Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 01:20 AM
Number of posts: 22,879
Number of posts: 22,879
You wrote, "There is a DIFFERENCE in the composition of what comes out of a Light Water Reactor, and what comes out of an Integral Fast Reactor."
I'm well aware of that. But tell me what is Integrated with the Fast-breeder Reactor and where does the fuel come from before it is loaded and where does it go when it "comes out" of the reactor? Also, in conceptualizing way IFRs are to be actually deployed at scale how many are going to be needed? Isn't it true that they are visualized as being mated with about 4 LWR reactors and are, in fact, not really thought of by even most experts that support them as "the" fuel cycle that will address the 4 Horsemen of the Atomic Era?
Anyway, Integrating the Fast (breeder) Reactor with the pyroprocessing is an entirely different animal than just a breeder reactor. There are some good aspects to the technology, but there are also some very real drawbacks, including the potential proliferation situation that would be created in future cases like Iran.
Efforts in the United States to resuscitate fast reactors
Since the cancellation of the CRBR in 1983, ANL and the Nuclear Energy program office in the DOE have continued to seek ways to revive fast-neutron reactor development in the United States, first by promoting the Integral Fast Reactor concept,72 then through the Generation IV International Forum, and most recently the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).
Integral Fast Reactor and pyroprocessing
In the wake of the demise of the Clinch River Reactor project, ANL scientists developed and promoted the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) concept. Patterned after the EBR-II with its Integral Fast Reactor fuel cycle facility (see EBR-II discussion), the IFR would integrate the plutonium-breeder reactor with an on-site spent fuel pyroprocessing and electro-refining process. In this process, plutonium and the minor transuranic elements would be separated and recycled together into new fuel.
The IFR was advanced as the key to making the breeder reactor economical, proliferation-resistant and environmentally acceptable.73 There were ample grounds for skepticism, however. Most importantly, pyroprocessing looked still more expensive than conventional reprocessing. Moreover, were the IFR technology to be adopted by a non-weapon state it would provide the country with access to tons of plutonium in each co-located reactor and reprocessing facility. A cadre of experts trained in transuranic chemistry and plutonium metallurgy could separate out the plutonium from the other transuranic elements using hot cells and other facilities on-site. A 1992 study commissioned jointly by the U.S. Departments of Energy and State describes a variety of ways to use a pyroprocessing plant to produce relatively pure plutonium.74
Fast Reactor Development in the United States
Despite these problems, ANL was able to attract federal support for the IFR concept for a decade until the Clinton Administration cancelled the IFR program and the Congress terminated its funding in 1994. As a political compromise with Congress, it was agreed that while EBR-II would be shut down, funding of the fuel reprocessing research would continue—renaming it the “actinide recycling project.”75 A decade later this program would be re-characterized and promoted as necessary for long-term management of nuclear waste—becoming the centerpiece of the George W. Bush Administration’s GNEP.
After Congress terminated funding for the IFR program, the DOE kept its pyroprocessing program alive by selecting it to process 3.35 metric tons of sodium-bonded EBR-II and FFTF spent fuel at INL. In 2006, the DOE estimated that pyroprocessing could treat the remaining 2.65 tons of this fuel in eight years at a cost of $234 million, including waste processing and disposal for a reprocessing cost of approximately $88,000/kg.76
Pg 103, 104
Although there are safety issues generic to liquid metal fast reactors, it does not appear that they were the predominant reasons for the demise of the breeder program in the United States. More important were proliferation concerns and a growing conviction that breeder reactors would not be needed or economically competitive with light-water reactors for decades, if ever.
Under GNEP, the DOE expressed renewed interest in fast reactors, initially as burner reactors to fission the actinides in the spent fuel of the light-water reactors. So far, the new designs are mostly paper studies, and the prospect of a strong effort to develop the burner reactors is at best uncertain. The Obama Administration has terminated the GNEP Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and efforts by DOE to move to near-term commercialization of fast reactors and the closed fuel cycle for transmutation of waste. As this report went to press, it was debating whether to even continue R&D on fast-neutron reactors.83 The economic and nonproliferation arguments against such reactors remain strong.
