MYRRHA Accelerator Driven Fission System Will Shorten Nuclear Waste Life by 1000 Times

MYRRHA is an accelerator-driven fission system (ADS) that is a part of a new European research infrastructure with allocated 558 M€ over period of 2019–2038. MYRRHA is intended to be fully operational in 2033, with a first phase (100 MeV accelerator) ready in 2026. The MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is a “first of its kind” design project of a nuclear reactor coupled to a proton accelerator (a so-called Accelerator-driven system (ADS)). MYRRHA will be a lead-bismuth cooled fast reactor.

The technology can shorten the lifespan of nuclear waste by 1000 times.

The BR2 reactor has flux 10^15 neutron per square centimeter per second. This is the highest flux in the world.

MYRRHA mains purpose is to develop a more efficient and cost-effective way to transmute nuclear waste.

MYRRHA – An Accelerator Driven System intended to demonstrate the ADS concept at pre-industrial scale. It will operate in critical and sub-critical modes and demonstrate transmutation. It is a multipurpose and flexible fast neutron source and irradiation facility.

600 MeV (4mA beam) Proton Accelerator and spallation target combined with 100MW-thermal K(eff) 0.95 solid-fuel reactor using LBE coolant.

SOURCES- MYRRHA, Youtube Gordon Mcdowell
Written By Brian Wang,

45 thoughts on “MYRRHA Accelerator Driven Fission System Will Shorten Nuclear Waste Life by 1000 Times”

  1. OK
    All the ones *I’ve looked into* turn out to be misleading half truths, when they aren’t just lies.
    Eg: the safety issue – it turns out nuclear has a better safety record than other energy sources.

  2. The sad thing is, I think you actually believe that irrational fantasy. How defective must one be to think there couldn’t possible exists any reason to think fission is not worth the risk unless one was invested in non nuclear energy sources.

  3. The best technique I guess is FS-MSR

    The model from Oak Ridge can be simplified and cheaper.

    Vertical reactor with convection for circulation.

    No control rods and effect regulation as the first MSR from 1954, 860C was that ones reactor temperatures and with carbon fiber reinforced ceramic materials the temperature can be high and the reactor vessel cheap and long lived.

    Super critical CO2 and closed Brayton cycle for electric produktion is one other change.

    I cant find a better and more resors creating system for countries that have one time used fuel rods and wast funds, like US.

    But as Alvin Weinberg one of his last year said.

    -No I have ben energy consult for seven presidents, no one want cheap, safe and environment friendly energy.

    Its all about tax.

    When Faraday showed electricity får Englands PM, the PM asked:

    -But what can we have electricity to?

    -Some day electricity can be taxed.

    Faraday know for so many years ago what was the driving force for politicians.

  4. Cross-section of Am-241 increases with temperature, thus lowering the Doppler feedback.
    In old spent fuel, Am-241 can be quite high, due to the decay of Pu-241.

  5. In twenty years the wind plants built in the last ten years will still have ~ ten years of life left in them, so every time the wind blows, they’ll push the wholesale price of power down. New wind farms built then will be competing on exactly the same market – their production will peak at the same time, while fossil fuel plants working during the lulls will not be threatened. The same applies to solar – any new solar will be trying to find a niche in the same slot as old solar. Gas plants with low construction costs but higher fuel prices won’t be threatened, though they will put any costs of capital on top of the price of their shorter operating window. Batteries are another high upfront cost tech, have a shorter lifetime than wind or solar, and have to make their living from the difference between midday/gale power, and inflated peak prices.
    Here’s power prices, wind and solar production in Germany, for one week last month. On the 27/5, prices went to negative 50E/MWh for several hours at midday, then shot back up to ~positive 30E in the evening, when people actually needed the power. Do you think they’ll be building much more solar, or wind, if prices for them are consistently being forced negative ? Conversely, if wind and solar keep their feed-in tariffs, and the customers have to pay the difference, do you think their current infatuation with unreliable power sources will continue ?

