THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal

Category: Engineering
Author: Robert Hargraves
4.5
This Month Reddit 17

Comments

by espresso__patronum   2019-07-21

>Exterior input Thorium 232 still ultimately breeds new U233.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://www.amazon.com/THORIUM-energy-cheaper-than-coal/dp/1478161299

Robert Hargraves has a PhD Physics and teaches energy policy at Dartmouth an Ivy League school, and co-author Ralph Moir (Lawrence Livermore National Lab) a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and author of numerous papers on molten salt reactors.

by espresso__patronum   2019-07-21

His page is propaganda, one example is myth number 3.

You can make a nuclear bomb using LFTRs much the same way you can eat 1kg of ghost peppers if you really wanted to.

LFTRs produce Uranium 233 (U233) a weapons grade material poisoned with Uranium 232 (U232) which is a proliferation prophylactic. LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.


"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://www.amazon.com/THORIUM-energy-cheaper-than-coal/dp/1478161299

Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth an Ivy League school.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)


http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."


"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://www.amazon.com/THORIUM-energy-cheaper-than-coal/dp/1478161299


Ultimately any fission reactor's neutron flux can convert U238 to Pu239 or Th232 to U233, but the best designs make that incredibly difficult and expensive.

There is no way to prevent a determined government from building a weapons program from a modified power plant. This is why they are inspected by IAEA. IAEA monitoring (or refusal thereof) makes this public knowledge.

Any government that has the resources would opt to go the proven route of U235 or Pu239, rather than have to deal with potential U232 contamination.

by espresso__patronum   2019-07-21

His page is propaganda, one example is myth number 3.

You can make a nuclear bomb using LFTRs much the same way you can eat 1kg of ghost peppers if you really wanted to.

LFTRs produce Uranium 233 (U233) a weapons grade material poisoned with Uranium 232 (U232) which is a proliferation prophylactic. LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.


"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://www.amazon.com/THORIUM-energy-cheaper-than-coal/dp/1478161299

Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth an Ivy League school.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)


http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."


"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://www.amazon.com/THORIUM-energy-cheaper-than-coal/dp/1478161299


Ultimately any fission reactor's neutron flux can convert U238 to Pu239 or Th232 to U233, but the best designs make that incredibly difficult and expensive.

There is no way to prevent a determined government from building a weapons program from a modified power plant. This is why they are inspected by IAEA. IAEA monitoring (or refusal thereof) makes this public knowledge.

Any government that has the resources would opt to go the proven route of U235 or Pu239, rather than have to deal with potential U232 contamination.

by espresso__patronum   2019-01-13

LFTRs produce weapons grade material poisoned with Uranium 232 which is a proliferation prophylactic. LFTRs are also non appreciable breeders meaning if you divert the Uranium 233 they generate to try and use it for weapons, the reactor cannot sustain itself and shuts down.


Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth an Ivy League school.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."

"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."


LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."


Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299


Ultimately any fission reactor's neutron flux can convert U238 to Pu239 or Th232 to U233, but the best designs make that incredibly difficult and expensive.

There is no way to prevent a determined government from building a weapons program from a modified power plant. This is why they are inspected by IAEA. IAEA monitoring (or refusal thereof) makes this public knowledge.

Any government that has the resources would opt to go the proven route of U235 or Pu239, rather than have to deal with potential U232 contamination.

by espresso__patronum   2019-01-13

The thorium myths page is disinformation, he claims that Uranium 233 is a good weapons grade material, but that assumes you can make pure Uranium 233 with no Uranium 232 contamination. Currently we have no technology to remove Uranium 232 impurities. All reactor designs produce some degree of Uranium 232 contamination. LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.


Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth an Ivy League school.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."


"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves


LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299


Ultimately any fission reactor's neutron flux can convert U238 to Pu239 or Th232 to U233, but the best designs make that incredibly difficult and expensive.

There is no way to prevent a determined government from building a weapons program from a modified power plant. This is why they are inspected by IAEA. IAEA monitoring (or refusal thereof) makes this public knowledge.

Any government that has the resources would opt to go the proven route of U235 or Pu239, rather than have to deal with potential U232 contamination.

by espresso__patronum   2019-01-13

> And since Thorium reactors don't produce weapons grade material (so far as I'm aware) a cold war government isn't likely to think much of it either. > > Your awareness on this is wrong.