72 This is the concept in which the spent fuel would be recycled onsite, Jack M. Holl, Argonne National Laboratory, 1946–96 (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 425, 426, 443–446.
74 R.G. Wymer et al., “An Assessment of the Proliferation Potential and International Implications of the Proliferation Potential and International Implications of the Integral Fast Reactor,” Martin Marietta K/IPT-511 (May 1992); prepared for the Departments of State and Energy.
75 J. M. Holl, op. cit., 456.
76 U.S. Department of Energy, “Preferred Disposition Plan for Sodium-Bonded Spent Nuclear Reactor Fuel,” Report to Congress (March 2006), tables 1 and 3. Pyroprocessing would account for 57 percent of the total cost<http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/DisPlanForSodBondedSNFMarch2006.pdf> (accessed 14 June 2009).
From "Fast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status"
Thomas B. Cochran, Harold A. Feiveson, Walt Patterson, Gennadi Pshakin, M.V. Ramana, Mycle Schneider, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Frank von Hippel
International Panel on Fissile Materials Feb 2010
In addition; the ONLY study of the proliferation risk of the Integral Fast Reactor, specifically, that I'm aware was done by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the early '90s. I've NEVER seen any other proliferation risk studies on the IFR.
See reference 74 above, I'm guessing that's what you're referring to. Contrary to your experience, there are quite a few credible proliferation assessments prepared by or under contract to DOE ranging from 1986 to 2003.
The most recent (which dovetails with the Bush push for the GNEP program mentioned by von Hippel) has this to say:
In the most basic analysis, only extrinsic barriers are effective against national proliferation, whether overt or covert. By extrinsic barriers, we mean the international nuclear nonproliferation regime that includes a collection of treaties, agreements, national policies and laws, multilateral inspections, and export control practices. The host country is responsible for safeguarding and securing the nuclear materials in the fuel cycle from sub-national or terrorist groups, again through
I was going to be like you here, and not tell you anything else because, hey, "it's classified."
But I won't; the final quoted section is from:
PROLIFERATION RESISTANCE ASSESSMENT OF THE INTEGRAL FAST REACTOR
Harold F. McFarlane Argonne National Laboratory P. O. Box 2528 Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415, USA
BTW, I want to congratulate you on your dedication to the use of inapt metaphors; they do clarify the picture but perhaps not in the way you imagine.
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:08 PM (1 replies)
DemandLogic focuses on reducing a specific part of a business’s utility bills — demand charges. Businesses not only pay for the amount of electricity they use from the grid, they also pay a charge based on their peak electricity demand during the month, even if that peak is very brief.
So DemandLogic uses solar panels and batteries to lower the peak. If a business’s electricity demand spikes at one particular part of the day, DemandLogic will draw more electricity from the panels and batteries and less from the grid. The business will still be using the same amount of electricity as it would have without SolarCity’s system, but less of that power will come from the grid. As a result, the demand charges on the business’s monthly utility bill will be lower.
DemandLogic can also keep businesses running in case of a blackout.
SolarCity isn’t the only company pursuing this idea. Stem, a startup based in Millbrae, unveiled a very similar storage service in October, minus the solar panels. But Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s director of communications, said his company’s experience in solar, combined with what he called the “best battery technology in the world” will be hard to top.
Read more: http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/12/05/solarcity-teams-with-tesla-on-storing-energy/
Also in Forbes
SolarCity's Next Move: Bundling Tesla's Batteries With Solar
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:31 AM (1 replies)
Geothermal Visual: Seismograph Record of Passing Trains Vs. EGS Stimulation
Leslie Blodgett November 29, 2013
Courtesy of Trenton Cladouhos, Senior Vice President R&D, AltaRock Energy
This photo shows a seismograph record from an instrument in La Pine, Oregon, the nearest town to AltaRock Energy’s Newberry Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) demonstration, on the day of the project’s largest microseismic event on December 7, 2012.
The seismograph shows that at this site the ground motion of six passing trains produced a much greater effect than the largest hydraulic stimulation event (Mw 2.4), which was not even detected by this instrument. EGS can cause “hundreds of small microseismic events” (National Research Council); these events are several thousands of times smaller than is noticeable....
