[ RadSafe ] New Concepts in Nuclear Power
gstanford at aya.yale.edu
Sat Mar 21 09:00:18 CDT 2009
And then there's a project that I was part of -- the IFR
(Integral Fast Reactor). For those who don't know, the IFR is a
metal-fueled fast reactor coupled with pyroprocessing to recycle the
fuel, and it has the potential to do the following:
-- Consume almost all the transuranics that are left over from
thermal reactors, producing as waste, per GW-yr, only one ton of
fission products containing trace amounts of TRU. The activity of
the waste decays to inconsequential levels within 500 years.
-- Operate as a net consumer of TRU, or a net breeder of fissile
material (Pu), or in a break-even mode.
-- Extract from the used LWR fuel twenty time as much energy as the LWR got.
-- Burn the "waste" from any reactor whose used fuel can be
economically reprocessed (which might or might not exclude pebble-bed
-- Make it economical to use very low-grade ore, the result being
that uranium becomes a truly inexhaustible energy resource.
-- Power the world for centuries on the uranium that has already been mined
-- Power the world forever without the need to enrich any more uranium.
-- By using DU as fuel, extract more than a hundred times more
energy from the mined uranium than we get now.
-- Eventually segregate all existing plutonium in operating reactor
facilities, behind heavy shielding, where it is mixed with other
highly radioactive stuff.
-- Be passively safe against the two most worrisome "accident
initiators": loss of heat sink (TMI) and loss of coolant flow (Chernobyl).
-- Be deployed economically in small modules (say 10 MWe to 300
MWe), with reactor vessels small enough to be transported by standard means.
In summary, a 1-GWe IFR plant, once operating, takes in one
ton of makeup fuel per year (could be DU), and exports electricity
plus one ton of fission products with a trace of higher
actinides. In the breeder mode, some (very radioactive) startup fuel
would be sent out from time to time, to get a new IFR plant up & running.
Here are a few references for introductory reading (more
references on request):
-- Till, Charles E., "Plentiful Energy and the IFR Story,"
International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology
(IJNG2E). Vol 1, No. 1. pp 212-221
-- Stanford, George S., "Integral Fast Reactors: Source of Safe,
Abundant, Non-Polluting Power." December 2001
-- Hannum, W. H., G. E. Marsh and G. S. Stanford, "Smarter Use of
Nuclear Waste." Scientific American, December 2005, pp
-- Blees, Tom, "Prescription for the Planet: The Painless Remedy for
Our Energy & Environmental Crises." Booksurge, 2008.
-- Shuster, Joseph M. "Beyond Fossil Fools: The Roadmap to Energy
Independence by 2040." <http://www.beyondfossilfools.com/>
-- Kirsch, Steve. "The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) project." August 2008.
-- George Stanford
At 01:18 PM 3/20/2009, Brennan, Mike (DOH) wrote:
In a couple of weeks I am participating in a panel at a science/science
fiction convention on new and near future nuclear power technology.
Anyone know about any particularly cool things I should bring up?
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