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Is there such a reactor?

Is there such a reactor?

Is there such a reactor?

(OP)
Here is a description of an inherently safe nuclear power reactor. It is from a recent discussion of a report that was written in 1956 by a ten-person group working to establish General Atomic. Among the authors of that report were Freeman Dyson and Edward Teller:

"An inherently safe reactor would be safe even in the hands of schoolkids. No matter how you spun the dials or what you did to the control panel with a crowbar, the reactor would still shut down. Teller was insistent on inherent safety. Only if this were achieved, he argued, could reactors become a large, efficient and trustworthy part of society's energy infrastructure."

From the book Maverick Genius: The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson, by Phillip F. Shewe (Thomas Dunne Books: 2013), page 113.

RE: Is there such a reactor?

Liquid Thorium Fueled Reactors- you do any of that and fuel plug melts and the fluid pours into passive cooling sites.


Probably also true of lead alloy cooled reactors.

Some of the Fourth Generation reactors would pretty much near to inherently safe
The silly part is that most of industrial plants are nowhere near that safe and have potential enormous blast radi and they still get built.

http://www.eng-tips.com/threadminder.cfm?pid=1529
Use translation assistance for Engineers forum

Note the rules include No Student posting

RE: Is there such a reactor?

(OP)
True, cloa, many industrial plants are dangerous. Since it is politically impossible to regulate them effectively, this will not change.

From a reference you listed in an earlier post on thorium reactors at http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=316605:

"The [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission believes [2008] designers should consider several reactor characteristics, including:

Highly reliable, less complex safe shutdown systems, particularly ones with inherent or passive safety features..."

RE: Is there such a reactor?

Quote:

... the reactor would still shut down.
I think at that time they were referring to the possibility of an uncontrolled chain reaction. However, as of these days, the main worry is about the ability to evacuate or safely contain the decay heat produced after the shut down for a fairly long time.

prex
http://www.xcalcs.com : Online engineering calculations
http://www.megamag.it : Magnetic brakes and launchers for fun rides
http://www.levitans.com : Air bearing pads

RE: Is there such a reactor?

Well, yes there are inherently safe reactors: Texas A&M, for example, had a fully-running reactor in the basement of the engineering building for many years prior to the government's 9/11 hysteria.

Plastic-moderated dual-assembly core with a , went critical by inserting reactivity "up" against gravity. At only 5 watts, it didn't need external cooling nor a water or liquid-based moderator or cooling systems as either primary or backup or alternate backup.

Cooling was by convection to the room, loss of power or control or on alarm "dropped" the center section and eliminated critical ops. But it's nuclear physics ran just like the big 1200 megawatt models.

Then again, you could only measure 5 watts of power: not enough to "do" anaything with it commercially.

Smaller reactors like Point Beach's 360-some-odd Megawatt output DO allow simpler, easier containment and reduce the complexity of a 1200 Meg's backup and emergency cooling needs. The navy's very small submarine reactors have that same feature: low power means less emergency cooling needed for shorter periods of time until natural convection cools the thing without any intervention of external cooling.

My preference? A "ring" of four or five 360 - 400 Meg identical nuclear plants around ONE switchyard inside ONE security area, with a single combined gas regenerative CT plant next to the security area, feeding that switchyard. Emergency (black-start/isolated island) power available in 15 minutes with a single button startup (plus the diesels as backup), one shutdown and maintenance outage going on all the time on rotating plants with one outage being planned, and each separate nuclear plant small enough to simplify containment and emergency cooling. One site plan for emergencies and only ONE expensive overhead budget for security and engineering and radcon and environment.

Besides, the single CT cogen plant can start producing power (money) after 18 months, while the nukes are being built one at a time using the same labor force on each. Repeating construction and design BY THE SAME WORKERS reduces cost on the remaining plants when the first finishes each part of construction: site, concrete, steel, structural, containment, cooling, electrical, electronics, and steam and turbine, and HVAC and controls.

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