Some Nuclear Films You Are Otherwise Very Unlikely to See

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posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 03:55 PM
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The Separation of Plutonium From Uranium in 1 minute!
Here uranium containing small amounts of plutonium created within it, (from having once been inside a nuclear reactor) is separated having been put into nitric acid, and shaken with Kerosene…
www.youtube.com...

Plutonium 239 can be used either for nuclear bombs or as conventional reactor Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel (an idea originally invented by British Nuclear Fuels -now owned by several companies).
But all higher than Pu 239 isotopes are practical only as Fast Neutron reactor fuel, and are almost completely useless in nuclear weapons because they cause it to detonate too quickly making the bomb very inefficient. This is why something called Isotope Separation was developed www.atomicarchive.com...

Now where was the above filmed? Probably at…

The Dounreay Criticality Laboratory
Operating in the 7 years from 1956 to 1963 it once described as "the most contaminated place on the planet" it has since been successfully demolished. Here’s how… www.youtube.com...
5.05 minutes



Building the World’s Most Dangerous Reactor…
(In my view) the most dangerous reactor ever built, was constructed at Dounraey. Later another was (the PFR) built. What made them both dangerous was they were cooled with Nak (a mixture of 77% potassium and 23% sodium metal) en.wikipedia.org...
Both these metals spontaneously ignite in water, potassium sort of excludes as is often shown in school science lessons. In short: Using molten gunpowder as a coolant (if only it were practical) would be safer, since at least gunpowder doesn’t burn under water!
These reactors operated during the height of Cold War, and had there been a Soviet Nuclear attack the Electromagnetic Pulse from one bomb would have destroyed the Induction Pump, pumping system. This in turn would have caused a meltdown at Dounraey which (by the time it exposed to Nak too air-water) would most likely have multi-year survival in the UK impossible for all -even today.

Here's how the Dounraey Fast Reactor was constructed it operated from 1959 to 1977 www.youtube.com...

Here is the building of the more advanced 250 megawatt, Prototype Fast Reactor which produced electricity from 1975 to 1994. This film is very dated, and that interesting in comparison to the next one…
www.youtube.com...




Why the U.K Fast Neutron Reactors Went Nowhere…
www.youtube.com...
This explains the main advantages of fast reactors. It does not explain the main stumbling block was the NAK coolant. In hindsight it would have been far smarter (and safer) to have used Lead Bismuth as a coolant instead en.wikipedia.org...
New Lead Cooled Reactors: www.gen-4.org...

Why Flammable Coolants Are A Bad Idea
Using Dounraey as a source of inspiration, Japan built the Monju Reactor.
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.com...’s-monju-reactor-budget-uncertain Costing over a billion dollars it has operated for just 1 hour in it’s 15 years. This because of a none radioactive leak of its liquid sodium coolant in 1995. www.abc.net.au...
Thankfully the 1950’s Dounraey building team did their job much better, as Japan’s reactor only used liquid Sodium which although dangerous isn’t as dangerous as NaK.




New Nuclear In Today’s Britain
This film has been watched by many, many, Members of Parliament and other influential figures considering the pro’s and cons of new nuclear.
www.youtube.com...
The European Pressurised Reactor is from the accumulation of 60 years of research, and is incredibly safe & efficient compared with NYTHING BEFORE.

How to Advertise Nuclear Energy… U.K. Style
uk.adforum.com...

The Thorium Future…
Why Thorium is still a good idea: No Fukushima’s, and almost no waste.
www.youtube.com...

The main reason why it’s safe is shown by this diagram, i.e. it’s kept in liquid form, and when it’s pump isn’t working it automatically by gravity flows into holding tanks that contain neutron absorbing materials, thereby killing the reaction with little to no need for moving parts
newenergyandfuel.com...

The main stumbling block for Thorium (today in a world where the West is trying to get rid of Plutonium) is a lack of research money. This is because it’s being spent on things like wind turbines.
www.triplepundit.com...
edit on 090705 by Liberal1984 because: My Grammar Counter went bizerk!!




posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 04:15 PM
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What a really interesting read!
Great OP



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Liberal1984
 


Starred & flagged as this is one thread I'll have to come back to.

Even I haven't seen some of these!

