posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 01:45 PM
Originally posted by ANNED
Originally posted by John_Rodger_Cornman
reply to post by PuterMan
Do they have the same problems as normal nuclear energy generators?
Can they melt down?
Accelerator-driven thorium reactor (ADTR) can not melt down because when the accelerator stops the reaction stops.
what about decay heat? that's what did the Fukushima 1 NPP in, after all. besides, accelerators can only contribute an extremely small fraction of the
required neutrons, which implies that any accelerator driven design would still need all existing safeguards (positive void coefficient, etc.) against
reactivity excursions, only the plant would cost a lot more.
the real difference with Thorium is that it can only be used in a breeder design, since it isn't fissile unless converted to Uranium 233, which costs
a neutron. That kind of neutron economy is hard to achieve with solid fuels, which is why the real innovation will have to come with liquid fuel
because it allows for the continuous extraction of harmful (to the neutron budget) fission products.
The reason the pathway from Th 232 to U 233 is in many ways preferable to the Uranium 238 - Pu 239 one is the former's ability to work with moderated
neutrons (easier to control, less fissile material needed for startup) since U 233's neutron multiplication factor is roughly constant with different
So, it's not risk free and 100% harmless, it's just what nuclear energy should have been without the atom bomb, fear and regulations getting in the
edit on 2012.11.12 by Long Lance because: (no reason given)