Russian MBIR sodium cooled fast reactor on track to 2020 completion

The Russian MBIR is a 150 MWt, sodium-cooled fast reactor and will have a design life of up to 50 years. It will be a multi-loop research reactor capable of testing lead, lead-bismuth and gas coolants, and running on MOX (mixed uranium and plutonium oxide) fuel. NIIAR intends to set up on-site closed fuel cycle facilities for the MBIR, using pyrochemical reprocessing it has developed at pilot scale.

AEM-Technology started the manufacture of the reactor pressure vessel for MBIR in March last year and has said that construction of the demonstration reactor should be completed by 2020.

Russia is building a fast MBIR reactor with a capacity of about 150 thermal megawatts. It wil be the most powerful research reactor in the world.

The project is expected to cost 16.4 billion rubles ($454 million).

97 thoughts on “Russian MBIR sodium cooled fast reactor on track to 2020 completion”

  1. I’m highly doubtful of anything new nuclear being around the corner though, in this braindead world. (fusion will just not happen)

    Reply
  2. I’m highly doubtful of anything new nuclear being around the corner though in this braindead world. (fusion will just not happen)

    Reply
  3. Not really. Lead’s boiling point is 1700 °C so it wouldn’t do much, only flow. Graphite burns, burning and smoke takes a lot of radioactive waste into the air as proven by the incident at Pripyat. Water boils, but otherwise doesn’t do much, but cool down lava really quickly. (Unless you think of the pressure vessel bursting.) Sodium is kept far above it’s flashpoint, when it comes contact with oxygen all of it would start to burn. Probably a lot more viciously than graphite. And such taking with it more radiactive material.

    Reply
  4. Not really. Lead’s boiling point is 1700 °C so it wouldn’t do much only flow.Graphite burns burning and smoke takes a lot of radioactive waste into the air as proven by the incident at Pripyat.Water boils but otherwise doesn’t do much but cool down lava really quickly. (Unless you think of the pressure vessel bursting.)Sodium is kept far above it’s flashpoint when it comes contact with oxygen all of it would start to burn. Probably a lot more viciously than graphite. And such taking with it more radiactive material.”

    Reply
  5. As a matter of fact, I was reading about corrosion product traps in the Russian PbBi cooled submarine reactors…. there is a dedicated system just to trap and contain the slag from this issue. I’m serious. Problem is there; they cope with it instead of fixing it. There aren’t always material fixes and paper reactor designer hallmark is to gloss over it as mere engineering issues.

    Reply
  6. As a matter of fact I was reading about corrosion product traps in the Russian PbBi cooled submarine reactors…. there is a dedicated system just to trap and contain the slag from this issue. I’m serious. Problem is there; they cope with it instead of fixing it. There aren’t always material fixes and paper reactor designer hallmark is to gloss over it as mere engineering issues.

    Reply
  7. Not to belabor the point, but those are some pretty vague statements; I mean clearly the Russians got something working, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t just cope with the problems and trade off component lifetime with controlled degradation. As far as MSRE materials development, it is a relatively active field and by no means “problem solved”; just last week there was an article describing “frozen wall” to protect the “fluorinator” from F2 gas – so I’d have to contradict you and say that materials issues are at the forefront of PbBi and MSR reactors. Also, the lead interacting with the oxide layer of the stainless steels defeats the primary defense mechanism that makes stainless steel stainless. Metals like 718 are also protected by this oxide layer and would also be consumed by Pb. We don’t hear a lot about PbBi development, but if you believe NBF, the MSRs are right around the corner with fusion.

    Reply
  8. Not to belabor the point but those are some pretty vague statements; I mean clearly the Russians got something working but that doesn’t mean they didn’t just cope with the problems and trade off component lifetime with controlled degradation. As far as MSRE materials development it is a relatively active field and by no means problem solved””; just last week there was an article describing “”””frozen wall”””” to protect the “”””fluorinator”””” from F2 gas – so I’d have to contradict you and say that materials issues are at the forefront of PbBi and MSR reactors. Also”” the lead interacting with the oxide layer of the stainless steels defeats the primary defense mechanism that makes stainless steel stainless. Metals like 718 are also protected by this oxide layer and would also be consumed by Pb. We don’t hear a lot about PbBi development but if you believe NBF”” the MSRs are right around the corner with fusion.”””

