This white paper is the result of our analysis of the safety issues addressed by the molten salt LFTR power generator design based on ORNL/TM-7207.
RELATING ADDITIONAL SAFETY ANALYSIS ISSUES AND CONCERNS TO THE MSR…
” Mining development in the North will require reliable sources of electricity and one alternative being talked about is small nuclear reactors. The CNSC is ready to review a design if a proponent brings us an application; and we will license it if we are convinced that it will be safe.”
|— www.nuclearsafety.gc.caTHE MOLTEN SALT LFTR POWER GENERATOR WE ARE BUILDING HAS UNIQUE SAFETY ADVANTAGES OVER EVERY SOLID FUEL CYCLE REACTOR DESIGN. NO WATER IS USED IN COOLING THE REACTOR CORE. THE MOLTEN SALT REACTOR OPERATES WITHOUT HIGH, EXPLOSIVE PRESSURES, PUMPING THE FUEL SALT THROUGH THE PRIMARY LOOP ABOUT ONCE PER MINUTE. THE ACIDIC FUEL IS WELL-MIXED THROUGHOUT AND ALSO CHEMICALLY BOUND IN THE ALKALINE SALT — AN INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE OF THE FUEL SALT DIMINISHES THE CRITICALITY, MELTS THE FREEZE PLUG THAT RELEASES THE FUEL SALT DOWN INTO THE NON-CRITICAL FUEL TANKS WHERE CONVENTIONAL COOLING FREEZES THE FUEL SALT. A LOSS OF POWER STOPS THE COOLING FAN THAT KEEPS THE FREEZE PLUG FROZEN — THIS MELTS THE FREEZE PLUG THAT RELEASES THE FUEL SALT DOWN INTO THE NON-CRITICAL FUEL TANKS WHERE CONVENTIONAL COOLING FREEZES THE FUEL SALT.|
NRC staff criticizes official’s handling of Fort Calhoun…
The letter alleges that Pruett was unconvinced of the need for a red finding and directed NRC staff to do additional, allegedly wasteful studies that took “several man-weeks of effort.”
The letter then says Pruett missrepresented the regional staff’s concerns when he traveled to NRC headquarters to discuss Fort Calhoun’s problems. He allegedly told headquarters’ personnel that his staff agreed with his determination that the fire at Fort Calhoun was not a significant safety issue.
“The willingness of Mr. Pruett to intentionally distort the fact to achieve his personal goals is irrefutable and they constitute an irreconcilable breach of integrity,” according to the letter.
Last month, the commission found that a red finding was merited.
The fire occurred in the electrical panel that guarantees electricity to the plant’s spent fuel pools. As a result of the fire, the pool was without electricity for about 90 minutes. According to federal regulators and OPPD, the pool had more than 80 hours of residual cooling ability, so public safety was not at risk.
Several things about the fire disturbed inspectors, including: faulty design and maintenance of the panel contributed to the fire; OPPD workers were unable to quickly get into the electrical room; and OPPD was tardy in notifying emergency officials.
Nuclear reactors are clumped into regions for oversight. Both OPPD’s Fort Calhoun and the Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station are overseen by Region IV of the NRC, which is based in Arlington, Texas.
Reactors have two federal inspectors who work on-site, and the rest, such as Pruett, work at regional offices.
John Kirkland, the senior resident inspector at Fort Calhoun, said that he has had no problems with Pruett and that at “absolutely” no time did Pruett push him to soft-pedal an inspection.
“I’ll be honest with you, Troy and I got along very well,” Kirkland said.
If the problems occurred as the letter characterizes, they came during meetings Kirkland didn’t attend, he said.
“The thing you need to realize, is that if Troy did disagree on the character of a finding — that’s why we have an open collaborative work environment — it still came out red,” he said.
Without fanfare, the nation’s nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away.
The revamp, the first since the program began after Three Mile Island in 1979, also eliminates a requirement that local responders always practice for a release of radiation.
At least four years in the works, the changes appear to clash with more recent lessons of last year’s reactor crisis in Japan.
Under the new rules, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which run the program together, have added one new exercise: More than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, state and community police will now take part in exercises that prepare for a possible assault on their local plant.
Still, some emergency officials say this new exercise doesn’t go far enough.
And some view as downright bizarre the idea that communities will now periodically run emergency scenarios without practicing for any significant release of radiation.
