New Nuclear Technology Advancements Use Current Nuclear Waste for Fuel

Recycle All of the Current Nuclear Waste into Electricity

Update:  12/10,2011:

I hate it when I am right!

On 12/10 John C.K. Daly reported on Stockhouse (http://www.stockhouse.com/Columnists/2011/Dec/9/Bill-Gates-to-build-nuclear-reactors-in-China-): that Gates is in discussions with the Chinese government to begin the development of the TWR technology in China.  This technology could prove to be a huge energy advantage for our largest competitor.  The sad part for the US is that this technology has been the product of our very own Scientists here in the US.  It is tragic that we do not have the foresight in the US to embrace technology any longer.  We did once, that was when we knew no bounds and led the free world in new advancements in technology and achieved the highest standard of living in the world.

We are self imposing our own demise by bad decisions that allow a few vocal radical enviro-nuts to dominate our landscape.  It is our decision to become a lesser nation or once again retake our place of world dominance and leadership.  Which way do you think we will go?

End of Update

——————————-

It is possible today, to start building a TWR reactor (Traveling Wave Reactor) 1 that could be producing electricity within 10 years or less.  This technology mitigates a great deal of the environmental and security risks associated with today’s nuclear reactors.

  • TWR does NOT use high-grade Plutonium, except on startup, thus allowing the technology to be exported without the fear of the recipient country developing nuclear weapons.
  • TWR virtually eliminates the need for a Yucca Mountain type of facility:  TWR allows us to use the current “nuclear waste” as its primary fuel source thus helping to recycle the current waste while not creating any significant amounts of new waste.  At the Paducah waste site there are 38,000 canisters of UF6 waste.  Each container contains 14MT of Uranium Hexafluoride.  Each cylinder then is capable of  creating 60 Million Megawatt hours of electricity.  If all 38,000 canisters are placed into production, they could provide  2,280,000,000,000 Megawatt hours of electricity.  Windmills anyone?
    • Current Stockpiles of low-grade fuel is equal to a 3,000 year supply.
    • Equates to $100 Trillion of electricity at present electricity rates.
    • TWR reactors emit even less carbon dioxide than traditional reactors that are considered to be “greenhouse” friendly.
    • TWR technology will meet the energy needs of the planet indefinitely.
    • TWR technology is much safer and less prone to accidents.
    • TWR technology footprint is much smaller than the conventional reactors

 Why isn’t this technology being touted by the US Department of Energy? 

  • Two reasons:  (Politics and Politics)
    • One; the Left wants to force the West to “downsize” their economies so they can level the playing field with 3rd world nations and the west;  The Left’s obsession with eliminating all forms of efficient fuel production in order to reach their goal of reducing the size of the Western economies will never allow them to view any new power production favorably. 
    • Two;  the right is too busy worrying about what the tea parties are going to do with the Republican Party.   The right does not seem to be even looking for alternatives.  The word Nuclear is a four letter word to the public so the right shrinks back from the debate.

The company leading the effort to develop TWR is TerraPower LLC.  Their technical modeling development team is one of the strongest since the Manhattan Project and includes:

  • Charles Whitmer
  • Pavel Hejzlar
  • John Nuckolls*
  • Robert Petroski
  • Tom Weaver*
  • Lowell Wood*
  • George Zimmerman*
  • Ehud Greenspan! ☺

*E. O. Lawrence Award winners (DOE)

Take a moment to Bing each of these gentlemen and you will be impressed.

The modeling team is supported by and equally august group of technical and business leaders including:

  • Charles Ahlfeld, (Savannah River)
  • Tom Burke, (FFTF)
  • Ken Czerwinski, UNLV
  • Tyler Ellis, (MIT)
  • Bill Gates
  • John Gilleland, (Archimedes, Bechtel , ITER, GA))
  • Pavel Hejzlar , (MIT)
  • David McAlees, (Siemens Nuclear)
  • Jon McWhirter, (U Idaho)
  • Nathan Myhrvold, CEO Intellectual Ventures
  • Ash Odedra, (ITER, Archimedes)
  • Josh Walter, (Purdue)
  • Kevan Weaver, (Idaho National Laboratory)
  • Plus 22 Contributors from Argonne National Lab, FFTF staff, MIT, UNLV

—–

The saddest part of this story is that the technology and the first reactor will probably be built outside of the United States.  The current administration and its various agencies would stonewall any permit process and deem the project unfeasible.  Don’t count out countries like China to be the site of the first TWR reactors… 

Ronald Reagan said a million times in his GE commercials that “Progress is our most important Product”.  Maybe one day the US can embrace this slogan once again…

 

RD Pierini

Reference materials:

 1TerraPower, LLC,  Nuclear Initiative,  Berkeley, California.  April 20, 2009

Download the complete document from:  http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/files/TerraPowerGilleland.pdf

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