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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    And why turn it into weapon grade plutonium even in a reactor?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: TrimAnd why turn it into weapon grade plutonium even in a reactor?


    What are you on about. That's a byproduct of the reaction this thing uses. It's a breeder reactor.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    That was my point turn fairly harmless u238 into p239, won't the Iranians love that?

    TWRs are also capable, in principle, of reusing their own fuel. The used metal fuel from TWRs will still contain a high fissile content. Recast and reclad into new driver pellets without separations, this recycled fuel could be used to start fission in additional TWRs, thus displacing the need to enrich uranium altogether.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: TrimThat was my point turn fairly harmless u238 into p239, won't the Iranians love that?

    TWRs are also capable, in principle, of reusing their own fuel. The used metal fuel from TWRs will still contain a high fissile content. Recast and reclad into new driver pellets without separations, this recycled fuel could be used to start fission in additional TWRs, thus displacing the need to enrich uranium altogether.



    CANDU is a commercially available reactor that uses unenriched Uranium fuel. It is extensively used in the Canadian nuclear programme.
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    But CANDU is the little guy in the back, nattily dressed, jumping up and down trying to be recognized, while the clouds of cigar smoke from the big dark-suited goons up front are obscuring the view. If this were a movie, CANDU would be played by Mickey Rooney, and might prevail in the final act. But this isn't a movie....
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011 edited
     
    Posted By: alsetalokinBut CANDU is the little guy in the back, nattily dressed, jumping up and down trying to be recognized, while the clouds of cigar smoke from the big dark-suited goons up front are obscuring the view. If this were a movie, CANDU would be played by Mickey Rooney, and might prevail in the final act. But this isn't a movie....


    Not Mickey Rooney. It's an avatar for the Canadian national psyche. And it's not entirely safe. If you are the Indian government you can use it to provide you feedstock for your weapons development programme.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011 edited
     
    @Al: I was thinking the same thing about cooling with liquid sodium. But wait-- there are also liquid metal cooled reactors using other metals than sodium! Some submarine reactors used lead-bismuth mixtures. Coolant leaks can be serious problems in water cooled reactors. Imagine those cooled with metals. Yowtch! I also remember a friend telling me about an experimental reactor intended to power a satellite and it used mercury as a coolant and apparently they had to deal with that metal under extreme heat and pressure and as a liquid *and* as a vapor. What fun. Well, those things keep you on your tippy toes.

    As to CANDU, if I'm not mistaken, one location has EIGHT BIG units of those very very close together. What could possibly go wrong. Near a body of water of course, forget which one but let's hope it has no ptsooneemies.
  2.  
    I know.... CANDU, the CANADArm, the Avro Arrow, the Edmund Fitzgerald, Maggie Atwood....igloos, beavers and moose....go Leafs go !!
    Oh, and mapple surpple.
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    Posted By: maryyugo@Al: I was thinking the same thing about cooling with liquid sodium. But wait-- there are also liquid metal cooled reactors using other metals than sodium! Some submarine reactors used lead-bismuth mixtures. Coolant leaks can be serious problems in water cooled reactors. Imagine those cooled with metals. Yowtch! I also remember a friend telling me about an experimental reactor intended to power a satellite and it used mercury as a coolant and apparently they had to deal with that metal under extreme heat and pressure and as a liquid *and* as a vapor. What fun. Well, those things keep you on your tippy toes.

    As to CANDU, if I'm not mistaken, one location has EIGHT BIG units of those very very close together. What could possibly go wrong. Near a body of water of course, forget which one but let's hope it has no ptsooneemies.
    There's a place in Southern California where they had such a problem around 1958. I think it was Santa Susana. IIRC, the coolant attacked the seals, got polluted and eventually blocked cooling passages.
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    Submarine reactors have a remarkable safety record, considering the operating conditions and the operators. Of course we probably don't know the full story there either, but I am amazed that there haven't been more serious accidents with submarines.
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    Submarines have a few features that would worry a civil plant designer silly - the highly enriched fuel is one that springs immediately to mind. The physics of such a small core ensure that it has to be damn near bomb grade and a lot more of the neutron physics is governed by the prompt emissions. The crazy corrosive high temperature coolants in the old soviet designs is another.
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      CommentAuthormrflora
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    And yet, the U.S. Navy has operated hundreds of reactors over more than half a century without a single radiation casualty (or so it claims). If one is willing to sweat the details, nuclear power can be safe.

    Regards,
    M.R.F.
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      CommentAuthormrflora
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
     
    Re the earlier comments on criticality in spent fuel pools:

    Tokaimura nuclear accident

    Some workers were mixing up a liquid solution of a low-enriched uranium compound. IIRC they used a *bucket* of the wrong shape, short and squat rather than tall and thin. The bucket went critical and this condition continued intermittently for almost a day.

    Regards,
    M.R.F.
  5.  
    Posted By: mrfloraAnd yet, the U.S. Navy has operated hundreds of reactors over more than half a century without a single radiation casualty (or so it claims). If one is willing to sweat the details, nuclear power can be safe.

    Regards,
    M.R.F.


    True of the civil nuclear power industry in every country apart from from the USSR (and now, possibly, Japan), by their standards of 'casualty'.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2011
     
    Hot news from 2006 Independent

    Is thorium the answer to our energy crisis?
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2011
     
    It is not true that you have to have technology that only became available in the past 10 years. ORNL had thorium reactors running in the 1960s.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2011
     
    You can burn thorium in a CANDU.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2011
     
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2011
     
    Except that it doesn't. A PBA is not a requirement of a thorium reactor. As Angus notes, even the relatively low-tech CANDUs can use thorium as fuel.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2011