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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thorcon is a company that is designing the ThorCon Reactor, a small modular reactor (SMR) that employs molten salt technology, based on the DMSR design from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.[1] It relies on large modules as are used in modern ship building.[2] The ThorCon reactor is a "burner" reactor that employs liquid fuel,[3] rather than a conventional solid fuel; this liquid contains the nuclear fuel and also serves as primary coolant.[4]

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  • ThorCon: A Thorium Molten Salt Reactor System that can be built Now -by Lars Jorgensen @ TEAC7
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  • Lars Jorgensen of ThorCon Power: Thorium Molten Salt Reactor System - TR2016c 6h03m33s13f

Transcription

Contents

History

In December 2015, Thorcon signed a memorandum of understanding with three Indonesian companies to develop its molten salt reactor technology in Indonesia.[5]

A 2017 study included ThorCon and seven other designs.[6] Conclusion: "If power plants featuring these technologies are able to produce electricity at the average LCOE price projected here (much less the low-end estimate), it would have a significant impact on electricity markets."

In April 2018, the United States Department of Energy awarded Thorcon $400,000 as a GAIN[7] research project[8] to be conducted jointly by ThorCon USA Inc and Argonne National Laboratory.

Design

ThorCon uses modular shipbuilding production processes. except the blocks are barged to the site and dropped into place. Thorcon plans to build its reactors in shipyards, It reauires as much steel as a medium size, 125,000 dwt Suezmax tanker.[9] The reactor consists of two main components, steam/electrical and nuclear. The steam/electrical component features the same design and cost ($700/kw) of a 500 MWe coal plant. A 1 GWe nuclear component requires less than 400 tons of supercritical alloys and other exotic materials.[10]

The reactor operates at near-ambient pressure, reducing steel requirements by 50% and concrete requirements by 80% versus a conventional reactor. Little of the concrete must be reinforced.[10]

Passive cooling is needed only in the event of overheating, which first stops the reaction, and then triggers freeze valves to drain the reactor. Fluoride salt reacts with hazardous fission products iodine-131, cesium-137 and strontium-90, preventing their release. Each reactor unit operates for four years, cools for four years, and then is replaced. All recycling occurs offsite. Each power module has two siloed reactor units generating 557 MW (thermal) yielding 250 MW (electric).[11]

Fuel

In addition to (low cost) thorium, a 1 GWe reactor initially requires 3,156 kg of 20% low enriched uranium along with 11 kg per day of operation. Every 8 years the fuel must be changed out. At a yellowcake cost of $66/kg, a $7.50 UF
6
conversion cost and $90 per separative work unit, the levelized fuel cost is 0.53 cents per kilowatt-hour.[10]

Waste product

Every 8 years 160 tons of spent fuel travel to the recycling facility, consisting of about 75% thorium, with 95% of the balance uranium. Without separation (other than removing the salt), the total fuel waste stream averages about 2 m3/yr.[10]

Greenhouse gases

No greenhouse gases are produced by ThorCon reactors because heat is produced by nuclear fission rather than combustion.

Image sequence of the block assembly progression
Image sequence of the block assembly progression

See also

References

External links

This page was last edited on 30 August 2018, at 01:19
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