    Reply
  9. Seems like this was solved a while ago: “”Isn’t the corrosion at 1000 °C a big problem?” No. Most material problems exist for thermal reactors, but since the DFR is a fast reactor, the choice of materials opens widely. In principal the material problems were already solved by the MSRE development. In the past more durable and resistant materials were applied in industry. Those materials are rarer and rather expensive. Indeed they are affordable for the DFR because of the high powered small core and the abandonment of fuel elements the required amounts are low.” http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/dfr.pdf

    Reply
  10. Seems like this was solved a while ago:\””Isn’t the corrosion at 1000 °C a big problem?””No. Most material problems exist for thermal reactors”” but since the DFR is a fast reactor”” thechoice of materials opens widely. In principal the material problems were already solved by theMSRE development. In the past more durable and resistant materials were applied in industry.Those materials are rarer and rather expensive. Indeed they are affordable for the DFR because ofthe high powered small core and the abandonment of fuel elements the required amounts are low.””””http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/dfr.pdf”””””””

    Reply
  11. Lead eats the oxide layer off the inside of steel pipes and thereby consumes the pipes. Lead has materials issues…. I’m not even sure if Na “wets” the steel, but it doesn’t degrade steel pipes as lead does.

    Reply
  12. Lead eats the oxide layer off the inside of steel pipes and thereby consumes the pipes. Lead has materials issues…. I’m not even sure if Na wets”” the steel”””” but it doesn’t degrade steel pipes as lead does.”””

    Reply
  13. Not really. Lead’s boiling point is 1700 °C so it wouldn’t do much, only flow. Graphite burns, burning and smoke takes a lot of radioactive waste into the air as proven by the incident at Pripyat. Water boils, but otherwise doesn’t do much, but cool down lava really quickly. (Unless you think of the pressure vessel bursting.) Sodium is kept far above it’s flashpoint, when it comes contact with oxygen all of it would start to burn. Probably a lot more viciously than graphite. And such taking with it more radiactive material.

    Reply
  14. Not really. Lead’s boiling point is 1700 °C so it wouldn’t do much only flow.Graphite burns burning and smoke takes a lot of radioactive waste into the air as proven by the incident at Pripyat.Water boils but otherwise doesn’t do much but cool down lava really quickly. (Unless you think of the pressure vessel bursting.)Sodium is kept far above it’s flashpoint when it comes contact with oxygen all of it would start to burn. Probably a lot more viciously than graphite. And such taking with it more radiactive material.”

    Reply
  15. Not really. Lead’s boiling point is 1700 °C so it wouldn’t do much, only flow.

    Graphite burns, burning and smoke takes a lot of radioactive waste into the air as proven by the incident at Pripyat.

    Water boils, but otherwise doesn’t do much, but cool down lava really quickly. (Unless you think of the pressure vessel bursting.)

    Sodium is kept far above it’s flashpoint, when it comes contact with oxygen all of it would start to burn. Probably a lot more viciously than graphite. And such taking with it more radiactive material.

    Reply
  16. As a matter of fact, I was reading about corrosion product traps in the Russian PbBi cooled submarine reactors…. there is a dedicated system just to trap and contain the slag from this issue. I’m serious. Problem is there; they cope with it instead of fixing it. There aren’t always material fixes and paper reactor designer hallmark is to gloss over it as mere engineering issues.

    Reply
  17. As a matter of fact I was reading about corrosion product traps in the Russian PbBi cooled submarine reactors…. there is a dedicated system just to trap and contain the slag from this issue. I’m serious. Problem is there; they cope with it instead of fixing it. There aren’t always material fixes and paper reactor designer hallmark is to gloss over it as mere engineering issues.

    Reply
  18. Not to belabor the point, but those are some pretty vague statements; I mean clearly the Russians got something working, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t just cope with the problems and trade off component lifetime with controlled degradation. As far as MSRE materials development, it is a relatively active field and by no means “problem solved”; just last week there was an article describing “frozen wall” to protect the “fluorinator” from F2 gas – so I’d have to contradict you and say that materials issues are at the forefront of PbBi and MSR reactors. Also, the lead interacting with the oxide layer of the stainless steels defeats the primary defense mechanism that makes stainless steel stainless. Metals like 718 are also protected by this oxide layer and would also be consumed by Pb. We don’t hear a lot about PbBi development, but if you believe NBF, the MSRs are right around the corner with fusion.

