posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 09:59 AM
EBR-II was an experimental liquid sodium fast breeder reactor that operated from the 1965 to 1994. In summary a fully developed design would:
1. Destroy existing nuclear waste reducing the long-term radiotoxicity of existing nuclear waste by many orders of magnitude.
2. With no mining is required for hundreds of years as existing depleted uranium stockpiles are destroyed.
3. Be very safe via the use of the laws of nature for safety, rather than operators.
The EBR-II was canceled in 1994, after decades of work, just years before the technology was fully developed. The technology is sorely needed now as a
politically viable solution to nuclear waste must be found, as well as an energy source that is clean and non-polluting. In 1986, just three weeks
before Chernobyl, the safety of the system was demonstrated:
26 years ago and only 3 weeks before Chernobyl, a US reactor underwent a Common Mode Failure of the type which devastated the Fukushima-Diiachi
reactors. 70 scientists and technologists were jammed into the reactor control room in, what ordinary folks would have considered, a suicide pact. At
that point, the Common Mode Failure occured and nature took its course.
In Dr John Sackett's word: ".....the worst accident that could befall a nuclear power system, that worst accident is a complete loss of electric
power to everything, back-up as well, and failure of all the safety systems that shut the reactor down...."
Darrell Pfannensteil was issuing instructions to his plant operators as the event occured. He had told colleagues beforehand that he was not scared of
this type of accident occuring, so what was his response? In his own words: ".....we got to watch the forces of nature shut the reactor down.....we'd
found a reactor that could protect itself....."
After 33 years of dedicated, productive work, the political decision to shut down EBR-II was made and in September 1994, Dr Sackett recollects that:
"....when I had to go to the operating crews and tell them we'd got the order to shut EBR-II down.....the reaction amongst all the crews was - doesn't
the country realise what they're losing here?....". Near to tears, he goes on to say: ".....I remember directing the shut-down---and the scram---and
A 20 minute documentary on EBR-II can be found here:
An explanation of the technology is found in my other thread, here
The UK may build a fully developed version
of this technology to destroy
Plutonium that has accumulated at Sellafield.
edit on 8/4/12 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)