These changes, while documented in obscure federal publications, went into effect in December with hardly any notice by the general public.
An Associated Press investigative series in June exposed weaknesses in the U.S. emergency planning program. The stories detailed how many nuclear reactors are now operating beyond their design life under rules that have been relaxed to account for deteriorating safety margins. The series also documented considerable population growth around nuclear power plants and limitations in the scope of exercises. For example, local authorities assemble at command centers where they test communications, but they do not deploy around the community, reroute traffic or evacuate anyone as in a real emergency.
The latest changes, especially relaxed exercise plans for 50-mile emergency zones, are being flayed by some local planners and activists who say the widespread contamination in Japan from last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident screams out for stronger planning in the United States, not weaker rules.”…..
OF COURSE, THIS ALARMISM OF HUFF POST GREEN SHOULD BE TEMPERED BY THIS HEADLINED STORY:
Numbers prove how safe nuclear power is
After last year’s nuclear leak, 573 certified deaths were caused by evacuation-related stress at Fukushima, Japan. Zero deaths were because of radiation as of Feb 4.
Fukushima’s natural background radiation still is higher than the radiation from the reactor leak. Its background radiation plus the radiation from the reactor leak still is less than the natural background radiation in the Quad-Cities. Natural background radiation varies greatly from place to place. Our background radiation is about 350 millirems per year. That’s 0.350 rem per year.
People living in Ramsar, Iran, have a background radiation of 10 to 20 rems per year and report no ill effects.
Members of StopCoal of Canada were arrested last week for blocking some coal trains headed for a seaport near Vancouver, Canada. StopCoal’s purpose is to stop global warming.
Coal-fired power plants put 100 to 400 times as much radiation into your environment as nuclear accidents, including Chernobyl. Coal contains uranium and all of uranium’s radioactive decay products. Only 52 people died at Chernobyl, mostly firefighters.
Safety It always helps to stop and take a close look for yourself. This Vermonter does exactly that:
T H E S A F E T Y C O N T E X T O F T H E L F T R
We can substantiate that the LFTR represents the safest of all nuclear power generation alternatives. These resources illustrate the context of this finding:
Three documents illuminate the Basics of Nuclear Energy, published by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources:
Nuclear power uses the energy created by controlled nuclear reactions to produce electricity.
The most commonly used nuclear reaction for power generation is nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is the splitting of an atom’s nucleus into parts by capturing a neutron. Nuclear fission produces heat – if you add all the masses together of the production of a reaction you do not get the starting mass. This loss of mass is the heat and electromagnetic radiation produced during fission.
Currently about 17% of electricity worldwide is produced by nuclear power plans, but in some countries, like France, over 70% of their electricity is produced by nuclear power.
Here’s how it works in currently operational nuclear power technology.
Nuclear energy has become much more attractive recently because it can decrease dependence on fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal).
…the latest generation of reactors feature improvements over older technologies. But even as attention focuses on nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels, questions remain about whether the newer reactors are sufficiently foolproof to be adopted on a large scale.
Modern nuclear power plants are safer in all respects than fossil-fuel plants, their track record proves it. Future nuclear plants can take steps now to ensure public safety and success of their nuclear facilities.
Small Modular Reactors, of which the LFTR is the best possible example, present special safety factors that are quite different from every existing reactor today. To understand why these SMR designs are game-changers, this MP3 provides an accurate overview.
Nuclear power is portrayed by the major media and by environmental activists as dangerous and perhaps even sinister. Wind power, on the other hand, is considered benign. But the tracks records of nuclear power and wind power present a different picture.
One of the three technologies that underpin the proposed global revolution is that of the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), a type of nuclear energy system that nullifies most of the arguments against nuclear power that have been voiced for decades. This response to a GREENPEACE argument is made by Tom Blees, author of Prescription For The Planet.
This compendium by “Next BIG Future” presents statistics that substantiate the claim of its headline that “Rooftop Solar Power Is Actually More Dangerous Than Chernobyl!”
From the outset, there has been a strong awareness of the potential hazard of both nuclear criticality and release of radioactive materials. There have been two major reactor accidents in the history of civil nuclear power – Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. One was contained without harm to anyone and the other involved an intense fire without provision for containment. These are the only major accidents to have occurred in some 14,000 cumulative reactor-years of commercial operation in 32 countries.