    Reply
  19. Not to belabor the point but those are some pretty vague statements; I mean clearly the Russians got something working but that doesn’t mean they didn’t just cope with the problems and trade off component lifetime with controlled degradation. As far as MSRE materials development it is a relatively active field and by no means problem solved””; just last week there was an article describing “”””frozen wall”””” to protect the “”””fluorinator”””” from F2 gas – so I’d have to contradict you and say that materials issues are at the forefront of PbBi and MSR reactors. Also”” the lead interacting with the oxide layer of the stainless steels defeats the primary defense mechanism that makes stainless steel stainless. Metals like 718 are also protected by this oxide layer and would also be consumed by Pb. We don’t hear a lot about PbBi development but if you believe NBF”” the MSRs are right around the corner with fusion.”””

    Reply
  20. As a matter of fact, I was reading about corrosion product traps in the Russian PbBi cooled submarine reactors…. there is a dedicated system just to trap and contain the slag from this issue. I’m serious. Problem is there; they cope with it instead of fixing it. There aren’t always material fixes and paper reactor designer hallmark is to gloss over it as mere engineering issues.

    Reply
  21. Not to belabor the point, but those are some pretty vague statements; I mean clearly the Russians got something working, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t just cope with the problems and trade off component lifetime with controlled degradation. As far as MSRE materials development, it is a relatively active field and by no means “problem solved”; just last week there was an article describing “frozen wall” to protect the “fluorinator” from F2 gas – so I’d have to contradict you and say that materials issues are at the forefront of PbBi and MSR reactors. Also, the lead interacting with the oxide layer of the stainless steels defeats the primary defense mechanism that makes stainless steel stainless. Metals like 718 are also protected by this oxide layer and would also be consumed by Pb. We don’t hear a lot about PbBi development, but if you believe NBF, the MSRs are right around the corner with fusion.

    Reply
  22. Seems like this was solved a while ago: “”Isn’t the corrosion at 1000 °C a big problem?” No. Most material problems exist for thermal reactors, but since the DFR is a fast reactor, the choice of materials opens widely. In principal the material problems were already solved by the MSRE development. In the past more durable and resistant materials were applied in industry. Those materials are rarer and rather expensive. Indeed they are affordable for the DFR because of the high powered small core and the abandonment of fuel elements the required amounts are low.” http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/dfr.pdf

    Reply
  23. Seems like this was solved a while ago:\””Isn’t the corrosion at 1000 °C a big problem?””No. Most material problems exist for thermal reactors”” but since the DFR is a fast reactor”” thechoice of materials opens widely. In principal the material problems were already solved by theMSRE development. In the past more durable and resistant materials were applied in industry.Those materials are rarer and rather expensive. Indeed they are affordable for the DFR because ofthe high powered small core and the abandonment of fuel elements the required amounts are low.””””http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/dfr.pdf”””””””

    Reply
  24. Lead eats the oxide layer off the inside of steel pipes and thereby consumes the pipes. Lead has materials issues…. I’m not even sure if Na “wets” the steel, but it doesn’t degrade steel pipes as lead does.

    Reply
  25. Lead eats the oxide layer off the inside of steel pipes and thereby consumes the pipes. Lead has materials issues…. I’m not even sure if Na wets”” the steel”””” but it doesn’t degrade steel pipes as lead does.”””

    Reply
  26. Seems like this was solved a while ago:
    “”Isn’t the corrosion at 1000 °C a big problem?”

    No. Most material problems exist for thermal reactors, but since the DFR is a fast reactor, the
    choice of materials opens widely. In principal the material problems were already solved by the
    MSRE development. In the past more durable and resistant materials were applied in industry.
    Those materials are rarer and rather expensive. Indeed they are affordable for the DFR because of
    the high powered small core and the abandonment of fuel elements the required amounts are low.”

    http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/dfr.pdf

    Reply
  27. Lead eats the oxide layer off the inside of steel pipes and thereby consumes the pipes. Lead has materials issues…. I’m not even sure if Na “wets” the steel, but it doesn’t degrade steel pipes as lead does.

