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Persia

Safe nuclear does exist

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A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8393984/Safe-nuclear-does-exist-and-China-is-leading-the-way-with-thorium.html

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A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8393984/Safe-nuclear-does-exist-and-China-is-leading-the-way-with-thorium.html

Great article.

Also look up Pebble Bed reactors.

China is leading the way on so many fields of research. Where did we go wrong.

Br Cornelius

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Great article.

Also look up Pebble Bed reactors.

China is leading the way on so many fields of research. Where did we go wrong.

Br Cornelius

One question: where do they put the waste?

Doug

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One question: where do they put the waste?

Doug

A legitimate question which is the Achilles heal of all nuclear and why on principle I am against it. However if we accept the legitimacy of some nuclear as been part of the solution to climate change, then there are good and bad options available.

In the case of the article discussed the waste issue is massively reduced over conventional. The main advantage as I see it with the discussed technology and Pebble Bed reactors is that they are both intrinsically resistant to accidents.

As the article points out - the only reason Uranium was widely adopted as the preferred fuel was because the Governments who backed it were primarily interested in Plutonium generation.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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A legitimate question which is the Achilles heal of all nuclear and why on principle I am against it. However if we accept the legitimacy of some nuclear as been part of the solution to climate change, then there are good and bad options available.

In the case of the article discussed the waste issue is massively reduced over conventional. The main advantage as I see it with the discussed technology and Pebble Bed reactors is that they are both intrinsically resistant to accidents.

As the article points out - the only reason Uranium was widely adopted as the preferred fuel was because the Governments who backed it were primarily interested in Plutonium generation.

Br Cornelius

I keep remembering that every single reactor that has had an accident, so far, was thought to be safe by its designers. The problem: even if we can build a safe reactor, we have to have fallible people build it. The Japanese built a safe reactor at Fukushima - it failed only because its power supply was cut off, resulting in loss of cooling water and a meltdown. The plant was safe, but its support system wasn't.

So where is the Achilles' heel in this system?

I can't remember which plant it was, now, but in one case the reactor operator communicated with the reactor supervisor by phone. To increase the power, as directed, he had to put the phone down and stand up to reach the switch. So he didn't hear the supervisor yelling, "No. No. I mean kill the power." Meltdown! Safe plant. Unsafe people.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29

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These aren't reactors in that sense. They are sealed vessels buried in the ground. When it's life is over, you dig it up and put down a new one. These are so fool proof, I want one in my town. Theoretically, they could even get small enough for a single home. I want one in my backyard. No more power failures.

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Somehow I think my power bill would stay the same, maybe even go up for a while to cover a portion of the device. Sigh.

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I keep remembering that every single reactor that has had an accident, so far, was thought to be safe by its designers. The problem: even if we can build a safe reactor, we have to have fallible people build it. The Japanese built a safe reactor at Fukushima - it failed only because its power supply was cut off, resulting in loss of cooling water and a meltdown. The plant was safe, but its support system wasn't.

So where is the Achilles' heel in this system?

I can't remember which plant it was, now, but in one case the reactor operator communicated with the reactor supervisor by phone. To increase the power, as directed, he had to put the phone down and stand up to reach the switch. So he didn't hear the supervisor yelling, "No. No. I mean kill the power." Meltdown! Safe plant. Unsafe people.

Doug

The intrinsic safety comes in the form of this reactor not been self sustaining. Take away the excitation beam and everything stops. Hence power failure always stops fission. Neat really. Also if it overheats it releases the heat transfer fluid.

Same with the pebble bed - it uses argon for heat transfer which is intrinsically safer than water and avoids the issues of hydrogen enbrittlement. Also argon doesn't readily become radioactive and if it does it decays rapidly. Almost all the low to medium waste is eliminated.

Br Cornelius

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