Nuclear Power Plants
What are Molten Salt Reactors?
Salt Reactors or "MSRs"
are liquid-fueled reactors that can be used for production of electricity,
actinide burning, production of hydrogen, and the production of "fissile
Electricity production and waste "burn-down" are expected to be the primary missions for the Molten Salt Reactor.
Fissile, fertile, and fission isotopes are dissolved in a high-temperature molten fluoride salt with a very high boiling point (1,400 C) that is both the reactor fuel and the coolant. The near-atmospheric-pressure molten fuel salt flows through the reactor core.
Salt Reactor designs have
a graphite core that results in a thermal to epithermal neutron spectrum.
In the core of the Molten Salt Reactor is where fission occurs - within the flowing molten salt which is the "fuel" and is heated to approximately 700° C., after which it flows into a primary heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to a secondary molten salt coolant. The fuel salt then flows back to the reactor core. The clean salt in the secondary heat transport system transfers the heat from the primary heat exchanger to a high-temperature Brayton cycle which converts the heat energy into electricity. The Brayton cycle may use either nitrogen or helium as a working gas.
The picture above from the Department of Energy (www.DOE.gov)
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(as long as they are MSR or LFTR!)
Energy Cheaper and Cleaner than Coal Through Liquid
Imagine, energy that is both cheaper than coal and cleaner than coal - and can solve more problems than just global warming.
Fluoride Reactor - also
known as Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor or "LFTR." is an alternative energy source that is not well known to the public.
The LFTR uses inexpensive thorium as a fuel, which is transformed to
uranium-233 and through nuclear fission, generates heat and power at a cost
far less than coal
fired power plants.
The rising cost of energy and threat of climate change is a concern to many. The US annually imports over $400 billion of oil from foreign suppliers - many from countries whose governments that are not friendly to the U.S.
Global warming and climate change has been linked to melting glaciers which provides fresh water to millions of people.
warming and climate change has been linked to the ice melt in both the Arctic
and Antarctic - where much of the ocean's algae is produced and provides the
foundation of the ocean's food chain.
Global warming and climate change is linked to deforestation and desertification - causing further losses of fresh water supplies.
Global warming and climate change has been linked to declining food/crop production.
Fisheries are collapsing - some fish such as tuna, cod, swordfish facing extinction.
24,000 people in the US die annually from particulate emissions from coal fired power plants.
The global population contributes to demand on finite resources. The world's population of almost 7 billion people is growing and leading to competition for dwindling food, water, and energy resources that may lead to famine, plague and eventually wars and world war.
The US and other industrialized nations' birth rates are stable and even declining - and less than the population replacement rates. Countries that are prosperous are more sustainable.
Global prosperity depends on energy. Carbon Free Energy and Pollution Free Power from Clean Power Generation plants and renewable energy technologies are far superior than any fossil fuel as well as nuclear (fue) better for all living things and a healthy planet. And global prosperity will thrive when Carbon Free Energy is generated from technologies that are "cheaper than coal."
energy provides power for clean water supplies, sanitation, lighting,
refrigeration, cooking, communications, healthcare/hospitals and
schools/education. It has been shown that when a country has at least 2,000
kwh per year/per capita, that there is prosperity for the people in that
country and the population stabilizes. The U.S. generates approximately
12,000 kWh per year, per household.
Economists study the relationship between the economic damage from carbon taxes (Cap and Trade) against the economic damage done from greenhouse gas emissions and anthropogenic climate change. Raising the carbon tax too fast will damage the economy. Europe’s $50 billion Cap and Trade has not yet reversed emissions growth of greenhouse gas emissions. And, developing nations will not accept carbon taxes that limit their economic growth.
global warming contrarians can support the economic benefits of energy that is
The Liquid Fluoride Reactor solves many of the problems highlighted above by:
• Generating Carbon Free Energy and Pollution Free Power at costs that are "cheaper than coal."
• Generating power with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
• Enabling populations of developing nations to afford the energy they need for sustainable growth and smaller, sustainable populations.
The History of the Liquid Fluoride Reactor
The Liquid Fluoride Reactor uses inexpensive and abundant thorium as its fuel. Thorium is transformed into uranium-233 which generates heat and power via nuclear fission.
thorium and uranium are dissolved in molten salt which simplifies fueling and
waste removal when compared to today's nuclear
Environmental LFTR Advantages
1. Liquid Fluoride Reactor generate Carbon Free Energy and Pollution Free Power at costs that are cheaper than coal.
This would cause the closings of coal fired power plants and the end of their dumping of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere every year..... not to mention their hundreds of thousands of tons of mercury emissions they are dumping into our environment that is poisoning our planet and all living things.
Fluoride Reactor produce less hazardous waste than coal or other forms of nuclear energy and
the radioactive waste from Liquid
Fluoride Reactor lasts 1/100th the time of nuclear waste from today's
3. Ending the pollution from coal fired power plants and associated coal particulates would save 24,000 lives annually in the US and thousands of people in China and the rest of the world.
The fuel used in Liquid
Fluoride Reactor is inexhaustible and inexpensive.
One ton of thorium costs $100,000 and is enough to generate 1 GW electricity per year - which would be all the power a city the size of San Francisco needs.
Technical Advantages of Liquid Fluoride Reactors:
1. have no refueling outages, with continuous automated refueling and continuous automated waste fission product removal.
2. can change power output to satisfy electric demand, for both baseload coal fired power plants and nuclear power plants and replace entirely expensive natural gas "peaker" plants.
