Thorcon

From ScienceForSustainability
Jump to navigation Jump to search


ThorCon power

Thorcon Plan - Scaling factory mass production nuclear power to really compete with coal Brian Wang; Next Big Future; 12 Nov 2015

Slides (apparently photographed from the screen) from a presentation on ThorCon's plans to build modular reactors in a shipyard-type factory
The developing world will be going from almost no power to some kind of power. If we do not have something cheaper than coal then they will use coal because they do not have money for anything else. We have to have 100 GW per year at least to seriously compete with coal.

The ThorCon fuel Plan Charles Barton; Nuclear Green Revolution; 12 Dec 2015

ThorCon Plans to Use 19.75% enriched Uranium in its initial start charge. Burning Mixed U-235 and U-238 Uranium fuel in a reactor core usually produces a useful amount of Pu-239, that can be burned as nuclear fuel in the reactor. Both Transatomic Power, and terrestrial energy plan to burn 3% to 5% enriched uranium fuel, and produce a substantual amount of Pu-239, as well as a lesser amount of fissionable Pu-241. These Plutonium isotopes can add significantly to the Fuel of uranium cycle reactors. Transatomic Power plans to use a core design "trick" to increase Plutonium production, while I would not be shocked to discover that Terrestrial Energy's David LeBlank also has a similar trick with the same goal in mind.
Mark Massie and Leslie Dewan, as well as David LeBlanc anticipate relatively high conversion ratios in their MSRs, without the use of Thorium. Jorgenson anticipate Thorium cycle conversion, and pays no attention to Plutonium burning.
Here is the Thorcon comment on its fuel:
On a once through basis, ThorCon is not that uranium efficient. Over 8 years, we feed 2,185 kg of U-235 to a 250 MWe module. This equates to 208 tons of natural uranium per full power GW-y. For comparison a standard 1 GW Light Water Reactor (LWR) requires about 250 tons of natural uranium per year. However, at the end of 8 years, the module’s “spent” fuel will contain 1289 kgs of U-233 and U235. ThorCon’s net consumption of fissile is less than half that of a LWR, due to higher thermal efficiency, removal of Xe-135, and U-233 production from thorium. ThorCon “spent” fuel is about 9% U-235 and 4% U-233. This is highly enriched by normal standards. Re-enriching this back to 20% will take about 48 SWU per kg U-235. Currently, an SWU costs $90 and this is likely to drop in the future as the last of the diffusion plants are pushed out of the market. $4000 per kg of U-235 is extremely cheap. Such re-enrichment would cut ThorCon’s uranium requirements in half.
Notice that no mention of Plutonium is made, even though Plutonium will be produced and burned in the ThorCon Reactor, and Pu-238, Pu-239, Pu-241, and so on will be present in the fuel salts. I am sure that this is understood by ThorCon, and that they have appropriate plans regareding the role of Plutonium, but Plutonium does not have a role in the ThorCon story.
It is gaps like this that bother me, but perhaps I expect to much. ThorCon Includs at lrsst three people who influenced my thinking about MSRs and Thorium. These are Lars Jorgensen, Ralph Moir and Robert Hargraves. ThorCon, caught on to the idea that the workd needed MSR now, and in large numbers.

Indonesia and ThorCon to Develop Thorium MSR Thorium Energy World; 3 Dec 2015

Indonesia has signed a memorandum of understanding with ThorCon to develop thorium molten salt reactors. The resulting Indonesia Thorium Consortium has three partners from the Indonesian side. The memorandum was signed in Washington DC between ThorCon three Indonesian companies:
  • PT Industry Nuklir Indonesia (INUKI) is the state-owned nuclear fuel processing company.
  • PT PLN is the state-owned power generation company.
  • PT Pertamina is the state oil and gas giant which is now looking at nuclear and other forms of energy.

also:

Indonesia and ThorCon to Develop Thorium MSR djysrv; NeutronBytes; 6 Dec 2015

Indonesia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ThorCon to develop thorium molten salt reactors. The resulting Indonesia Thorium Consortium has three partners from the Indonesian side.

Indonesia Vows No Nuclear Power Until 2050 Rangga Prakoso; Jakarta Globe; 12 Dec 2015

Indonesia will not resort to nuclear energy to meet its target of 136.7 gigawatt of power capacity by 2025 and 430 gigawatt by 2050, a minister said on Saturday. The move means a previous $8-billion plan to operate four nuclear plants with a total capacity of 6 gigawatt by 2025 will be canceled. "We have arrived at the conclusion that this is not the time to build up nuclear power capacity. We still have many alternatives and we do not need to raise any controversies," Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said said on Saturday in Banda Aceh.

ThorCon Power, Lars Jorgensen on Indonesia Thorium MSR Project Bob S. Effendi; YouTube; 20 Jun 2016

Interview of Lars Jorgensen, CEO of ThorCon Power on The TMSR power plant project in Indonesia

Indonesia Considers Thorium Molten Salt Reactors Sonal Patel; PowerMag; 01 May 2017

This March, the country stepped up its nuclear curiosity. Three state-owned Indonesian power companies—power generator PT PLN, nuclear fuel processing firm PT Industry Nuklir Indonesia (INUKI), and oil and gas giant PT Pertamina—completed a 10-month-long preliminary feasibility study for a 250-MW molten salt reactor that would use a combination of 80% thorium and 20% uranium (the uranium would be enriched to 19.75% U-235, and the fuel would be delivered to the plant as fluoride salts). The reactor design was unveiled in January 2015 by ThorCon International, a company owned by Florida-based consulting firm Martingale Inc. The prefeasibility study stems from a memorandum of understanding the company signed with the Indonesian state firms in December 2015.

ThorCon Advanced Nuclear Reactor -- More Than Worth Its Weight In Salt James Conca; Forbes; 31 May 2019

One such [SMR] reactor is ThorCon, a fission reactor with a liquid molten salt fuel containing thorium+uranium. A full-scale 500 MW ThorCon prototype should be able to be built and operating within four years.
But the ThorCon takes a different tack on manufacturing. It would be completely manufactured in 150 to 500 ton blocks in a shipyard, assembled, then towed to the site, producing order of magnitude improvements in productivity, quality control, and build time.
ThorCon is designed to bring shipyard quality and productivity to fission power. But ThorCon’s structure is simpler and much more repetitive than a large ship. The fission island employs steel plate, sandwich walls filled with concrete or sand. This results in a strong, air-tight, ductile building, all simple flat plate. A properly implemented panel line will be able to produce these blocks using less than 2 man-hours per ton of steel.
Each ThorCon plant is based on one or more hulls, each containing two 250 MWe power modules, a 500 MW super-critical turbogenerator, gas insulated switchgear (GIS), a decay heat pond, and auxiliaries (see figure above). The fission island is at the forward end of the hull. Aft of the fission island is the Steam Generating Cell (SGC). Aft of the SGC is the turbine hall, which contains the turbogenerator, exciter, condensers, feedheaters, pumps, and condensate treatment.
A single large reactor yard can turn out twenty gigawatts of ThorCon power plants per year, providing clean, reliable, CO2-free electricity at 3¢/kWh - cheaper than coal.