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Topic Title: Next [Fourth] generation nuclear energy - the UK's role
Topic Summary: Wednesday 5 June 2013 at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Created On: 29 May 2013 03:57 PM
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 29 May 2013 03:57 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

For those that are interested, next week there is a half day meeting at the Royal Academy of Engineering entitled

"Next generation nuclear energy - the UK's role"

http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/pdf/Nuclear_Gen_IV.pdf

organised by Professor Peter Flewitt FREng FInstP School of Physics, University of Bristol and Professor James Marrow Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

(Both are members of the IoM3 energy materials group and Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre)

and sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Institute of Physics.



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James Arathoon
 07 June 2013 06:33 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

This meeting was well attended and attracted a diverse group of delegates from Government, Academia and Industry. Many thanks to the organisers and sponsors.

Apparently there will be some announcements from government in the next two months on how the new fourth generation nuclear engineering research and development sector can communicate with government. There are many issues for SME's to resolve with government most urgently in the regulatory sphere.

A video of the event will be publised on the Royal Academy of Engineering Website in due course apparently (not available at the time of this post).

http://raeng.tv/

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 24 July 2013 07:44 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

The video of the half day meeting is now on the Royal Academy of Engineering website.

http://raeng.tv/default.aspx?item=103

I did ask a question about how long it would take for PRISM reactors to fully burn-up the UK's plutonium waste so that the final waste product only contained short half-life fission products (with the aim that the end-product waste reduces to the radioactivity of the original uranium fuel within a time frame of 300 years or so). This may have been inaudible as I am not a good public speaker and has been edited out of the video.

Here is NDA's current view of the GE Hitachi PRISM which my question built upon as I felt this was not accurately reflected in the outlook for the reactor technology that was presented by the speakers.

"Alternatives to re-use of plutonium as MOX fuel"

http://www.nda.gov.uk/news/plu...ment-alternatives.cfm

"The GEH proposal relates to a UK deployment of its PRISM reactor as part of an integral fuel fabrication/reactor plant solution for Plutonium disposition. The engagement is focused on assessing the technical and commercial credibility of the approach, noting that the technology proposed is not currently included in the NDA credible options."

GE Hitachi is actively lobbying behind the scenes to get this assessment changed.

As far as I can see GE Hitachi is wasting its time in trying to do this, because there will be unavoidable and considerable costs associated with the solid fuel reprocessing for input flows into reactor and for output flows from the reactor.

To get to 300 year waste will require an unspecified number of irradiation cycles through the fast reactor. This waste burning process will process be extremely inefficient and therefore end up being ridiculously expensive for what it can achieve in terms of reducing the costs of long term waste storage.

I note this because the NDA has told me very clearly that it will not be reconsidering alternatives to re-use of plutonium as MOX fuel any time soon, even though there is no MOX plant and no reactors to burn it in (and this is most certainly true in regards to the role Molten Salt Reactors may play in reducing the UK's plutonium stockpile to fission product waste that only needs storing for a few hundred years rather than thousands of years).

A brief comment I made on the nature of the proposed 3rd generation Nuclear build programme has been edited out as well presumably because it was inaudible.

An earlier question of mine to DECC's Chief Scientist David Mackay (at around 19 min 45 sec in) on how fourth generation developers might communicate with government was also edited out, even though the answer to the question was kept in.

James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
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