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Integral Fast Reactors - another false promise?

 
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Adam1



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:01 am    Post subject: Integral Fast Reactors - another false promise? Reply with quote

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/05/sellafield-nuclear-energy-solution

Does anyone know anything about this? Are we all going to be saved?

Quote:
In his book Prescription for the Planet, the environmentalist Tom Blees explains the remarkable potential of integral fast reactors (IFRs). These are nuclear power stations which can run on what old plants have left behind.

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Cabrone



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IFR is something I'd like to see TPTB investigate very closely, certainly sounds like it could be a good thing.

If you are interested here is a link I put up on here a while ago, the author certainly sounds very bullish on the technology.

Link
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link Cabrone. I have had a brief look but it feels like the usual problem with all things nuclear; you either get an exburerant enthusiasm or strong anti. I wish there was a more dispassionate piece on IFRs. Have you or anyone else read the book that was referred to? http://prescriptionfortheplanet.com/
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this the same technology?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/07/bill-gates-china-nuclear-reactor

Quote:
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates confirmed on Wednesday he is in discussions with China to jointly develop a new kind of nuclear reactor.

"The idea is to be very low-cost, very safe and generate very little waste," said Gates during a talk at China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

Gates has largely funded a Washington state-based company, TerraPower, that is developing a Generation IV nuclear reactor, which can run on depleted uranium.

The general manager of state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation, Sun Qin, was quoted in Chinese media last week saying Gates was working with it to research and develop a reactor.

"TerraPower is having very good discussions with CNNC and various people in the Chinese government," said Gates, cautioning that they were at an early stage.

Gates says perhaps as much as a billion dollars will be put into research and development over the next five years.

TerraPower says its traveling wave reactor would run for decades on depleted uranium and produce significantly smaller amounts of nuclear waste than conventional reactors.

"All these new designs are going to be incredibly safe," Gates told the audience. "They require no human action to remain safe at all times."

He said they also benefit from an ability to simulate earthquake and tidal wave conditions. "It takes safety to a new level," he said.

Since leaving Microsoft, Gates has concentrated on philanthropy and advocating on public health, education and clean energy issues.

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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard the phrase "Generation IV" used about the Pebble-Bed nuclear reactors, which use graphite "pebbles" for moderating/cooling and are safer than present-day reactors because their "default" mode, given no power, is to shut down. But the Graphite, in order to be safe, has to be kept away from air. So these type wouldn't be safe in the (fairly common) combo of fire and breakage. But they do have the redeeming feature of being small, and more "fit-and-forget" than anything we've seen so far.

Perhaps if they could be installed deep underground, in the type of place in which nuclear waste might be buried, they'd be a goer? You wouldn't have to move anything at the end-of-life to make them safe: just bury them in situ.

Of course, you couldn't do this just any-old-where: you'd need safe geology, so the number of possible sites would be limited.

I can think of worse things for Mr Gates to spend his billions on than keeping a lot of physicists and engineers in theystyle to which we are accustomed Smile
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
Perhaps if they could be installed deep underground


I'd prefer them buried directly underneath those who want them.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have to relocate all the wind-nimbies to Aberdeenshire, then. Though what on earth Aberdeenshire has done to deserve that is anybody's guess. No, wait! Mr Trump's golf course... Very Happy
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seem to be at least four competing generation IV approaches. They all suffer from the redeeming feature that much of the technology still needs to be invented.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. That's why I don't mind them as much as I mind the stuff that's already been built Very Happy
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