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 06:01 AM (0 replies)
Meet Fukuppy, the inadvertent Fukushima mascot
Japanese fridge company's cartoon egg with unfortunate name becomes unlikely online star
Justin McCurry in Tokyo
theguardian.com, Tuesday 15 October 2013 09.03 EDT
Fukuppy - the mascot of Osaka-based Fukushima Industries, which makes commercial freezers. Photograph: Fukushima Industries
It wasn't a refrigeration company's decision to use a cartoon egg with wings, of indeterminate gender and with "a strong sense of justice" as its corporate mascot that got Japan-based internet users giggling. It was, simply, the character's name.
Fukuppy has become an unlikely online star after someone spotted his unintentionally hilarious name on the firm's website.
This led to inaccurate reports that Fukuppy was being used to promote the regeneration of Fukushima Prefecture – given the long list of problems to have hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, some thought the name would have been inadvertently fitting.
"I'm Fukuppy. Nice to meet you," the mascot says on the company's website....
ETA: I guess it's better than the French suggestion...
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:58 AM (0 replies)
Solar energy was a rising star in the '70s -- until it was banished by the powers that be. Are we ready for its return?
—By Arthur Allen | March/April 2000 Issue
It was the winter of 1981 and the country was just beginning to feel the sharp edges of the Reagan revolution. Denis Hayes, head of the fledgling Solar Energy Research Institute, was walking through the halls of the Department of Energy when an acquaintance came up to him and said, "Has Frank lowered the boom on you yet?" The Frank in question was an acting assistant secretary, but the boom, it turned out, was falling from the top. President Reagan had once been General Electric's most camera-ready tout, and his administration viewed alternative energy with open scorn. "They're going to kill your study," the gray-suited informant warned Hayes, before slipping down the corridor.
The study, a yearlong investigation by some of the nation's leading scientists, provided a convincing blueprint for a solar future. It showed that alternative energy could easily meet 28 percent of the nation's power needs by 2000...
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:52 AM (0 replies)
Turn Around! China's Offshore Wind Power Industry on Track for Large-scale Development
SHANGHAI, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The just-concluded 18th Congress of Chinese Communist Party explicitly called for implementation of "Biological Civilization" strategy. The move restored confidence into offshore wind power and green energy industry which are still in primary stages. It also vastly brightened outlook for the upcoming trade exhibitions and conferences concurrently to be held on 4-6 June 2014 at Shanghai New International Expo Center and Shangri-La's Kerry Hotel Pudong in Shanghai - OFFSHORE WIND CHINA 2014, WIND FARM O&M CHINA 2014 and DISTRIBUTED GENERATION CHINA 2014.
As organizers, Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Committee, China National Renewable Energy Centre and Shanghai International Exhibition Co., Ltd. will focus on the following 7 highlights:
1. Experience Wind Power Industry's Turn-around through Release of Latest Progress on Offshore Wind Projects
Offshore wind power developers along with planning and design organizations will be invited to deliver speeches on progress of offshore wind power projects.
2. Catch New Industry Trends by Bringing together Leading Wind Turbine Manufacturers
Key offshore wind turbines manufacturers, including Vestas / Mitsubishi, Goldwind, Gamesa, United Power, Sinovel, Shanghai Electrics / Siemens and Ming Yang will gather to present the advanced offshore wind technologies.
3. Capture Future Market Opportunities in Sector of Wind Farm Operation and Maintenance
The event features Wind Farm O&M Market to explore life-cycle management and after-sales services of onshore and offshore wind farms.
4. Provide Full-range Solutions with Focus on Offshore Installation and Construction
With a focus on offshore installations and construction, leading offshore installation companies including CCCC Third, ZPMC, Jiangsu Longyuan Zhenhua, CCCC Fourth will gather at this event to showcase installation equipments and share practical experiences.
5. Join Hands with Leading Wind Power Nations to Share in Advanced Experience
Attendees will meet with associations and delegations from developed countries including U.K., Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and U.S. to have exchanges with overseas firms.