  6. Everybody realizes that this reactor, with multiplication factor k=0.95, will still have decay heat commensurate with its 100MW rating, right? Everybody also realizes that the damage at Fukushima and TMI was due to inability to remove decay heat, right?

  7. It ain’t MY boogie man, friend. Its the archenemy of Greens, eco-warriors, environmentalists, liberals and granola munchers planet-wide.

  8. Nuclear isn’t the boogie man you want it to be. That is bad engineering and an uneducated population.

  9. This reference shows the delayed neutron fraction for 241Am is slightly smaller than 239Pu, which is quite smaller than for 235U:

    I guess the higher control rod worths and potential for shorter periods is your point, noting that this is managed in LWR that load fraction of MOX fuel. You’re worried about reactivity insertion events and how K=1.002 is prompt with 241Am instead of 1.0065 with 235U. The overall delayed neutron fraction is going to be dominated by the uranium and plutonium bulk. How much Americium were you figuring was going to be in the fuel? These minor actinides build to gram quantities in a 450 kg PWR fuel assembly at discharge.

    Who cares about formation of Californium-249? Spent fuel generates neutrons to begin with. How is this Cf-249 some kind of red line not to cross?

    Subcritical reactors are dumb, period. We can manage short periods from reduced delayed neutron fraction. Reactivity insertion accidents are turned by doppler feedback; the pulse steadies out at some intermediate power level, unless its a bomb with weak feedback, like a RBMK full of saturated water.

  10. Americium has a positive reactivity feedback, curium can lead to the formation of californium-249, a strong neutron emitter. That is why you cannot just mix them in the fuel. For a subcritical reactor however that would not be a problem.

  11. I only agree because you’re going to want the freedom to keep the waste in the reactor for a different amount of time than the fuel.

  12. Don’t agree with him. The comment is invalid. If they can mix Gd2O3 and Er2O3 into oxide fuel pellets at 10% weight fraction, they can certainly mix Americium and TRU oxides into the fuel. Obviously the manufacturing process will have some difficulties if some of these minor actinides are strong gamma and neutron sources – I didn’t bother to look if any are. We know they are alpha sources; some have high spontaneous fission rates.

  13. Well, sure; If you could just mix them in with the fuel in the ordinary way, you wouldn’t have had to extract them from the original fuel rods in the first place.

  14. My point was that to solve it we need to make it known that all the antinuclear issues are smear campaigns funded by people who are invested in non nuclear energy sources.

  15. Poor excuse, why just “give up”! Many solutions to the issue exist and can be done outside of or regardless of US politics!

  16. Too much minor actinides would create safety issues in a simple fast neutron reactor, you would have to put them in separate fuel rods.

  17. I guess you would have to shut your windows while they hosed it down. I live in NJ – half of my state is a Superfund site.

    I understand that you would be upset if your favorite Bay Area beach got ruined. How many oil tankers pass off the coast there? What kinds of nasty things are shipped into and out of the bay? You have no idea; some of them are undoubtedly dangerous and would be expensive to clean-up if spilled…. those dawn dish detergent commercials – oil spill’s worst nightmare. Dawn dish soap: saves all kinds of fuzzy duckies and sea otters alike. Not approved for dirty bomb cleanup unfortunately.

  18. Lets pick santa cruz. Terroists set off a dirty bomb downtown next to the river. What now?

  19. borderline tinfoil hat there. If it looks like pork and smells like pork, it’s probably just pork.

  20. They wouldn’t get very far if they stole it, but they certainly could disrupt it with high explosives. It is also possible for evildoers to dump a truck of poison at the head of unguarded pick-a-river. It is also possible for evildoers to explosively disperse a drum of pick-a-chemical weapon in the center of pick-a-city. Do you believe there is more or less risk of getting poisoned by these things today or years ago? Do you believe that there is an actual concern here?

    “A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice.”

