Terrestrial molten salt

Generation IV nuclear reactors incoming with the “Terrestrial Energy’s molten-salt nuclear reactor approved by national regulator” in Canada. Not good for the UK because integral so they can go with Rolls Royce but good enough for Canada? Ha, geopolitics! “Terrestrial has now completed the first phase of a prelicensing review, which provides a regulatory opinion that, given its design features, the company could obtain a licence to construct such a reactor.” Congrats, Terrestrial Energy and keep going!

IAEA Bulletin Nov 2017

“This edition of the IAEA Bulletin , Vol. 58-4, November 2017covers some of the most relevant topics on nuclear power and its role in contributing to sustainable development.” Among the many interesting articles: “Clean energy for a sustainable future: the role of nuclear power” by Yukiya Amano; “Going long term: US nuclear power plants could extend operating life to 80 years” by May Fawaz-Huber; “How China has become the world’s fastest expanding nuclear power producer” by Laura Gil. Divulgative read by the leading atomic and nuclear agency worldwide.

Nuclear failure?

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is always interesting and provoking, even when the anti-nuclear stance prevails. The latest opinion by Mark Cooper, though, called “A dozen reasons for the economic failure of nuclear power” is so biased it is embarrassing at the least. Mind, the pro-nuclear camp should always read detractors in order to improve its practices, but when fundamentals are both wrong and used to support a narrative, nothing can be done.

Nobel to ICAN

“It is a great honour to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 in recognition of our role in achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This historic agreement, adopted on 7 July with the backing of 122 nations, offers a powerful, much-needed alternative to a world in which threats of mass destruction are allowed to prevail and, indeed, are escalating. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries. By harnessing the power of the people, we have worked to bring an end to the most destructive weapon ever created – the only weapon that poses an existential threat to all humanity.” Hurrah!!

Database #1

So I reduced my 2500+ archive to 641 very recent Gen IV nuclear papers / reports / books database, which I need starting to summarise in order to work for arguments: plants layouts (molten salt being the most penetrable), materials (steels and novel alloys), FEA applications (aimed at preliminary design), one-off contributions (exposure to lateral methods). Using pen & paper for a new catalogue.

China Nuclear 2017

Bloomberg.com’s Sep 21 notice about China’s effort and open playground for Gen IV nuclear experiments is here: Nuclear Experts Head to China to Test Experimental Reactors. “China is becoming the testing ground for a new breed of nuclear power stations designed to be safer and cheaper, as scientists from the U.S. and other Western nations find it difficult to raise enough money to build experimental plants at home.” They will work at a traveling wave reactor, a new recycled-fuel plant and a salt-cooled system together with North American counterparts. “With fewer constraints and a burning need for more energy, China is pushing ahead with new power stations, not only in nuclear, but any technology that could help it meet demand.”

Salome-Meca 2017

The Windows version of Salome-Meca was not good as hoped, so I was waiting for the official 2017 version in order to double boot my Win 10 with Lubuntu 16.04 and install the package. EDF releasead it on Sep 1 so I am done, my new shiny and free FEM package for commercial use, under LGPL license, is in the bag. No Abaqus, no Ansys, no monies to fork out. Thanks, EDF!

Google Nuclear

While the US and North Korea leaders are trying to kickstart a nuclear war locking horns, Google is the latest corporation to invest in nuclear energy for pacific usage, namely decarbonisation of electricity to fight climate change. They have just released a strategic study showing that: “if we can find a zero-carbon, 24×7 electricity source that costs about $2200/kW to build, it can displace carbon emission from the electricity grid in less than 27 years.” It is not my pair of shoes, except the nuclear-heavy scenario, and it seems quite difficult to deploy because out of their own control. Good for discussion, though.

Molten Salt EU

Molten Salt nuclear reactors are being developed at commercial startup level and through the institutional Gen IV International Forum. In particular, the EU is now working at SAMOFAR , its Molten Salt fast reactor, within the Horizon 2020 framework under the leadership of Prof. Elsa Merle-Lucotte from Grenoble University, France. The presentations from their recent Summer School are now online, they add nicely to my database. Molten Salt reactors are the less technologically ready among the Gen IV designs and, as such, still open to independent contributions: layouts, critical components and materials from me?