps. I am pretty sure that once particle collisions stop the heat of the system begins dropping dramatically. Enough so that passive cooling will be enough to prevent a meltdown. I think the decay heat was something like 20% of what enriched uranium made? I could be wrong. A lot of the decay heat comes from the actinides...since there is less of them then there is less decay heat. Plus there will not be any spontaneous fissions in the thorium either...just the delayed stuff.

That brings to mind the other great thing about thorium...you don't have to enrich it.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 2/10/12 at 2:16pm
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post #142 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

heh I am no expert and its been a few years since i've studied this stuff, but isn't the thing that makes thorium fuel different that it doesn't need control rods to maintain keff < 1? So yeah all reactors are sub-critical, but using thorium fuel makes it naturally so.

Exactly. Without priming, thorium does not become fissile. It physically cannot cause a meltdown because as soon as priming stops, it immediately starts to cool below operating temperature.
    
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post #143 of 223
Not to crap on the thorium parade but I thought the reason India was so into it was because they found they were sitting on the largest reserves of it?

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post #144 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

heh I am no expert and its been a few years since i've studied this stuff, but isn't the thing that makes thorium fuel different that it doesn't need control rods to maintain keff < 1? So yeah all reactors are sub-critical, but using thorium fuel makes it naturally so.
As far as decay heat goes...I know thorium was a much cleaner reaction with less steps. I am pretty sure that once particle collisions stop the heat of the system begins dropping dramatically. Enough so that passive cooling will be enough to prevent a meltdown. I think the decay heat was something like 20% of what enriched uranium made? I could be wrong. A lot of the decay heat comes from the actinides...since there is less of them then there is less decay heat. Plus there will not be any spontaneous fissions in the thorium either...just the delayed stuff.
That brings to mind the other great thing about thorium...you don't have to enrich it.

Control rods are used to main that keff < or = to 1. Allows for control periods of super criticality if needed. Counteracts the excess reactivity that is installed for the first cycle of many PWRs. I'm not sure that the decay heat from thorium will be minimal enough that passive cooling can prevent a meltdown. The fuel rods in Fukushima only lasted a few hours without active cooling.
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post #145 of 223
I don't think people realize the Navy has been using power since the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was commissioned in the early 60s and that ship is being decommissioned next year. The US Navy has perfected nuclear power and have made it a very safe form of transportation. Nuclear power has come a very long way. Only thing anyone should be worried about is waste. Figure that out and nuclear power will no longer be a "scary" subject.
post #146 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpankyMcFlych View Post

"clean" power. yeah right. Call me when there's actually a way to deal with nuclear waste. You know... instead of just piling it up endlessly in the hopes that some time in the future someone will come up with something.
Oh and that's totally ignoring the swaths of land rendered uninhabitable by inevitable plant failures, FOREVER.

what are you talking about, a lot of that waste is being used for nuclear arms dude
    
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post #147 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clamtell View Post

The fuel rods in Fukushima only lasted a few hours without active cooling.
The fuel rods in Fukushima weren't thorium.
post #148 of 223
Thats funny, i know of two plants right now that are being built in the south east...
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post #149 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpankyMcFlych View Post

"clean" power. yeah right. Call me when there's actually a way to deal with nuclear waste. You know... instead of just piling it up endlessly in the hopes that some time in the future someone will come up with something.
Oh and that's totally ignoring the swaths of land rendered uninhabitable by inevitable plant failures, FOREVER.

Considering this planet can only sustain us as we are right now for another 200 years tops if we keep using the natural resources and keep making babies to overpopulate us... It really doesn't matter where the nuclear waste goes.
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post #150 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdhsbaseball View Post

Thats funny, i know of two plants right now that are being built in the south east...

Maybe they are building them under a different license? A developer might get permission to make more than one. I am pretty sure I've heard of at least a couple plants in the US that were built after 1978. So it is probably along those lines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBcobra View Post

I don't think people realize the Navy has been using power since the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was commissioned in the early 60s and that ship is being decommissioned next year. The US Navy has perfected nuclear power and have made it a very safe form of transportation. Nuclear power has come a very long way. Only thing anyone should be worried about is waste. Figure that out and nuclear power will no longer be a "scary" subject.

Seriously?!?! HAHAHAHA Please make it a artificial reef! Please. I will go to the location and urinate in the water. I hated that ship. Every now and then I smile to my self when I think about the USS Guam that is now sitting on the bottom of the sea as well. I still need to get that boat trip charter as well. Though I was a Marine...and ship time for a marine is very different than a Navy person...so if some one likes the ship...tough, I am still going to do it biggrin.gif
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 2/10/12 at 5:58pm
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