3. operate at high temperature for 50% thermal/electrical conversion efficiency, thus needing only half of the cooling required by today's coal fired power plants and nuclear power plants cooling towers.
4. are air cooled, critical for the West and Southwest U.S. as well as many developing countries where water is scarce.
5. have low capital costs because they do not need massive pressure vessels or containment domes.
Because Liquid Fluoride Reactor have compact heat exchangers and utilize Brayton Cycle turbines, their cooling requirements are halved and safety is increased, when compared with today's nuclear power plants.
6. A new Liquid Fluoride Reactor will cost $200 million for a 100 MW power plant which means they are affordable.
Fluoride Reactor can also make
fuel for helping develop
the hydrogen economy.
8. Liquid Fluoride Reactor is intrinsically safe because overheating expands the fuel salt past criticality.
Because Liquid Fluoride Reactor fuel is not pressurized and because total loss of power or control will allow a freeze-plug to melt, gravitationally draining all fuel salt into a dump tray, where it cools convectively.
9. 100% of Liquid Fluoride Reactor thorium fuel is burned, compared to 0.7% of uranium burned in today's nuclear reactors.
10. are proliferation resistant, because their U-233 fuel also contains U-232 decay products that emit strong gamma radiation, hazardous to any bomb builders who might somehow seize control of the power plant for the many months necessary needed to extract uranium.
11. plutonium and other actinides remain in the salt until it is fissioned - unlike today's solid fuel reactors, which must refuel long before these long-lived radiotoxic elements are consumed, because of radiation and thermal stress damage to the zirconium-encased solid fuel rods.
12. No plutonium or other fissionable material is ever isolated or transported to or from the Liquid Fluoride Reactor
Liquid Fluoride Reactor Challenges
There is almost no political awareness of the thorium/uranium fuel cycle.
James Hansen, the well-known climate scientist from NASA and Columbia professor, recommends and supports the deployment of Liquid Fluoride Reactor technology for generating "carbon free energy."
At present, there is no R&D support or funding for Liquid Fluoride Reactor.
R&D is needed now for supporting Liquid Fluoride Reactor technology.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission would need to learn Liquid
Fluoride Reactor technology in order to license and regulate it.
Decentralized Energy is the opposite of "centralized energy." Decentralized Energy - also referred to as "dispersed generation," is the preferred "onsite power generation" solution wherein clean power and energy is generated at the location the power and energy is needed.
Today's electric utility industry was "born" in the 1930's, when fossil fuel prices were cheap, and the cost of wheeling the electricity via transmission power lines, was also cheap. "Central" power plants could be located hundreds of miles from the load centers, or cities, where the electricity was needed. These extreme inefficiencies and cheap fossil fuel prices have added a considerable economic and environmental burden to the consumers and the planet.
Centralized energy is found in the form of electric utility companies that generate power from "central" power plants. Central power plants are highly inefficient, averaging only 33% net system efficiency. This means that the power coming to your home or business - including the line losses and transmission inefficiencies of moving the power - has lost 75% to as much as 80% energy it started with at the "central" power plant. These losses and inefficiencies translate into significantly increased energy expenses by the residential and commercial consumers.
Decentralized Energy is the Best Way to Generate Clean and Green Energy!
How we make and distribute electricity is changing!
The electric power generation, transmission and distribution system (the electric "grid") is changing and evolving from the electric grid of the 19th and 20th centuries, which was inefficient, highly-polluting, very expensive and “dumb.”
"old" way of generating and distributing energy resembles this slide:
The electric grid of the 21st century (see slide below) will be Decentralized, Smart, Efficient and provide "carbon free energy" and “pollution free power”to customers who remain on the electric grid. The electric grid of the future will be comprised of both Onsite Power Generation plants that are fueled/powered with natural gas and renewable energy technologies such as;
Biomass Gasification, Biomethane, Concentrating Solar Power, B100 Biodiesel, Distributed PV, EcoGeneration Systems, Geothermal Power Plants, Rooftop PV, Synthesis Gas, and Solar Cogeneration and Solar Trigeneration energy systems for Net Zero Energy buildings. Some customers will choose to dis-connect from the grid entirely. (Electric grid represented by the small light blue circles in the slide below.)
Typical "central" power plants and the electric utility companies that own them will either be shut-down, closed or go out of business due to one or more of the following:
failed business model
inordinate expenses and high operating costs to run central power plants
utilities and their central power plants are inefficient and generate excessive pollution/emissions
continued reliance on fossil fuels to generate energy
Decentralized energy, carbon free energy, clean power generation and pollution free power technologies ARE the future - whether the utility giants recognize this fact or not. These green and sustainable energy technologies will reduce, and one day eliminate America's dependence on foreign oil - making America energy independent while reducing and eliminating Greenhouse Gas Emissions - and could mean the end of central power plants as well as the utility companies that own and operate them!
“spending hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars every year for oil, much of it from the Middle East, is just about the single stupidest thing that modern society could possibly do. It’s very difficult to think of anything more idiotic than that.”
~ R. James Woolsey, Jr., former
Director of the CIA
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The Renewable Energy Institute is "Changing The Way The World Makes and Uses Energy by Providing Research & Development, Funding and Resources That Creates Sustainable Energy via 'Carbon Free Energy,' 'Clean Power Generation' and 'Pollution Free Power' Through Expanding the use of Renewable Energy Technologies."
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