Power generation technology and economics

This thread will host a technical discussion on nuclear technology and economics, including alternatives to light water reactors.

8 thoughts on “Power generation technology and economics”

  1. jlassiter

    A comment I recieved: “If we just spend the money on solar, wind, and energy storage, we’ll be able to
    decarbonize the grid much sooner compared with trying to do it with next-gen nuclear.
    If reducing emissions is the goal, nuclear may play a role eventually, but it’s not the right
    priority now…”

  2. jlassiter

    A cooment that I received:

    I wish I were as optimistic as you are on the future of fission. I think with the exception of China, this is a dead issue.

    I would place my bet on the fusion project at MIT, will probably be on line by 2030. Really
    impressive. The need to raise another $500M, but they’ll get there.

  3. gkbweb

    ThorCon is not a breeder or even a near breeder. For a thermal reactor,
    that would require on-line chemical processing of an extremely hot
    (temp and rad) fuelsalt. On 19% enriched fuel, ThorCon can spike the fuel
    with thorium and get a little over 25% of its power from thorium via U-233.
    This is cheap power but we cant go higher than that and maintain
    criticality. A by-product of this approach is that the uranium is always
    denatured (meets international anti-proliferation rules) and in addition
    the remaining thorium in the fuel salt messes up any attempt to turn
    the Pu into a bomb.

    1. macquigg

      Excellent design. I understand a pure thorium reactor can breed as much as 106% of the needed U-233, and that WOULD be a proliferation problem. I’m still wondering why you didn’t go a little closer to 100% with the thorium, still never producing any excess U-233. Maybe that’s an option for the future, in case there is any shortage of uranium.

  4. gkbweb

    This website is not about ThorCon. Please go to thorconpower.com
    which contains all the public information on ThorCon.

    The short answer to yr corrosion question is that the salt is not
    corrosive provided proper control of impurities and proper
    Redox control. For SUS316, this is backed up
    by over one hundred thousand hours of testing.

    This is the last ThorCon specific question , I will respond to here.

  5. macquigg

    Sorry for getting too far off topic from the book, and thank you for your answer anyway. I haven’t found a good forum to discuss nuclear reactor design. Thorconpower.com is excellent, well-organized information, and they do have news and FAQs, but no discussion forum. Quora.com is good, but also some misinformation that is difficult to sort out from people claiming more expertise than they really have. I’ll try sending my ThorCon questions to their info address.

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