    Reply
  28. Yarx was the one who brought up mantle plumes. My point was that if you mix 1000 deg C molten rock with water, or with lead, or with graphite, or sodium… you are going to get a whole lot of vapour rocketing into the sky, taking some of your radioactive material with it. It doesn’t really matter what you started with outside of some sort of solid refractory metal containment a al the platinum spheres used for NASA radioisotope generators.

    Reply
  29. Yarx was the one who brought up mantle plumes. My point was that if you mix 1000 deg C molten rock with water or with lead or with graphite or sodium… you are going to get a whole lot of vapour rocketing into the sky taking some of your radioactive material with it. It doesn’t really matter what you started with outside of some sort of solid refractory metal containment a al the platinum spheres used for NASA radioisotope generators.

    Reply
  30. Yarx was the one who brought up mantle plumes. My point was that if you mix 1000 deg C molten rock with water, or with lead, or with graphite, or sodium… you are going to get a whole lot of vapour rocketing into the sky, taking some of your radioactive material with it. It doesn’t really matter what you started with outside of some sort of solid refractory metal containment a al the platinum spheres used for NASA radioisotope generators.

    Reply
  31. Yarx was the one who brought up mantle plumes. My point was that if you mix 1000 deg C molten rock with water or with lead or with graphite or sodium… you are going to get a whole lot of vapour rocketing into the sky taking some of your radioactive material with it. It doesn’t really matter what you started with outside of some sort of solid refractory metal containment a al the platinum spheres used for NASA radioisotope generators.

    Reply
  32. Yarx was the one who brought up mantle plumes.

    My point was that if you mix 1000 deg C molten rock with water, or with lead, or with graphite, or sodium… you are going to get a whole lot of vapour rocketing into the sky, taking some of your radioactive material with it. It doesn’t really matter what you started with outside of some sort of solid refractory metal containment a al the platinum spheres used for NASA radioisotope generators.

    Reply
  33. Volcanos don just explode like nuclear bombs. (usually) They spew gasses, dust, rocks/pebbles and lava. I don’t think that anyone suggested that it anyone ever would site a reactor in the crater of an active volcano. That would ridiculous.

    Reply
  34. Volcanos don just explode like nuclear bombs. (usually)They spew gasses dust rocks/pebbles and lava.I don’t think that anyone suggested that it anyone ever would site a reactor in the crater of an active volcano. That would ridiculous.

    Reply
  35. Um, doesn’t the volcanic eruption supply all the “savage, explosive reaction” you might need? Adding a bit of chemical reactions on top of it would be redundant.

    Reply
  36. Um doesn’t the volcanic eruption supply all the savage”” explosive reaction”” you might need? Adding a bit of chemical reactions on top of it would be redundant.”””

    Reply
  37. Given the attitude towards nuclear reactors displayed at Chernobyl, (Basically, “Hey, what would happen if we shut off the safeties and did this?”), having Russia experimenting with molten sodium reactors does not fill me with confidence.

    Reply
  38. Given the attitude towards nuclear reactors displayed at Chernobyl (Basically Hey”” what would happen if we shut off the safeties and did this?””)”””” having Russia experimenting with molten sodium reactors does not fill me with confidence.”””

    Reply
  39. There are a lot of candu reactors. Entire Canadian fleet. Just pride and lobbies kept them out of usa. IMO they are not optimized but a good reference point.

    Reply
  40. There are a lot of candu reactors. Entire Canadian fleet. Just pride and lobbies kept them out of usa. IMO they are not optimized but a good reference point.

    Reply
  41. There are a lot of candu reactors. Entire Canadian fleet. Just pride and lobbies kept them out of usa. IMO they are not optimized but a good reference point.

    Reply
  42. There are a lot of candu reactors. Entire Canadian fleet. Just pride and lobbies kept them out of usa. IMO they are not optimized but a good reference point.

    Reply
  43. It’s about how much uranium you throw away. Each % enrichment above 0.71% throws away 2 parts depleted uranium tails at 0.3% 235U. One ton of 5% enriched results also produces 8.6 tons of “tails” at 0.3% which is stored in kegs in the form of UF6. Talking about Thorium, for instance, is silly when we could use a lower enrichment and fast fission/transmute more 238U/239Pu by undermoderating the fuel (tight pitch less water). It could be taken to an even higher level with heavy water. Imagine – get the clad to last a little longer, make the reactor less of an outright “burner”, throw away less “tails” and less burnt fuel – stretch things. Do it in my lifetime. Just optimize and avoid reprocessing. Use fuel better and avoid reprocessing. This is what I consider progress, etc. One day there could be 2000 reactors and U could get pricey- maybe.

