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An Atomic Empire

CNH

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If I may put in a shameless self plug for a moment:
I have finished a companion volume to 'A Vertical Empire' called 'An Atomic Empire'. This deals with the British atomic programme from Windscale onwards, dealing with not only Windscale but the atomic weapons programme and the nuclear power programme – Magnox, AGR and all the research reactors.

You can buy it from the publishers (the link will tell you more about the book) or from Amazon:
http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/p890
or
http://www.amazon.co.uk/An-Atomic-Empire-Technical-Programme/dp/1908977418/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1385376320&sr=8-1
 

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TsrJoe

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just ordered myself a copy :)
 

CNH

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Follow the Amazon link I gave you - and you'll see they aren't the cheapest.
 

jimlea

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Received my copy on Monday. Read half of it on an airplane yesterday. Informative and interesting.
Jim
 

Hobbes

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I bought this one recently and just finished it. The similarities between nuclear power and fields like aeronautics and aerospace is remarkable: Britain had an early lead postwar, and lost it by dithering and underinvestment.
I haven't studied the power generation side of nuclear history too much, to the book was full of revelations, like gas-cooled reactors in commercial use, and the sheer number of options that were studied incl. molten salt and thorium cycles (which still come up in current discussions on nuclear power as the 'next great thing').

It's a fascinating read, which provided me with a lot of new information and the context needed to understand it.

It looks like the website is defunct - I'd have liked the chance to look at some of the originals, esp. for the diagrams of the various powerstations, which were reproduced at small sizes in the book and/or without their callouts.
 

CNH

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Yes – you're quite right. The website is defunct. It was getting too few hits to make it worthwhile.

But you've given me an idea. I already have a web site for A Vertical Empire, and I can put some slideshows relating to An Atomic Empire as part of that website.

That's not going to happen immediately – currently, I'm in Germany for the next week or two, and won't be able to start work until I get back.
 

Hobbes

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that would be great, thanks. No rush, it's not as if I need the information for anything timesensitive :cool:
 

Anderman

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I bought this one recently and just finished it. The similarities between nuclear power and fields like aeronautics and aerospace is remarkable: Britain had an early lead postwar, and lost it by dithering and underinvestment.
I haven't studied the power generation side of nuclear history too much, to the book was full of revelations, like gas-cooled reactors in commercial use, and the sheer number of options that were studied incl. molten salt and thorium cycles (which still come up in current discussions on nuclear power as the 'next great thing').

It's a fascinating read, which provided me with a lot of new information and the context needed to understand it.

It looks like the website is defunct - I'd have liked the chance to look at some of the originals, esp. for the diagrams of the various powerstations, which were reproduced at small sizes in the book and/or without their callouts.
I am surprised that they studied the thorium cycle with molten salt.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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The Dragon research reactor (Winfirth), although not molten salt, did burn Thorium as it’s was original purpose was to support the U.K. atomic aircraft propulsion. There was a conference at St Giles Court in 57 where the Dragon’s design was discussed and requirements/objectives set to support aviation propulsion. (I’ve seen the minutes but alas don’t have a copy) As these requirement faded the Dragon was used to support the AGR development.

The molten salt effort was aviation based as it was in the US.
 

CNH

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Not quite. Early ideas were for a thorium reactor: The new design was also intended to exploit what was
described as the thorium cycle, whereby thorium 232 is converted to uranium 233,
which is a fissile isotope.

However, for Dragon itself the fuel was made of beads of uranium dioxide encapsulated in graphite.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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Yes I appreciate the Thorium to Uranium conversion.

A little correction, Dragon’s primary fuel cycle was Uranium (providing high temperature neutron data to AGR) but it also experimentally demonstrated the Thorium fuel cycle, ref “Operating experience with the Dragon High Temperature Reactor Experiment” by R A Simon and P D Capp
 

Hobbes

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I am surprised that they studied the thorium cycle with molten salt.
That's not what I'd intended to say: both were studied, but in different projects.
 

martinbayer

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Yes – you're quite right. The website is defunct. It was getting too few hits to make it worthwhile.

But you've given me an idea. I already have a web site for A Vertical Empire, and I can put some slideshows relating to An Atomic Empire as part of that website.

That's not going to happen immediately – currently, I'm in Germany for the next week or two, and won't be able to start work until I get back.
An archived version of the site is available at https://web.archive.org/web/20181031064918/http://www.atomic-empire.info/.
 
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