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New interesting design of Nuclear reactor


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#1 Odd

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 03:40 AM

bellisaurius, what do you think about this?

A clever new design could lead to a kinder, gentler form of nuclear power

IT SOUNDS impossible: a nuclear reactor that generates electricity from nuclear waste. Yet that is what Claudio Filippone, a nuclear scientist and director of the Centre for Advanced Energy Concepts at the University of Maryland, proposed a few years ago. He has now devised an improved design, called CAESAR (
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#2 bellisaurius

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 04:02 AM

U 235 is a slow fuel. It requires moderated neutron (slowed to a few ev's (electron volts). I think U 238 is a faster fuel and has a big cross section for absorbtion as opposed to fission. It's more likely to absorb, and become pu 239, which is a good fuel.

Using Steam is a stroke of creative genius, though. I don't quite know the numbers and I would be hazarding any guesses, but it might be a great idea. If it is, I really give the guy kudo's. The only problem with steam will be the temperature gradient. As steam is a poor heat conductor, the temperature on the fuel plate might need to be higher than the fuel matrix can support (I'd love to toss out the number but I can't). It also might lack the inherent desire (due to the density/temperature of water) of a PWR to change power in response to transients.

We also use delayed neutrons as opposed to prompt. In reality a reator is run at just around subcritical if these weren't included. They prevent us from having wild power spikes.

However, as to the waste part, i would say it solves the problem from being a rad waste that lasts a couple million years to one in the hundreds of years. You're still left with the fission products, which could last for a while and the activated stuff that was part of the reactor's neutron flux.
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#3 OCh

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 04:42 AM

You guys seem to know one thing or two about nuclear reactor.

Do you think that the future of electricity-generation is nuclear
based? or how about nuclear space travel?

Currently, people are adamantly refuse to using nuclear-powered
reactor as a source of energy. Will this new technology help
abate fears a liitle bit?
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#4 bellisaurius

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 05:44 AM

The dream power source is fusion, Och. Nuclear would do (i'm biased though). I don't know if solar will make it, especially since a lot of the current cells depend on rare earths as part of their PN junctions (the part that has the electrons jumping when hit by solar radiation). If we get a common material, the prices will drop and it may work, depending on efficiency and improvements in batteries (and maybe flywheels).

We already use nuclear space travel BTW. The voyagers, for example, both had a radioactive source which emits heat as their power source.

The new one is just that, new. The current trend in reactors is the pebble bed type. Its intrisically safe, and not quite as messy as the current ones. This one will merit looking at, but I don't know enough to make more than a good guess.
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#5 OCh

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 06:29 AM

I thought both fusion and fission are nuclear. I may be mistaken.

I got the information from http://www.howstuffw...b.htm/printable

Nuclear rocketry goes back to the 40s. Recently, NASA announced a new nuclear propulsion project dubbed Prometheus. The Voyager is nuclear powered but it is an unmmanned spacecraft. But this Prometheus project is geared towards sending man to Mars. As they say manned space mission is the most difficult of all in space exploration. Habitat module has to be free from the nuclear radiation. Also I guess that this new NASA project will improve the efficiency of the propulsion. In Science
a little bit of improvement takes more effort. ;)
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#6 Odd

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 12:28 PM

Hi OCh,

The US will resume cooperation on the ITER fusion energy project.
In principle fusion power is analogous to the Sun's nuclear processes.

Previous efforts with Tokamak reactors have achieved a few kilowatts of output for a fraction of a second. the great hurdle is maintaining the surrounding plasma at temperatures of millions of degrees.

The ITER is expected to output 500 kilowatt for an hour, long enough for trying to maintain the plasma with the help of the hydrogen. It should be operational in 2006.

As for solar power the only viable way is to put the solar cells into an extraterestrial orbit and beam down the energy to earth.
A huge undertaking.

These two alternatives were submitted by a bunch of researchers speculating on future energy sources.
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#7 seanus

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 07:18 PM

http://news.bbc.co.u...ech/4626191.stm
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20050627\ACQDJON200506271205DOWJONESDJONLINE000457.htm&


According to other sources, France would finance some 50% of the project , as host, against Japan's 10 % .
It will be an exciting project, and might very provide us with the solution to insure our own survival .
Seanus
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