Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
09:00 - 09:15 Welcome
09:15 - 09:45 Introduction to ThEC13 by representative of iThEC (Claude Haegi, Former President of Geneva Government)
09:45 - 10:20 A Future for Thorium Power? (Carlo Rubbia, IASS, Potsdam, Germany, GSSI, L'Aquila, Italy)
National & International Thorium Programs
11:00 - 11:30 Towards Sustainable, Secure and Safe Energy Future: Leveraging Opportunities with Thorium (Anil Kakodkar, India)
11:30 - 12:00 Thorium Energy R&D in China (Hongjie Xu, SINAP, China)
12:00 - 12:30 The Japanese Thorium Programme (Toshinobu Sasa, JAEA, Japan)
12:30 - 13:00 Thorium Fuel Cycle activities in IAEA (Uddharan Basak, IAEA)
13:00 - 13:30 Overview of European Thorium Research Activities (Didier Haas, Belgium)
National & International Thorium Programs (Cont.)
15:00 - 15:30 Overview of the Thorium Programme in India (Pallippattu KKrishnan Vijayan, BARC, India)
15:30 - 16:00 The UK's Strategy on Thorium Nuclear Technologies (Robert Arnold, Department of Energy and Climate Change, London, UK)
16:00 - 16:30 The Feasibility and Desirability of Employing Thorium Fuel Cycle for Power Generation (Bal Raj Sehgal, Nuclear Power Safety, Sweden)
16:30 - 17:00 MYRRHA: A Flexible and Fast Spectrum Irradiation Facility (Hamid Ait Abderahim, SCK-CEN Mol, Belgium)
Innovative Thorium- Reactor Concepts (incl. Industrial Programmes)
17:30 - 18:00 The Thorium Cycle: Past Achievements & Future Prospects (Dominique Grenèche, ex-CEA, France)
18:00 - 18:30 Thorium Molten Salts, Theory and Practice (Paul Madden, Queen's College, UK)
18:30 - 19:00 Flibe Energy LFTR Development Strategy (Kirk Sorensen, Flibe Energy, USA)
Innovative Thorium- Reactor Concepts (incl. Industrial Programmes) (Cont.)
08:30 - 09:00 And Industrial View on Thoirum: Possibilities, Challenges and Paths Forward (Luc Van Der Durpel, AREVA, France)
09:00 - 09:30 Global and Turkish perspectives of Thorium fuel for nuclear energy (Muammer Kaya) (Osmangazi University, Turkey)
09:30 - 10:00 Opportunities and Challenges for Thorium in Commercial MSRs (Tony Donaldson and Joel Turner, Rolls-Royce, UK)
10:00 - 10:30 Current Czech R&D in Thorium MSR Technology and Future Directions (Jan Uhlir, Research Center Rez, Czech Republic)
Innovative Thorium- Reactor Concepts (incl. Industrial Programmes) (Cont)
11:15 - 11:45 Thorium Nuclear Power and Non-Proliferation (Hans Blix, ex Director General of IAEA, Sweden)
11:45 - 12:15 The Road to Enablement for a Liquid-Fuel Reactor Fuelled by Thorium (Laurence O'Hagan, Weinberg Foundation)
12:15 - 12:45 Thorium in LWR:s First Results from Ongoing Irradiation Campaign in the Halden Reactor (Øystein Asphjell, SCATEC, Oslo, Norway)
Thorium- Fuel Cycle - Transmutation
14:30 - 15:00 Utilization Potential of Thorium in CANDU Reactors and in Fusion-Fission (Hybrid) Reactors (Sümer Sahin, Atılım University, Turkey)
15:00 - 15:30 Introducing the thorium fuel cycle (Daniel P. Mathers NNL, UK)
15:30 - 16:00 Recycling Challenges of thorium-based fuels (Piaray Kishen Wattal, BARC, India)
16:00 - 16:30 Aqueous and Pyro-reprocessing (Sylvie Delpech, CEA, France)
16:30 - 17:00 PSI Studies on Advanced fuel cycle options for Fast/Therman MSR Utilizing Thorium (Jiri Krepel, PSI, Switzerland)
Thorium- Fuel Cycle - Transmutation
17:30 - 18:00 Nuclear Data Development Related to Th-U Fuel Cycle in China (Haicheng Wu, CIAE, China)
Conference banquet talk delivered by M. Pascal Couchepin
Former President of the Swizz Confederation
Thorium- Reactor Physics
08:30 - 09:00 Nuclear Data Development Related to Th-U Fuel Cycle in India (Srinivasan Ganessan, BARC, India)
09:00 - 09:30 Nuclear Data for the Thorium fuel Cycle and Transmutation (F. Gunsing, CEA, France)
09:30 - 10:00 Fast Reactor Physics (K. Mikityuk, PSI, Switzerland)
10:00 - 10:30 Introduction to the Physics of Thorium Molten Salt Fast Reactors (Elsa Merle-Lucotte, IN2P3 CNRS, Grenoble, France)
Accelerator- Driven Systems