>https://whatisnuclear.com/thorium-myths.html

What is nuclear spins the facts, and is not accurate.

LFTRs produce weapons grade material poisoned with Uranium 232 which is a proliferation prophylactic. LFTRs are also non appreciable breeders meaning if you divert the Uranium 233 they generate to try and use it for weapons, the reactor cannot sustain itself and shuts down.


Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth an Ivy League school.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."


"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."


LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299


Ultimately any fission reactor's neutron flux can convert U238 to Pu239 or Th232 to U233, but the best designs make that incredibly difficult and expensive.

There is no way to prevent a determined government from building a weapons program from a modified power plant. This is why they are inspected by IAEA. IAEA monitoring (or refusal thereof) makes this public knowledge.

Any government that has the resources would opt to go the proven route of U235 or Pu239, rather than have to deal with potential U232 contamination.

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

> Then why are governments and scientists saying it's never been proven?

Alvin Weinberg was the man who invented and held the patents to the type of nuclear reactors we use today. The Nixon administration pulled funding for the MSRE and fired Alvin Weinberg from his post as head of Oak ridge National Laboratory, when he refused to sit down and shut up about how MSRs and Thorium MSRs (LFTRs) in particular were superior in every respect for civilian power generation.

The Nixon administration instead choose to pursue the liquid metal fast breeder a sodium cooled reactor in hopes they could breed PU239 from U238 for use in weapons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_M._Weinberg

"Weinberg was fired by the Nixon administration from ORNL in 1973 after 18 years as the laboratory's director, because he continued to advocate increased nuclear safety and molten salt reactors (MSRs), instead of the Administration's chosen Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor (LMFBR)"


Other scientists of note:


Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at the Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth College (an Ivy League School). He received his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University.

Ralph Moir has published 10 papers on molten-salt reactors during his career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He received his Sc.D. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

A reprint from American Scientist

What if we could turn back the clock to 1965 and have an energy do-over? In June of that year, the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) achieved criticality for the first time at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee. In place of the familiar fuel rods of modern nuclear plants, the MSRE used liquid fuel—hot fluoride salt containing dissolved fissile material in a solution roughly the viscosity of water at operating temperature. The MSRE ran successfully for five years, opening a new window on nuclear technology. Then the window banged closed when the molten-salt research program was terminated.

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODea3YaTmKw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODea3YaTmKw

Kirk Sorensen

http://energyfromthorium.com/

http://flibe-energy.com/

has a Masters in Nuclear, Aerospace, and Mechanical Engineering, he worked for NASA for 10 years as an Aerospace engineer, and worked as chief nuclear technologist for Teledyne Brown Engineering, before founding Flibe Energy.

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

>Uhh no. That's not at all how it works. Someone explains this pretty well above. in the comments. It's a lot more complex than that and to build a reactor that doesn't make U 232 is a further step.

Things are a bit more complicated yes. The gist of it though is that with a pressurized water reactor fuel must be enriched and then fabricated into fuel rods. In a thorium reactor this is not necessary, you just load pure thorium into the blanket salt and go. There is no fuel fabrication for a LFTR.

Here is a flow diagram and explanation for the chemical reprocessing in a LFTR:

https://i.imgur.com/4ZwQmtM.png

  1. Reductive extraction of metals from a salt into metallic bismuth, using a dissolved metal in the bismuth as the reduction agent.

    Three reductive extraction columns:

    A. extract protactinium and any uranium from blanket salt

    B. extract protactinium and any uranium from decay salt

    C. extract fission products from fuel salt

  2. Fluorination of salt using fluorine gas to remove materials that form gaseous hexafluoride compounds, most notably uranium.

    Two fluorinators:

    A. extract uranium from decay salt (as UF6)

    B. extract uranium from fuel salt (as UF6)

  3. Reduction of gaseous hexafluoride compounds, most notably uranium, using hydrogen gas in the presence of salt.

    A. One hydrogen reduction column to add uranium to fuel salt (as UF4)

  4. Electrolytic cells that reduce salt compounds to metals and free fluorides, using bismuth as both anode and cathode of these cells.