Great stuff



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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The reactor was taken offline in 1994, marking the end of nuclear power generation at the site. A remotely operated robot dubbed 'The Reactorsaurus' will be sent in to remove waste and contaminated equipment from this reactor as it is too dangerous a task for a human.[6]

en.wikipedia.org...

wiki article on this is quite intresting.
i heard that there was a process that could get almost 100% efficiency from the fuel rods using the liquid sodium process, where the method commonly used in the u.s. only gets like 5%, creating the tons of spent fuel and their pools we have today.
not sure of this reactor using that process though?



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 06:23 PM
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really good read.
you clearly have done a lot of research.

i have been following the thorium process and wonder why it has not been done.
the nearest anyone came to it was with the molten salt reactor by weinberg back in the late 1960's but because it doesnt produce plutonium it was shelved.

i think this is why thorium wont see the light of day in the western world at least.
watch India or China. they will be the first to do it.

as for thr UK, we have a serious power problem coming up as we have already extended the life of the life of our aging nuclear plants but no real plans to build new nuclear power stations.
yes we are building new wind turbines but youd need a stupid amount of wind turbines to offset nuclear power.
the real reason to make wind turbines is the kick back cash that is paid to the wind turbine farm when excess energy is NOT needed. some windfarms made more money by not generating power!

future power in the uk is stuffed unless the government move their backsides but i cant see that happening soon in these austerity times.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 09:02 PM
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diddly1234 i think this is why thorium wont see the light of day in the western world at least.
watch India or China. they will be the first to do it.

Too right! China does it… www.telegraph.co.uk...
India does it: www.newscientist.com...

The putting of what little R&D money we do have into dead horses like wind is destroying Britain’s future. Here’s another rare nuclear film. Bradwell Power Station. Constructed between 1957 and 1962. Think about that… Only 12 years after the public discovered what the power of the atom was like, just 12 after losing hundreds of thousands of brightest & youngest to WW2, and only 8 years after the shock of losing India as part of the then British Empire here Britain still was, developing the latest technology on a MASSIVE scale…

Part 0: Not that interesting: www.youtube.com...
Part 1 better: www.youtube.com...
Part 2 better still: www.youtube.com...
And Part 3 actually shows you people working inside the nuclear reactor core itself, as its being built www.youtube.com...

Bradwell station in Essex operated from 1962 to 2002 without a hitch. It is now being slowly dismantled. www.magnoxsites.co.uk...


diddly1234 as for thr UK, we have a serious power problem coming up as we have already extended the life of the life of our aging nuclear plants but no real plans to build new nuclear power stations.
A couple of things will happen…
1. Reactors will be kept running even longer than they were designed to be. It’s obviously unsafe, and I don’t support it, but it will happen because we look to America, and over there they also don’t have a somewhat incompetent government and it’s exactly what they are doing.
2. More electricity will be imported from France (which makes mostly from nuclear anyway). This is good for France but not so good for the value of the U.K pound, inflation, and therefore the preservation of living standards.
3. Gas turbines will be used. However it does look like public opposition is going to stop most of this Gas Fracking which is good (it would just be better to use our own nuclear fuel).


tinhattribunal i heard that there was a process that could get almost 100% efficiency from the fuel rods using the liquid sodium process,
That’s any type of Fast Neutron Reactor. But you do not need Sodium to cool down a Fast Neutron Reactor -almost any metal (including lead) will do. The only reason why engineers (originally) chose molten sodium-potassium was out of sheer greed (these metals conduct heat more easily than lead and are therefore slightly more cost effective). However it was a stupid type of greed; because using these flammable metals is only a smart option if there is no way, anything can ever go wrong. Of course nothing ever never does go wrong on paper, then someone actually built the Monju Reactor in Japan, and then England realised how lucky it had been decades earlier in choosing its welding team for at Dounreay.


Here’s A Science Lesson from the Horse’s Mouth…
Lead is very good coolant because it also absorbs the many useless, dangerous types of radiation (like Gamma, and X ray) any reactor produces.
However it absorbs very little Neutron Radiation. Neutron Radiation is also dangerous; but is the only radiation type useful to sustaining the nuclear reaction.

