Nuclear Energy Blog Carnival 225

The Nuclear Energy Blog Carnival 225 is up ANS Nuclear Cafe.

Neutronbytes – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plans to kick off a much talked about $80 billion program to shift 15% (17 GWe) of its electric generating capacity from fossil fuels to nuclear reactors.

Bogdan Maglich says that the cause of 50 years of failures to achieve, in magnetic fusion systems, ion energy confinement time required for ignition, τE , is charge transfer scattering (CT). CT destroys beams and plasmas by neutralizing ions with giant σCT = 10^9 barn. Ignoring CT existence , ITER designers overcalculated by a factor of million expected τE = 3.8 sec Vs. max possible from classical E and M physics: 10^-6 sec (microsecond). CT neutralization dominance over ionization renders ITER a million fold energy sink at thermonuclear energies below ion energy threshold for magnetic confinement , Tmag ~ 200 KeV. In contrast, above Tmag, ionization overwhelms neutralization and τE=24 s was achieved in colliding beam fusion 750 KeV. To make ITER , 100 KeV D0/To gas injection should be replaced by 1.4 MeV D2+ / T+ ; non-focusing magnets with strong-focusing ones; and low vacuum pumps with UHV ones.

Nextbigfuture – Nonproliferation role of 231Pa and 232U from a fusion breeder for the thorium molten salt reactor by Ralph Moir [21 pages]

Initial and makeup 233U fuel for a thorium molten salt reactor can be produced in a fusion breeder with 2.4% 232U that will make this fuel “self-protected” by its strong gamma radiation according to IAEA standards. 232U significantly contributes towards nonproliferation of nuclear weapons use. Fusion technology even early in its development towards a commercial power plant nevertheless can produce 233U by neutron capture in 232Th and simultaneously produce both 231Pa and 232U in a neutron reaction having a 6 MeV threshold making fusion’s 14 MeV neutrons uniquely well suited for this purpose. The 231Pa can make 232U by neutron capture in the fusion breeder in large enough quantity to make the simultaneously produced 233U self protected with 2.4% 232U. Excess 231Pa can be extracted and exported to fission reactors where by neutron capture 232U is made in situ for nonproliferation purposes. When the fission reactor’s conversion ratio of fertile to fissile approaches unity (breeding or isobreeding) its fissile 233U is produced internally with too little 232U nonproliferant made to satisfy the 2.4% rule because fission’s neutrons are below the 6 MeV threshold. In this case, as the conversion ratio approaches unity, 231Pa is supplied so that the production of 232U by neutron capture in 231Pa keeps 232U/233U=2.4%.

Nextbigfuture – There are economic and technical problems with using a lot of solar and wind and a utility electrical engineer describes the problems.

Solar is subsidized with net metering where the utility is forced to store the excess solar power.
Hawaii has reached the point with solar energy (40%) where they are burning out their grid.

Wind causes severe frequency fluctuations both above and below 60 Hz.

Power Transients reduce reliability.

Non-dispatchability requires standby generation
Low capacity factor hurts payback (EROI).

Nextbigfuture – An informative energy rant by John Kutsch and a second video which debunks Caldcott.

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