nukes- Naah not really

A

avatar

Guest
well Gentlemen ,
after having been instrumental in getting two threads locked .. i am hopefully not going to achieve a hattrick.

well here are some of my favourite things and I would be glad if others found this interesting as well.
http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jan102006/48.pdf
http://www.npcil.nic.in/nupower_vol13_3/ahwr.htm

These links contain schematics and some details on two promising thorium reactors that India is currently working on. As you probably know, India has an abundance of thorium but rather modest Uranium resources. India therefore has a three-stage nuclear program that seeks to harness Thorium. The Pdf contains a design that can potentially obviate the need for a second stage.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,628
Reaction score
2,839
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
avatar said:
As you probably know, India has an abundance of thorium but rather modest Uranium resources.

Hogwash. India has a very long ocean coastline, and can control a vast area of sea.

http://npc.sarov.ru/english/digest/132004/appendix8.html

the concentration of uranium in seawater is low at 3.3 mg per 1 m3 seawater (3.3 ppb).

During preliminary heavy metal recovery experiments from seawater, roughly 1 mm thick, 30 cm x ~ 15 cm sheets of adsorbent were stacked until roughly 1 kg was loaded into a 50 cm diameter cage constructed from metal mesh. This cage was moored by float and anchor at a water depth of 10 m (roughly 20°C water temperature) at 6 km offshore from Sekinehama of the Shimo-kita peninsula of Aomori prefecture. While the adsorbent was allowed to contact natural ocean current (averaging 0.1 m/s), the adsorbent was pulled up every 20 days, and the quantity adsorbed was measured. The quantity of uranium recovered from the adsorbent is shown in Figure 3. As indicated by this figure, the adsorbed quantity increased with days moored, and about 2 g had adsorbed per 1 kg of adsorbent at 60 days. Simultaneously vanadium (V) as a heavy metal was recovered at a loading 1.5 times that of uranium. In addition, 0.3 g of nickel (Ni), etc. was also recovered.
 
A

avatar

Guest
Hogwash. India has a very long ocean coastline, and can control a vast area of sea ::)


Pfff.


Recovery of Uranium from saline water is no easy business . The costs are quite high.


Our On land Uranium deposits are of the order of 60-79,000 tonnes, enough to support PHWRs worth only 12,000 MW. Compared to thorium deposits of 300000 tonnes.I would request you to take a look at the thorium reactors , rather than make assertions about recovering Uranium from sea water . It was Homi Jehangir Bhabha (I hope you have heard his name) who came up with the three stage program , and for good reason.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,628
Reaction score
2,839
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
avatar said:
Recovery of Uranium from saline water is no easy business . The costs are way to high.
not according to the link I *just* provided.

I would request you to take a look at the thorium reactors , rather than make assertions about recovering Uranium from sea water .

That's OK. It would be best in the long term if highly populous nations like India ignore readily available resources. It'll free up those resources for other nations to access.
 

starviking

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,215
Reaction score
379
Orionblamblam said:
avatar said:
Recovery of Uranium from saline water is no easy business . The costs are way to high.
not according to the link I *just* provided.

The link gives this in the summary at the start:

"The recovery cost was estimated to be 5-10 times of that from mining uranium. More than 80% of the total cost was occupied by the cost for marine equipment for mooring the adsorbents in seawater, which is owning to a weight of metal cage for adsorbents. Thus, the cost can be reduced to half by the reduction of the equipment weight to 1/4."

If they reduce the cost to half then it's still 2.5-5 time more expensive than mining uranium.

For an industrial scale you'll also have to implement reasonable security and hefty safety measures. That will cost.


Orionblamblam said:
avatar said:
I would request you to take a look at the thorium reactors , rather than make assertions about recovering Uranium from sea water .

That's OK. It would be best in the long term if highly populous nations like India ignore readily available resources. It'll free up those resources for other nations to access.

Well, if it's in their national waters then that shouldn't be a problem. Still 'Uranium Poachers' does have a very Boys Own Stories ring to it ;D

Starviking
 
A

avatar

Guest
not according to the link I *just* provided.

::) shrug.



i would again request people to take a look at the thorium reactors . we can start another thread on mining and enrichment technologies, if need be.
 