Almost all the world’s reactors are Moderated Reactors. But here’s the difference between a Fast and Moderated Reactor…

Whenever an atoms split the Neutron particles it releases initially travel at just under light speed. But these Neutron are easily slowed down, to just a few hundred miles an hour (or less) using something called a Moderator (the moderator can be Heavy Water, Carbon in the form of graphite, or several other light elements like Lithium) (heavy elements don’t work as well as they simply reflect the Neutron particle).

Quite Counterintuitively…
When neutrons are slowed down, the probability of them causing another unstable atom to split is drastically raised. This is because there is more time for it to be pulled into an atoms nucleus (which despite containing almost all an atoms mass, is up to 100,000 times smaller than the atom itself! –atoms are mostly empty space).

With a good slower (i.e. moderator) you do not need very much U235 fuel to make a reactor work (several percent will quite easily do).
Unfortunately this logic only applies to very unstable atoms such as U235.

But everywhere on Earth uranium is mined, it is exactly 0.72% U235. This is because the Earth was once liquid and all Uranium comes from the same source (the stars that created the atoms in all of us billions of years before even the Earth was formed).
It’s also because (like all isotopes) U235 does not chemically behave any differently to the element it is named after. The only difference is in its mass and radioactivity.
The other 99% of Uranium is mostly U238 which whenever purified is called “Depletive Uranium”. Depletive Uranium is almost worthless as there are huge amounts of it left over (mostly from extracting U235 for power stations).


Ancient Nuclear Civilisation?…
The only place less than 0.72% U235 was found was a place in Oklo Africa where apparently a natural nuclear reactor once existed, others think it might be the work of an advanced ancient civilisation: www.pureinsight.org...
Because it was discovered during the Cold War (when countless people feared a nuclear attack) it would certainly make much political sense for the government to cover up the remains of an ancient nuclear reactor (hinting at a civilisation that wiped itself out with atomic bombs) by saying “nature did it!”

Anyhow…
Fast Neutron Reactors will consume both U238 and U235 and that’s what people mean when they say are a lot more efficient. Fast Reactors (by adding an extra neutron to U238) also turn Uranium 238 into Plutonium 239, and this can keep the reactor going, whilst leaving some Plutonium left over.
This is not a violation of the laws of physics because all you are doing is taking something with a very long Half-Life (U238 has one of about 4.468 billion years) and turning it into Plutonium with a Half Life of 24,100.
So whilst it releases its energy 185,394.19 times more quickly than before (and is therefore more radioactive) you have nor created extra energy.

Moderated reactors also turn Depletive Uranium into plutonium (some is depletive uranium is always deliberately left with the U235) however most Moderated Reactors can never create more plutonium than they consume.



Major Technological Evolution…
The main problem with Fast Neutron Reactors (of which Thorium is one version) was that in order to use the fuel they created, you needed to take it out of the reactor, and then dip it in acid, and chemically separate it, and then dispose-reform the acid through complex electrochemical processes.
The problem with all this is that when the fuel comes out of the reactor it is meagre radioactive, not a little radioactive, not a medium, but kill you instantly kind of thing.
So everything that comes out of the reactor is very difficult to handle, and everything it touches (in order to transport it) becomes contaminated waste in its own right. Even stuff that has touched the stuff it has touched is contaminated.

Consequently…
Moderated reactors have been much cheaper, because although you also have to take the fuel out, you can throw it away just 5 years after cooling it down in water. Basically it’s been much cheaper to throw away than recycle.

Duh! Duh! Duh!!!
(With the reactor producing more fuel than it consumes) It should not have taken a genius to realise there were ways of leaving the fuel inside the reactor without ever having to take it out again. This design also does away with fuel rods which has been a source of accidents to some workers. It’s called The Travelling Wave Reactor terrapower.com... is genuinely clean, and will probably change the world (Bill Gates is investing big time in it news.cnet.com...
Unsurprisingly he’s in talks with China: gigaom.com...
We are fools. They should not be getting our technology, however you get what you pay for, and if they sponsor for it, then they’ll get it.
edit on 090705 by Liberal1984 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 05:05 AM
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i used to work with someone that had worked at bradwell power station. that charge machine was huge.

i still cant get my head around the fact that once the charge machine had changed some rods and moved on to another part of the reactor, a worker used to cone along with a mop and bucket to clean the top of the reactor floor (where the charge machine was over the reactor). aparently it was mildly radioactive and washing this surface was ok for removing the radiation.