11:00 - 11:30 ADS Physics and Motivations (J.P. Revol, iThEC/CERN, Geneva)
11:30 - 12:00 Review of Accelerators for ADS (A.C. Muller, CNRS-IN2P3, France)
12:00 - 12:30 Cyclotrons for ADS (P. Mandrillon, AIMA, FR)
12:30 - 13:00 Euratom MAX Program: the MYRRHA Accelerator Experiment (Frederic Bouly, LPSL Grenoble, France)
13:00 - 13:30 Accelerator development for ADSR (Roger Barlow, Huddersfield University, UK)
Accelerator- Driven Systems
14:45 - 15:05 Spallation Target Developments (Michael Wohlmuther, PSI, Switzerland)
15:05 - 15:30 MEGAPIE: the world's first high-power liquid metal spallation neurton source (Christian Latgé, CEA, France)
15:30 - 16:00 Thorium Target Design for Accelerator Driven-Molten Salt Reactors (Laszlo Sajo'Bohus, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela)
16:00 - 16:30 Virginia ADS Consortium (Ganapati Myneni, Virginia Tech, USA)
Accelerator- Driven Systems
17:30 - 18:00 KURRI Thorium-loaded ADS Experiment (Cheolho PYEON) (Kyoto, Japan)
18:00 - 18:30 A Status and Prospect of Korea ADS (Jong-Seo Chai, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea)
Accelerator- Driven Systems
08:30 - 09:00 The Troisk ADS Project (Stanislav F. Sidorkin, INR-Troisk, Russia)
09:00 - 09:30 China ADS project (Lei Yang, IMP CAS, China)
09:30 - 10:00 Accelerator Driven Systems for Thorium Utilization in India (S. B. Degweker, BARC, India)
10:00 - 10:30 The iThEC Strategy (Y. Kadi, iThEC/CERN, Geneva, Switzerland)
Round Table Discussion
11:00 - 13:00 Introduction: 7 times 5 minute presentations by session chairs:
– National & International Thorium Programmes (Session 1 and 2; Anil Kakodkar, Alex Mueller)
– Innovative Thorium Reactor Concepts (Sessions 3, 4, 5; Egil Lillestol, Sylvie Delpech)
- Thorium-Fuel Cycle and Transmutation (Sessions 6 and 7)
– Thorium-Reactor Physics (Session 8; Robert Cywinski)
– Accelerator-Driven Systems: The accelerator (Session 9; Mike Seidel)
– Accelerator-Driven Systems: the spallation target (Session 10; Yacine Kadi)
- Accelerator-Driven Systems: National projects (Session 11 and 12; Andreas Pautz, Karel Samec)
Discussion: Critical vs subcritical systems for thorium - relative merits; next steps in thorium technology developments; international collaboration framework
12:30 - 13:00 Conference Summary and a Look into the Future of Thorium Technologies (Jean-Pierre Revol, iThEC, Geneva, Switzerland)
According to the IEA, Renewable energy is the fastest growing power sector and will pass natural gas by 2016.dissident wrote:The current growth rate in alternative "clean" energy is down to 35% from the often cited 50% and the rate is falling as subsidies are reduced. Considering the tiny fraction of the global energy that is provided by alternatives this is really bad news.
Renewable Energy Growth Is Rising Around The World, IEA SaysRenewable energy is growing fast around the world and will edge out natural gas as the second biggest source of electricity, after coal, by 2016, according to a five-year outlook published Wednesday by the International Energy Agency.
Developing countries are building more wind, solar and hydro-electric power plants to meet rising power demand and combat local pollution problems. And the costs of renewables are falling below the cost of traditional power sources such as coal, natural gas and oil in some markets with high-priced power.
Renewable power, including hydropower, is the fastest-growing power generation sector and it is expected to increase by 40 percent in the next five years. By 2018 it will make up a quarter of the world's energy mix. "The rapid growth of renewables continues to beat expectations and is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak assessment of global progress toward a cleaner and more diversified energy mix," the report concludes.
The IEA estimates that worldwide subsides for fossil fuels are six times higher than incentives for renewables.