A

avatar

Guest
Futhermore
Very high-grade ore (Canada) - 20% U 200,000 ppm U
High-grade ore - 2% U, 20,000 ppm U
Low-grade ore - 0.1% U, 1,000 ppm U
Very low-grade ore* (Namibia) - 0.01% U 100 ppm U
Granite 4-5 ppm U
Sedimentary rock 2 ppm U
Earth's continental crust (av) 2.8 ppm U
Seawater 0.003 ppm U
so as you can see the concentration of ore is ummm rather low.

At ten times the current price, seawater might become a potential source of vast amounts of uranium


It also omits unconventional resources such as phosphate/ phosphorite deposits (22 Mt U recoverable as by-product) and seawater (up to 4000 Mt), which would be uneconomic to extract in the foreseeable future.

http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf75.html

The point is it is not one or the other. We may have to extract Uranium from seawater sometime , however it is probably tomorrow or even the day after. in India's case we need only a certain amount of Uranium for the first stage of our program. we will then reprocess the spent fuel to extract Pu 239 that will drive a series of fast breeder reactors that in turn would have a Th-232 layer over the core yielding U-233. This U-233 along with Pu-239 will be used to drive the AHWR design to breed more U-233 from th-232 blankets as well as generate power through the fission of U-233 and Pu-239. U-233 incidentally yields more neutrons per fission and has a larger fission cross section than even Pu-239..

That's OK. It would be best in the long term if highly populous nations like India ignore readily available resources. It'll free up those resources for other nations to access.

Shrug.
 

Artie Bob

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
52
During a former life as an engineer, I had some contact with brine recovery mining involving a fairly large mining company from down under. Despite the glowing predictions, IIRC, it did not come to much. There were a number of technical issues that made the process less efficient and much more expensive than the group selling the plan anticipated. Left engineering a number of years ago and spent my last working years as a physicist, so there may be some breakthroughs I am not aware of, but in general, one should be very cautious espousing an untested technology or process that has not made it beyond the pilot plant stage, unless their own engineering experience was well rooted in that field. Remember, most of what you read was generated by someone trying to sell the process and potential problems tend to be downplayed. My personal experience has been there are many surprises and pitfalls in the real world and with scaling up of processes. Similarly, when one strays from their own field of experience and expertise, it often results in flawed (bad) engineering, bad history, etc.

Best regards,

Artie Bob
 
A

avatar

Guest
thanks for that Bob. This is exactly what i meant by the test plants .
On an aside carbon sequestration saline aquifers will also prove to be problem.
Uranium from seawater is a distant reality , if ever.
However, What do you think of the thorium concepts ?
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,628
Reaction score
2,839
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
starviking said:
If they reduce the cost to half then it's still 2.5-5 time more expensive than mining uranium.

This, of course, says nothing about whether uranium extraction from seawater is "just too expensive." If you don't *have* any land-based uranium mines, then you must buy it from other nations... as the US has put itself at the mercy of other nations WRT oil.

A few years back, TDP-based manufacture of petroleum from food byproducts was estimated to cost about $100/barrel. At the time that was "just too expensive." Now, $100/barrel looks about right.
 

Artie Bob

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
52
...."unless their own engineering experience was well rooted in that field." Actually, although oversight of much USA reactor physics research was at one time being done by a person with a similar name, that physicist was my brother and reactors are pretty well outside my main areas of experience. So rather than make a fool of myself, will not comment on that subject.
Best regards,

Artie Bob
 
A

avatar

Guest
This, of course, says nothing about whether uranium extraction from seawater is "just too expensive." If you don't *have* any land-based uranium mines, then you must buy it from other nations... as the US has put itself at the mercy of other nations WRT oil.


Shrug.

Oh but we do have some Uranium. That’s precisely why you must first exploit low grade ore on land before *jumping* into tap Uranium in seawater which has the lowest concentration anyway. So we can keep our feet dry for the time being. use the existing land based resources through the three-stage program , so that the existing and huge land based thorium resources are utilised.Through our three stage program which centres around reprocessing we can extend India’s original uranium resources by 500 times.

on a different note,
100 dollar/ barrel is straining the Indian economy. The way the govt has managed up to now is by getting the petroleum companies to absorb the bill. Retail prices do not reflect that figure .obviously. Even then inflation is at 7 per cent and rising. A historic high for the last decade.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,628
Reaction score
2,839
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
avatar said:
Oh but we do have some Uranium.