that charge machine is also impressive as it is something like 200 tons in weight and always had the same gas pressure as the reactor (changing fuel rods is easier).

makes me wonder what stage of decomissioning bradwell is at now.
i wonder if that charge machine is still in one piece with the high pressure gas.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 10:12 AM
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Everything about Bradwell was massive because (being an early reactor) it was also incredibly inefficient. Its core was cooled with compressed carbon dioxide, the problem being carbon dioxide (like most gasses) does not conduct heat well. To compensate for this large temperature differences were needed, meaning its core was very hot, the coolant only warm in comparison, and the water this carbon dioxide coolant boiled barely above 130 degrees (which is not a very high steam pressure).
Bradwell’s about 60% through Decommissioning
www.itv.com...
However the reactor core will not be removed till 2087 because there is nowhere better to put the waste. Also the longer it is left standing, the less money it will cost to remove. Dounraey for example is being dismantled at half the original estimate…

THE cost of decommissioning and cleaning up the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness has been halved and the site, with its golf ball dome, will be cleared about 40 years earlier than planned.
Details of Britain’s biggest site closure contract, to cost from £1.5 billio to £2 billion, will be announced tomorrow by the nuclear decommissioning authority. www.thesundaytimes.co.uk...
It’s mostly because there are more companies involved with decommissioning, more competition & experience between them. But by 2087 I imagine Bradwell's core will be dipped in acid piece by piece, its radioactivity separated, and then recycled-destroyed as fuel for Britain's upcoming Fast Neutron Reactors.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 12:56 AM
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Not a huge fan of nukes, both as a weapon and power source, but great post regardless.

I have the Thorium vid saved for tomorrow.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
The Separation of Plutonium From Uranium in 1 minute!
Here uranium containing small amounts of plutonium created within it, (from having once been inside a nuclear reactor) is separated having been put into nitric acid, and shaken with Kerosene…
www.youtube.com...


Separating plutonium from uranium is relatively straightforward. It's a purely chemical process, it's tried and true, and pretty much anyone can do it. Of course, you have to do it to used fuel rods, which sort of makes radioactivity an issue.



Plutonium 239 can be used either for nuclear bombs or as conventional reactor Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel (an idea originally invented by British Nuclear Fuels -now owned by several companies).
But all higher than Pu 239 isotopes are practical only as Fast Neutron reactor fuel, and are almost completely useless in nuclear weapons because they cause it to detonate too quickly making the bomb very inefficient. This is why something called Isotope Separation was developed www.atomicarchive.com...


Nope, you sort of missed it a bit here. Traditional isotopic separation of plutonium (Pu239 from Pu240) doesn't work well for several reasons. Pretty much no one does this. Where you use isotope separation is to remove U235 from raw uranium ore, leaving U238 as a waste product.

If you want straight Pu239 with a minimum of the other nasty contaminants, you generally have to do it by not making any Pu240 in the first place. This is an exercise in statistics. You GET Pu240 by bombarding a Pu239 nucleus with a neutron, and it being captured without causing fission. You get Pu239 by bombarding U238 with neutrons and capturing one without fission. So, in your production reactor, one strives to get one capture only, as much as possible. And a way you do this is by careful manipulation of the seed rods and careful control of the neutron source 'temperature' and flux density.

You can, although you won't hear it much in the news, achieve separation of plutonium isotopes with something akin to SILEX, although this is still mostly classified, but careful searching and digging for euphemisms in technical papers will lead you to some info, but this requires a really technical laser setup that you won't find lying about over on United Nuclear. There is an electrostatic method, not a mass spectrometer, that's something similar to a klystron that can separate out contaminants by tiny variations in mass. And there are a couple of other methods that probably don't work all that well that depend on catching the Pu239 in transition from U238 and removing it before it catches another neutron.

But for the most part, you contrive to control the exposure of your seed stock so that you don't re-bombard the Pu239 you've already made. While they'll tell you it depends on seed rod purity and reactor time, and it does, one might with some imagination also think how you could even out exposure to neutron flux in a specialty reactor and maybe remove the Pu239 on the fly, and maybe you'd come up with a way that would work. Maybe.