    A. electrolyze decay salt to generate metallic reductants

  5. Electrolytic cells that reduce hydrogen fluoride to hydrogen gas and fluorine gas

    A. electrolyze HF to generate hydrogen and fluorine


>No again. We don't want 232 .. because it's dangerous on a whole different scale. You even NOTE the gamma ray production. Not good stuff.

It stays in the core where it should, if you try and extract U-233 for use in weapons you can't separate out the U-232 contamination.


>In the configuration that is without U232

With a LFTR it would not be possible to breed absolutely pure U-233 with zero U-232 contamination, full stop. There will always be some degree of U-232 contamination.

Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."


"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

>Also when reprocessing fuel one can easily separate materials for bombs.

Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."


"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples.

A resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite.

For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

> Look, just stop with your ignorant bullshit copied from a wiki page.

It is not ignorant, and it is not bs and it is not copied from a wiki page. It comes from Kirk Sorensen.

http://energyfromthorium.com/

http://flibe-energy.com/

Kirk has a Masters in Nuclear, Aerospace, and Mechanical Engineering, he worked for NASA for 10 years as an Aerospace engineer, and worked as chief nuclear technologist for Teledyne Brown Engineering, before founding Flibe Energy.


If you want a secondary source:

Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth College (an Ivy League School). He received his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University.

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"A reprint from American Scientist"

The neutron economy of LFTR designs also contributes to securing its inventory of nuclear materials. In the LFTR core, neutron absorption by uranium-233 produces slightly more than two neutrons per fission—one to drive a subsequent fission and another to drive the conversion of thorium232 to uranium-233 in the blanket solution. Over a wide range of energies, uranium-233 emits an average of 2.4 neutrons for each one absorbed. However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a welldesigned LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn’t create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely"

Also covered in his book:

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

>that's complete bullshit.

No sir it is not.

https://liquidfluoridethoriumreactor.glerner.com/2012-useful-lftr-fission-by-products/

Fission of 1000 kg U-233 produces several chemicals essential for industry, readily extracted from a LFTR or any other Molten Salt Reactor, including 150kg xenon, 125kg neodymium (high-strength magnets), 20kg medical molybdenum-99, 20kg radiostrontium, zirconium, rhodium, ruthenium, and palladium.

MSRs also produce non-fissile Pu-238, that conventional reactors can’t produce isolated from highly fissile Plutonium-239; Pu-238 is needed for radioisotope power such as for NASA deep space exploration vehicles (none left, only Th to U-233 makes Pu-238 w/o Pu-239).

(Extracting these from fuel rods in a solid fuel reactor would be extremely difficult.)

Radioactive isotopes are needed for medical treatment, including highly-targeted cancer treatments. These are currently very rare, since they have half-lives of a few days. LFTRs would produce these as part of the decay of U-233, and they would be easy to remove from the fuel salt.


Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

After 300 years radiation from LFTR waste would be 10,000 times less than radiation from LWR waste. Chemical separation processes are not perfect, so 0.1% of the LFTR transuranics might pass through the waste separator instead of being retained to be burned in the LFTR. LFTR waste radiotoxicity would be 1/1000th that from PWRs. Geological repositories smaller than Yucca mountain would suffice.

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

>1- Nuclear Proliferation:

LFTRs breed U-233 from Thorium, while U-233 is fissile it is always contaminated with U-232 making weaponizing it much much much more difficult, expensive and dangerous than the proven route of U-235 or Pu-239.


Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."

"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples."

"resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite."

"For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal p409

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."

"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples."

"resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite."

"For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal p409

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."

"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples."

"resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite."

"For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

>These assessments are naive, and chemical separation of Pa is not only demonstrably feasible, but very difficult to detect.

These breeders are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.

"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal p409

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)


http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."

"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples."

"resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite."

"For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

>Operation Teapot is an example of a U235-U233 hybrid bomb.

OT-MET was a mixed Pu-239 and U-233 core with an predicted yield of 33kt, achieving only 22kt. This was considered a failure.

>Thorium reactors don’t offer anymore proliferation resistance than other reactor designs.

LFTRs are not designed to be appreciable breeders, they will produce only as much U233 as is required to continue their operation and no more, removing U233 from the equation means the reactor will eventually shut down.