6. Improve Trade Mechanism by Expanding On-site Communications and Negotiations
The event will further enhance the trade mechanism to hold "On-Site Match-making Meetings between Turbine Manufacturers and Components Suppliers".
7. Witness Offshore Mega Project by Visiting Offshore Wind Farm under Construction
Attendees will have opportunity to visit East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm (Phase II) during its construction stage, and the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the first of its kind in China.
ETA link: http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/turn-around-chinas-offshore-wind-power-industry-on-track-for-large-scale-development-234187681.html
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 03:24 AM (0 replies)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013
Norwegian Electric Car Sales hit 12% market share in November
Electric car sales in Norway have set yet another record. According to OGV battery electric vehicles sales increased sharply with 1434 new EVs being sold in November giving them an 11.9% market share amongst passenger car sales. This is a 357% increase on the same month last year when EVs accounted for only 2.6% of the market.
After topped the list of new car registrations in Norway in September, the top selling electric car for November is the Tesla Model S with 527 sold, accounting for 4.4% market share on it's own and the second most popular car over-all just behind the VW Golf.
After leading the market for the first time last month, the second most popular EV is the Nissan Leaf with 512 sold and 4.2% market share...
Posted by kristopher | Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:44 AM (0 replies)
Man who saw the future in nuclear energy converts to solar power
By KOSUKE SO/ Staff Writer
A huge banner hanging at the entrance of a shopping area in the evacuated town of Futaba, co-host to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, still reads “Nuclear energy is the energy of a bright future.”
Yuji Onuma created this slogan while in elementary school and won the best prize at a contest organized by the town government in 1987.
...The nuclear disaster came after he had long believed in a “bright future” with nuclear energy, just like everyone else in Futaba. But now his hometown may have been lost, perhaps forever, after a triple meltdown at the plant.
“I realized that I was wrong (about a future with nuclear energy) after the nuclear disaster took my hometown away,” said Onuma, who fled Futaba with his expectant wife, Serina, after the accident. “I will probably never be able to go home.”...
Posted by kristopher | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:39 PM (0 replies)
The headline is sensationalistic, but the argument behind it is completely valid and it shows that risk assessment methods used by the nuclear industry have been demonstrated to be inadequate.
Chinese nuclear disaster 'highly probable' by 2030
25th October 2013
As the UK prepares to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations with Chinese capital and expertise, a former state nuclear expert warns: China itself is heading for nuclear catastrophe.
To reduce costs, Chinese designs often cut back on safety.
Some members of the nuclear power industry rely too much on theoretical calculations, when only experience can provide real accuracy.
The lifetime of nuclear reactors is calculated in "reactor-years". One reactor year means one reactor operating for one year. The world's 443 nuclear power plants have been running for a total of 14,767 reactor-years, during which time there have been 23 accidents involving a reactor core melting. That’s one major accident every 642 reactor years.
But according to the design requirements, an accident of that scale should only happen once every 20,000 reactor years. The actual incidence is 32 times higher than the theory allows.
Some argue this criticism is unfair....
Posted by kristopher | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:35 PM (0 replies)
Ontario to indefinitely defer new Darlington nuclear reactors: energy plan
Washington (Platts)--3Dec2013/729 am EST/1229 GMT
Ontario will indefinitely defer construction of two new nuclear power reactors at Ontario Power Generation's Darlington site; back away from firm plans to refurbish operating units at Darlington and Bruce Power's Bruce A site; and may order the shutdown of OPG's six-unit Pickering plant prior to the units' scheduled 2020 closing date, the provincial government said in a long-term energy plan issued late Monday.
The province, which owns OPG, said that advances in energy conservation, enhanced efficiency and a slowdown in electricity demand growth have prompted it to revise a 2010 long-term energy plan that called for building two new reactors at Darlington, as well as refurbishment of 10 units combined at that station and at Bruce A.
In late June, Candu Energy and Westinghouse submitted competing bids to OPG to build two reactors at Darlington, a year after the utility requested these companies bid on the project.
"This represents up to $15 billion in capital investments that are not currently required," the plan said...
Posted by kristopher | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:45 AM (2 replies)