The agreement framework with Iran was better than James Conca had hoped it would be. The major points are:
– Iran will reduce the number of centrifuges from about 19,000 to 6,104 and those 6,104 will be the old ones, not their new, more efficient ones.
– Iran will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium from about 20,000 lbs to only 600 lbs, a huge concession by Iran.
– Iran will stop U-enrichment at its bunkered underground Fordow U-enrichment facility for at least 15 years (Israeli buster bombs cannot reach this facility).
– Iran’s Natanz U-enrichment facility will only enrich U-235 to 3.67%, about the amount used in nuclear fuel for power plants, but not the same as the enrichment at Iran’s operating power plant at Bushehr (enrichment for a weapon needs to be over 93%).
Next Big Future – Fusion Reactors – The cheapest, smallest nuclear fusion reactors will emerge from the so-called magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) parameter space. This physics regime is a hybrid between the low density magnetic confinement and beyond solid density inertial confinement. Many of the smallest proposed fusion propulsion systems are in fact MIF systems, consistent with this recent study. (The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion by Jason Cassibry, Ross Cortez, Milos Stanic)
Nextbigfuture – Molten Salt Reactors – Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, between ORNL and SINAP focuses on accelerating scientific understanding and technical development of salt-cooled reactors, specifically fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors, or FHRs. The project will draw on ORNL’s expertise in fuels, materials, instrumentation and controls, design concepts, and modeling and simulation for advanced reactors, as well as the lab’s experience in the design, construction and operation of the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, the only molten salt reactor ever built.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has provided resources for research, technology development, design, and construction of an FHR test reactor in China. This initial test reactor will have a maximum thermal power of 10 megawatts. A second, 100-megawatt test reactor is also planned. Both FHR test reactors will use low-enrichment uranium fuel.