"However, taking into account the overall fission rate per capture, capture by other nuclei and so on, a well-designed LFTR reactor should be able to direct about 1.08 neutrons per fission to thorium transmutation. This delicate poise doesn't create excess, just enough to generate fuel indefinitely. If meaningful quantities of uranium-233 are misdirected for nonpeaceful purposes, the reactor will report the diversion by winding down because of insufficient fissile product produced in the blanket."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal p409

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

Robert Hargraves is a study leader for energy policy at Dartmouth ILEAD.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/downloads/American_Scientist_Hargraves.pdf

"The uranium-233 produced from thorium-232 is necessarily accompanied by uranium-232, a proliferation prophylactic. Uranium-232 has a relatively short half-life of 73.6 years, burning itself out by producing decay products that include strong emitters of high-energy gamma radiation. The gamma emissions are easily detectable and highly destructive to ordnance components, circuitry and especially personnel. Uranium-232 is chemically identical to and essentially inseparable from uranium-233."

...

"Only a determined, well-funded effort on the scale of a national program could overcome the obstacles to illicit use of uranium-232/233 produced in a LFTR reactor. Such an effort would certainly find that it was less problematic to pursue the enrichment of natural uranium or the generation of plutonium."

"the proportion of U-232 would be about 0.13% for a commercial power reactor. A year after separation, a weapons worker one meter from a subcritical 5 kg sphere of such U-233 would receive a radiation dose of 43 mSv/hr, compared to 0.003 mSv/hr from plutonium, even less from U-235. Death becomes probable after 72 hours exposure. After ten years this radiation triples."

"resulting weapons would be highly radioactive and therefore dangerous to military workers nearby. The penetrating 2.6 MeV gamma radiation is an easily detected marker revealing the presence of such U-233, possibly even from a satellite."

"For personnel safety, any U-233 material operations must be accomplished by remote handling equipment within a radioactively shielded hot cell. This can be designed to make it very hard for any insiders or outsiders to remove material from the hot cell."

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal - Robert Hargraves

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299


Ultimately any fission reactor's neutron flux can convert U238 to Pu239 or Th232 to U233, but the best designs make that incredibly difficult and expensive.

There is no way to prevent a determined government from building a weapons program from a modified power plant. This is why they are inspected by IAEA. IAEA monitoring (or refusal thereof) makes this public knowledge.

Any government that has the resources would opt to go the proven route of U235 or Pu239, rather than have to deal with potential U232 contamination.

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

> The problem is neutron embrittlement

http://moltensalt.org.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/references/static/downloads/pdf/ORNL-TM-6002.pdf

Neutron embrittlement and cracking of the Hastelloy-n was resolved by the addition of a small amount of niobium.


>To be cheaper than coal, MSRs have to last longer than 15 years.

I would suggest you read:

Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth.

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)

by espresso__patronum   2018-11-10

"Small, modular LFTRs can be factory-produced. Capital costs for LFTR electric power plants can be about $2/watt. Recovering capital expenses will cost about 2 cents per kWh for a plant operating 90% of the time with money borrowed at 8%. Thorium fuel cost is insignificant compared to coal costs. LFTR can produce power at about $0.03/kWh, cheaper than coal.

Thorium is energy-dense and as plentiful as lead All US electric power could be generated with just 500 tons per year. just one single mining claim in Lemhi Pass has enough to power the US for 500 years.

Because the LFTR can be produced in small modular units for as little as $200 million, LFTRs can be purchased by developing nations that can not afford $S billion investments for the advanced nuclear power plants such as are now being installed in China and the US.

LFTR development cost is estimated to be near $ 1 billion, to develop the design and a working prototype. These R&D investments might be made by a government with results available to capable industry. The conversion of the prototype to a complete design for mass production would be considerably more perhaps $S billion invested by nuclear industry participants.

The 100 MW LFTR units, costing as little as $200 million each in mass production, might be manufactured and first sold in the US, with later potential for export. Daily sales of $200 million would amount to a $70 billion export-oriented industry, potentially improving the US balance of trade deficit. China may well compete in this market."

-Thorium Energy Cheaper Than Coal p87

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1478161299

Robert Hargraves teaches energy policy at Dartmouth (Ivy League School)

Robert Hargraves graduated from Brown University (PhD Physics 1967)