Then use it.

100 dollar/ barrel is straining the Indian economy.

Well, then what you need to do is sign onto the Kyoto Accords. That'll help. Al Gore will fly over on a private jet and will drive from place to place in his limo preaching about how y'all need to cut back on fossil fuel use.

The way the govt has managed up to now is by getting the petroleum companies to absorb the bill. Retail prices do not reflect that figure

That makes *no* sense. A company that does not pass along cost increases does not make a profit, and a company that does not make a profit goes out of business.
 
A

avatar

Guest
Then use it.
we are and will continue to. Thank you.

Well, then what you need to do is sign onto the Kyoto Accords. That'll help. Al Gore will fly over on a private jet and will drive from place to place in his limo preaching about how y'all need to cut back on fossil fuel use.

Hrrumph. American non-issue.

hat makes *no* sense. A company that does not pass along cost increases does not make a profit, and a company that does not make a profit goes out of business.
Well Mr Blam Blam , that stumped you, didn't it. Well the government has converted their (oil companies) collective losses into medium term oil bonds. These are state owned "strategic" companies. They do not go out of business till there is no business.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,628
Reaction score
2,839
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
avatar said:
Well, then what you need to do is sign onto the Kyoto Accords. That'll help. Al Gore will fly over on a private jet and will drive from place to place in his limo preaching about how y'all need to cut back on fossil fuel use.

Hrrumph. American non-issue.


Pretty much says it all. Kyoto was always only about one thing... stifling the US economy. It was never meant to do anything for the environment.


hat makes *no* sense. A company that does not pass along cost increases does not make a profit, and a company that does not make a profit goes out of business.
Well Mr Blam Blam , that stumped you, didn't it. Well the government has converted their (oil companies) collective losses into medium term oil bonds. These are state owned "strategic" companies. They do not go out of business till there is no business.

Ah, yes, the Castro/Chavez/Mugabe approach.
 
A

avatar

Guest
retty much says it all. Kyoto was always only about one thing... stifling the US economy. It was never meant to do anything for the environment.

egad.


Ah, yes, the Castro/Chavez/Mugabe approach.

Laughs. Rest in Pieces. No more off topic replies.
 
A

avatar

Guest
I am not surprised. Radkowsky did a lot of work for the USN. In any case Thorium Power is currently working on a modified VVER design with the Kurchatov institute
 

mz

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
676
Reaction score
19
There is a vast variety of possible Thorium reactors, like there is a vast variety of possible Uranium reactors.

Thorium is not fissile, but fertile. It needs to absorb a neutron and become Protactinium (Pa) which after a while decays into Uranium-233 - which is fissile.

This means you need some way to make U-233 from Th-232. Usually a breeder reactor, although more exotic things like a particle accelerator have been proposed.

You can get a thermal breeder reactor with Thorium - but you need to remove the Protactinium or else it will capture an additional neutron and becomes something useless.

The way to do this is by having the Thorium in a liquid salt which is constantly reprocessed to remove Pa and U. It's relatively easy if it's in a salt.
You can have a two-fluid reactor, with UF4 in the core and ThF4 in the blanket. The core is also reprocessed to remove fission products and neutron poisons. Breeder reactors are about neutron economy. Fissions produce neutrons and you need to use these neutrons to both make new fuel and cause the fuel to fission.

Thermal reactors (compared to fast neutron ones) are good since they can have negative feedback properties. When moderator is removed or added, the reaction slows down. With fast reactors it's often the opposite. Chernobyl was a case where the reactor ended up in a positive feedback mode. Such failure modes don't exist in light water reactors (the most common type around).

When you process the liquid salt nuclear materials continuously, you can ensure that only the needed materials receive neutrons. You end up needing very little fuel and very little waste. One container could fuel a gigawatt thorium plant for 30 years. Or just a few train cars per year for the energy equivalent of all the coal plants in the USA.
Thorium is also more abundant than Uranium.
 

Similar threads

Top