    Reply
  44. It’s about how much uranium you throw away. Each {22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} enrichment above 0.71{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} throws away 2 parts depleted uranium tails at 0.3{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} 235U. One ton of 5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} enriched results also produces 8.6 tons of tails”” at 0.3{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} which is stored in kegs in the form of UF6. Talking about Thorium”” for instance is silly when we could use a lower enrichment and fast fission/transmute more 238U/239Pu by undermoderating the fuel (tight pitch less water). It could be taken to an even higher level with heavy water. Imagine – get the clad to last a little longer”” make the reactor less of an outright “”””burner”””””””” throw away less “”””tails”””” and less burnt fuel – stretch things. Do it in my lifetime. Just optimize and avoid reprocessing. Use fuel better and avoid reprocessing. This is what I consider progress”””” etc. One day there could be 2000 reactors and U could get pricey- maybe.”””

    Reply
  45. Isn’t fuel and enrichment as cheap as it’s ever been ? So a small, higher enrichment, core should be cheaper than a big one, especially if it can run at 500 or 600C, instead of ~285, and one atmosphere pressure instead of 75. Candus already run at a lower enrichment than PWRs, but the latter dominate the market.

    Reply
  46. Isn’t fuel and enrichment as cheap as it’s ever been ? So a small higher enrichment core should be cheaper than a big one especially if it can run at 500 or 600C instead of ~285 and one atmosphere pressure instead of 75. Candus already run at a lower enrichment than PWRs but the latter dominate the market.

    Reply
  47. TerraPower has the right idea feeding natural uranium, but they are out to lunch with their burn up expectations over 200GWD/T.

    Reply
  48. Skull” stuck to crucible causes accounting problems as does actinides stuck in the floating slag. Have to manage that and account down to the mg to meet modern expectations of the regulators- unless you dont think skimming material is a big deal.

    Reply
  49. Skull”” stuck to crucible causes accounting problems as does actinides stuck in the floating slag. Have to manage that and account down to the mg to meet modern expectations of the regulators- unless you dont think skimming material is a big deal.”””

    Reply
  50. Pyroprocessing metallic fuel is pretty interesting. Basically use a can opener to peel off the cladding and then melt the fuel slugs with induction in a crucible. Lots of slag in the “skull” which is what sticks to the crucible. EBR2 technique; all done with remote manipulations and special tooling – I imagine the cesium comes off as vapor but you have to inert and control the atmosphere anyway. I really don’t like any reprocessing scheme; they all make a mess, but at least pyroprocessing doesn’t involve water. If I had any say, I would put more research into getting very low enriched solid fuel to double the current typical burnup – like 90 GWD/T @ 2% initial enrichment in a PHWR. That would require a big, tight-pitch core with lower kw/m of clad fuel rod than we see today in LWR. That would be a real respectable evolutionary change that would use the fuel to 8 or 10 atom %, which might make a difference if Uranium becomes scarce in the future when there are 2000 plants globally.

    Reply
  51. Pyroprocessing metallic fuel is pretty interesting. Basically use a can opener to peel off the cladding and then melt the fuel slugs with induction in a crucible. Lots of slag in the skull”” which is what sticks to the crucible. EBR2 technique; all done with remote manipulations and special tooling – I imagine the cesium comes off as vapor but you have to inert and control the atmosphere anyway. I really don’t like any reprocessing scheme; they all make a mess”” but at least pyroprocessing doesn’t involve water. If I had any say I would put more research into getting very low enriched solid fuel to double the current typical burnup – like 90 GWD/T @ 2{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} initial enrichment in a PHWR. That would require a big tight-pitch core with lower kw/m of clad fuel rod than we see today in LWR. That would be a real respectable evolutionary change that would use the fuel to 8 or 10 atom {22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}”” which might make a difference if Uranium becomes scarce in the future when there are 2000 plants globally.”””

    Reply
  52. Probably better – the radiocesium would bind to the sodium, instead of wafting away. Not that anyone would care, if an unexpected mantle plume was in progress.

    Reply
  53. Probably better – the radiocesium would bind to the sodium instead of wafting away. Not that anyone would care if an unexpected mantle plume was in progress.