  21. Why is it guarded scaryjello?
    Terrorists might break in and steal it and make dirty bombs.

    Or crash a plane into the dump.
    And your sarcopahous might be built with inferior matetials that leak radioactivity.

  22. It’s a “huge psychological barrier” just because it’s one of the half truths used by the smear campaign against nuclear power. Any sort of breeder reactor will use up the trans-uranic nuclei that are considered to be the problem, but the anti-nukes make sure those don’t get built. See the ‘Integral Fast Reactor’ & how it got scuttled during the Clinton administration.

  23. Drill holes down to the mantle and bury it. Subduction will take it further down away from the surface.

  24. Ok. Sounds complicated. Not really sure why spallation is used at all when a fusor or alpha-Be source or a fission reactor can make copius neutrons without the proton beam…

  25. this is a research reactor. Nobody is building the commercial version in the foreseeable future…

  26. ISOL@MYRRHA is part of the EURISOL distributed facility, aimed at better characterization of short life isotopes. Its less publicized interest is to identify and learn to produce nuclear isomers, which are of crucial importance (together with antiprotons) for making 4th generation nuclear weapons (miniaturized pure DT fusion). See also the megajoule laser facility in France…

  27. Well aren’t we a bunch of negators? Waste is really not a huge amount per year yet does constitute a huge psychological barrier for fission power.

    If it was so easy to reduce waste half life from an unmanageable 500,000 yr to 500 yr, for instance, why the heck have you geniuses not done so?

  28. So the chinese work is the ADANES program, and they list the dense granular target merits as high neutron yield, high thermal conductivity, high heat capacity, low corrosion, low toxicity, less contamination of the beamline vacuum (dust aside), beam trip induced shockwave survivability, expanding the beam trip allowable duration beyond 10 seconds, and offline target heat removal. The target is a cone with the beamline pipe stuffed in the middle, and flowing tungsten micrograins flowing in by gravity from the top of the cone down, past the beamline tube then in front of it, eventually exiting the bottom of the cone. They seem to really like this neutron spallation target approach.

  29. Floating offshore wind is expected to hit 5-7 cents per kWh by 2030. Probably 1/3 less than that in 20 years.

    So I don’t expect any nuclear renaissance at that point either.

  30. An accelerator could be a way of producing fissile fuel for thorium reactors on the moon.

  31. Isn’t the usual term ADSR (accelerator driven subcritical reactor)? I wonder how they will handle the spallation target. The chinese had a nifty alternative to a molten neutron spallation target by using SiC coated tungsten micrograins, so it’s a solid target that behaves like a pumpable liquid, to better handle accelerator beam transients from beam trips.

  32. Agreed, especially since flux can be arbitrarily enormous, limited only by heat removal capability.

  33. ⊕1 … totally

    It also is a REALLY sneaky way of getting nuclear power while not sounding like it a nuclear fission power station. You know, ”we’re doing it just for the waste”. Get the ‘pile’ close enough to criticality, and it doesn’t take very many spallation neutrons to kick the core to high gear.

    But hey… there are an endless number of clever people angling to make money off of energy production by most-any means necessary. So long as they’re adequately funded. Income first.

  34. Just gotta give the accelerator boffins something to work on. Anybody doubt that working on ever higher currents at ever higher energies is good science? At some point we’ll get phasers out of this.

    Driving a sub-critical pile with spallation neutrons is retarded however…

    2033 may as well be 2133 or never.

  35. Would like to have seen that money put towards fusion research or better yet genetic engineering research.

  36. Isn’t this a very expensive way of producing a neutron flux to transmute waste, compared to simply operating a reactor?

  37. Not going to happen for nuclear with Solar and onshore wind costs are falling and falling, delivery is faster than any other power source any time soon and reception by the public is better than any other energy source. Get ready for the next wave of Renewables expansion with very little incentives this time but encouraged with regulations. Maybe we will meet again after renewable reach 60% of market share which may happen in 20 years or more but that time it will probably be with molten salt reactors.

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