At any rate, in practice there are grades of Pu239, based on Pu240 levels. Navy has the best, because they're in a sub with it.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 11:55 AM
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Bedlam Nope, you sort of missed it a bit here. Traditional isotopic separation of plutonium (Pu239 from Pu240) doesn't work well for several reasons. Pretty much no one does this. Where you use isotope separation is to remove U235 from raw uranium ore, leaving U238 as a waste product.
I know this; and it’s also the biggest reason why there’s a difference between Reactor Grade plutonium and Military Grade plutonium (containing almost pure P239).


If you want straight Pu239 with a minimum of the other nasty contaminants, you generally have to do it by not making any Pu240 in the first place.
Which is why 8 out of 9, of the U.S military, plutonium producting reactors at Hanford, never made a Watt of Electricity (despite making loads of high temperature, waste heat more than capable of boiling water). en.wikipedia.org...
The one exception was the N Reactor opened in 1963…
www.hanford.gov...

One Would Think…
It would have been possible in 1947 to design either a series of these reactors (so that when one is offline the others are still producing useful heat) or to get a little more advanced, and have a single reactor operating continuously whilst all its uranium rods are removed on a rota (but obviously only one at a time).
However I’ll never design this, because I personally like the fact it is incredibly expensive to make nuclear weapons! But I would love to know the technical reason why these solutions were never done from beginning? What I am suggesting is not exactly rocket science, so there must be a reason why it wasn’t done before 1963. But what reason?
Surely it's unlike building a separate building (just to turn waste heat into electricity) was ever going to (somehow) interfere with Plutonium production?

TOTAL WASTE DESTRUCTION…

You can, although you won't hear it much in the news, achieve separation of plutonium isotopes with something akin to SILEX,
Yes I wish this technology had never been invented.
It’s also called Laser Activation Isotope Separation
unterm.un.org...

On the one hand: it presents a doable way to 100% decontaminate anything that is radioactive, and then recycle the radioactivity causing products, turning these Radionuclides into concentrated nuclear fuel, where they can then be destroyed (made safe) through the Nuclear Transmutation –something that occurs particularly thoroughly within a Fast Neutron reactor.
This is why I suspect the radioactivity of e.g. the Bradford reactor core could be 100% recycled by 2087.

However…
It also creates ways for just about any country on Earth to create nuclear bombs in small buildings, and therefore with little way of the world knowing about it. It means countries can use either use natural uranium, reactor plutonium-waste, or even extract the Uranium 232 that’s created within a Thorium Reactor. Although U232 is too hot to be particularly useful for a bomb, it would still work as a bomb for a nation that’s desperate enough.

I much prefer the Travelling Wave Reactor (type designs) as they bypasses all these issues, and just focuses on making electricity, and with virtually no waste.

Then Again…
(Given around 50 million people died in World War 2) and the Cold War never went hot, perhaps its possible more nuclear will mean more peace? Less death from war overall? One need only look at Iraq and Libya to know what happens when a government with poor political relations gets rid of their WMD’s!
However: I’d much rather live in a world where as few countries have nukes, as this makes all the countries I tend to live in, and therefore care about, much more powerful!!



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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UPDATE...
It was publicly known there’s an MOD submarine “Vulcan Rector Test Establishment” at Dounreay www.secretscotland.org.uk... however you would never have believed it’s this vast… Secret Submarine Base Discovered at Dounreay with Google Earth… www.youtube.com...

Interesting: Dounreay Fuel Rod Extraction in Preparation for Recycling…
Rods from the earliest Dounreay Rector which closed in 1977 were left inside about 30 years too!
That decision saved money because modern day expertise is indeed enabling dismantling at ever lower costs. The downside is the intense, internal reactor radiation, (even when the reactor was shut down) caused many rods to warp over 30 years. This video shows how they are being safely extracted in preparation for their recycling in England’s Uranium & Plutonium Separation Plant (at Sellafield, Cumbria)…
www.youtube.com...

Sort of interesting: Demolition of Dounreay’s old uranium & plutonium separation plant www.youtube.com...

Basically: What these videos all demonstrate is that no matter the contamination, no matter the deterioration from past decisions, there is always a way to make dismantling a reactor possible (if Scottish & British engineers work together).





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