    Reply
  54. Volcanos don just explode like nuclear bombs. (usually)
    They spew gasses, dust, rocks/pebbles and lava.

    I don’t think that anyone suggested that it anyone ever would site a reactor in the crater of an active volcano. That would ridiculous.

    Reply
  55. Given the attitude towards nuclear reactors displayed at Chernobyl, (Basically, “Hey, what would happen if we shut off the safeties and did this?”), having Russia experimenting with molten sodium reactors does not fill me with confidence.

    Reply
  56. I think that was supposed to mean that if someone is incompetent enough to site one of these on a volcano then bad things could happen. But I’m not seeing how a sodium cooled reactor, destroyed by a volcano, would be noticeably worse than any other sort of reactor destroyed by a volcano.

    Reply
  57. I think that was supposed to mean that if someone is incompetent enough to site one of these on a volcano then bad things could happen.But I’m not seeing how a sodium cooled reactor destroyed by a volcano would be noticeably worse than any other sort of reactor destroyed by a volcano.

    Reply
  58. It’s about how much uranium you throw away. Each % enrichment above 0.71% throws away 2 parts depleted uranium tails at 0.3% 235U. One ton of 5% enriched results also produces 8.6 tons of “tails” at 0.3% which is stored in kegs in the form of UF6. Talking about Thorium, for instance, is silly when we could use a lower enrichment and fast fission/transmute more 238U/239Pu by undermoderating the fuel (tight pitch less water). It could be taken to an even higher level with heavy water. Imagine – get the clad to last a little longer, make the reactor less of an outright “burner”, throw away less “tails” and less burnt fuel – stretch things. Do it in my lifetime. Just optimize and avoid reprocessing. Use fuel better and avoid reprocessing. This is what I consider progress, etc. One day there could be 2000 reactors and U could get pricey- maybe.

    Reply
  59. Isn’t fuel and enrichment as cheap as it’s ever been ? So a small, higher enrichment, core should be cheaper than a big one, especially if it can run at 500 or 600C, instead of ~285, and one atmosphere pressure instead of 75. Candus already run at a lower enrichment than PWRs, but the latter dominate the market.

    Reply
  60. I’m certain that gaseous Sodium makes a beautiful Yellow flame! Hope sincerely that there are no mantle plumes nearby to puncture etc. with all that thermal power. Possibility always gets it’s real workout done in the zone of incompetence. Could lead to new knowledge.

    Reply
  61. I’m certain that gaseous Sodium makes a beautiful Yellow flame! Hope sincerely that there are no mantle plumes nearby to puncture etc. with all that thermal power. Possibility always gets it’s real workout done in the zone of incompetence. Could lead to new knowledge.

    Reply
  62. “Skull” stuck to crucible causes accounting problems as does actinides stuck in the floating slag. Have to manage that and account down to the mg to meet modern expectations of the regulators- unless you dont think skimming material is a big deal.

    Reply
  63. Pyroprocessing metallic fuel is pretty interesting. Basically use a can opener to peel off the cladding and then melt the fuel slugs with induction in a crucible. Lots of slag in the “skull” which is what sticks to the crucible. EBR2 technique; all done with remote manipulations and special tooling – I imagine the cesium comes off as vapor but you have to inert and control the atmosphere anyway. I really don’t like any reprocessing scheme; they all make a mess, but at least pyroprocessing doesn’t involve water. If I had any say, I would put more research into getting very low enriched solid fuel to double the current typical burnup – like 90 GWD/T @ 2% initial enrichment in a PHWR. That would require a big, tight-pitch core with lower kw/m of clad fuel rod than we see today in LWR. That would be a real respectable evolutionary change that would use the fuel to 8 or 10 atom %, which might make a difference if Uranium becomes scarce in the future when there are 2000 plants globally.

    Reply
  64. I think that was supposed to mean that if someone is incompetent enough to site one of these on a volcano then bad things could happen.
    But I’m not seeing how a sodium cooled reactor, destroyed by a volcano, would be noticeably worse than any other sort of reactor destroyed by a volcano.

    Reply
  65. I’m certain that gaseous Sodium makes a beautiful Yellow flame! Hope sincerely that there are no mantle plumes nearby to puncture etc. with all that thermal power. Possibility always gets it’s real workout done in the zone of incompetence. Could lead to new knowledge.

    Reply

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