Thorium is an even more nascent technology than PV is. It cannot replace current power needs within the next 20 years. There still needs to be much groundwork done to get a thorium power industry up and running at the commercial level. Thorium might have many advantages over Uranium, but unfortunately Uranium has first mover advantage and an entire industry built around it already. It is going to take a lot of money and effort for Thorium to even catch up to Uranium, let along replace fossil fuels. Current enthusiasm for Thorium seems tepid. certainly nothing like the Messmer Plan.rollin wrote:The potential reduction of current radioactive "waste" products is the most attractive benefit of the thorium cycle. This would be a world changer if it can be made practical.
It also appears to be necessary to bring on additional electric power sources to assist in the transistion away from fossil fuels.
If PV advances at 30 percent gain per year for the next 20 years, it will reach peak power equivalent to current world power production. It's average power output would be about 2/3 of current world electric use. Even with improved efficiency in panels and end use, that will not be enough. Developing countries want electric power and since a large portion of the energy from fossil fuels will be substituted by electricity, other sources will need to be brought on line, at least until solar, wind, and ocean electric power grows fully. Thorium reactors look like a likely candidate for this additional transistion power.
EDF Concentrates on Nuclear Power in the 1970sThe French prime minister, Pierre Messmer, outlined the pro-nuclear case in a speech on national television on March 6, 1974: 'France has not been favored by nature in energy resources. There is almost no petrol on our territory, we have less coal than England and Germany and much less gas than Holland ... our great chance is electrical energy of nuclear origin because we have had good experience with it since the end of World War II ... In this effort that we will make to acquire a certain independence, or at least reduced dependence in energy, we will give priority to electricity and in electricity to nuclear electricity.' The Messmer Plan, as it became known, involved a huge and sudden swing toward nuclear dependence, foreseeing the launch of 13 nuclear power plants, each with a capacity of 1,000MW, within two years.
The Messmer plan succeeded in turning France into a nuclear-powered country. In the six years to 1979, nuclear energy's share of EDF's total output rose from 8 percent to 20 percent. By 1983 it had jumped to 49 percent, and by 1990 nuclear plants were providing 75 percent of EDF's electricity. By contrast, the share produced by stations burning oil or coal fell from 53 percent in 1973 to 24 percent in 1983, and down to just 11 percent in 1990.
Nuclear scientists are being urged by the former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix to develop thorium as a new fuel.
Mr Blix says that the radioactive element may prove much safer in reactors than uranium.
It is also more difficult to use thorium for the production of nuclear weapons.
His comments will add to growing levels of interest in thorium, but critics warn that developing new reactors could waste public funds.
Mr Blix, the former Swedish foreign minister, told BBC News: "I’m a lawyer not a scientist but in my opinion we should be trying our best to develop the use of thorium. I realise there are many obstacles to be overcome but the benefits would be great.
"I am told that thorium will be safer in reactors - and it is almost impossible to make a bomb out of thorium. These are very major factors as the world looks for future energy supplies."
Hans Blix says the world should try its best to develop thorium
His enthusiasm is shared by some in the British nuclear establishment. Scientists at the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) have been encouraged by the government to help research on an Indian thorium-based reactor, and on a test programme in Norway.
China is going for a revolutionary approach, devising a next-generation reactor which its supporters say will enable thorium to be used much more safely than uranium.
When a uranium reactor overheats and the fuel rods can’t contain the chain reaction, as happened at Fukushima, the crisis continues. If something happened to a thorium reactor, technicians could simply switch off the stimulus which comes from uranium or plutonium in a small feeder plant and the thorium reaction would halt itself.
Prof Carlo Rubbia from Cern previously told BBC News: "Thorium will be able to shut itself off without any human intervention... You just switch off the beam.”
"There are also no long-lived waste products... We estimate that after something like 400-500 years all the radioactivity will be dissipated away."
These advantages, if they were realised, would be huge. But thorium still has many technical problems to overcome. What is more, countless billions have been ploughed into uranium-based research and development, and in the words of Mr Blix, uranium has a very deep furrow, backed by vested interests.
Taylor Wilson, an 18-year-old nuclear energy entrepreneur. A Nevada-based scientific prodigy who built a nuclear fusion reactor in his parents’ garage at the age of 14, Wilson held court on the fringes of the conference, confidently dispensing wisdom on everything from nuclear terrorism to the future of the world energy industry. Named the Intel Young Scientist of the Year in 2011 and the recipient of a $100,000 fellowship funded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, he already has a lot to be confident about and sports an extremely-young-man-in-a-hurry manner that reminds some of the early Bill Gates.
A strong proponent of nuclear power, he is unfazed by last year’s meltdown at Fukushima that has proven so costly for the Japanese power industry. He points out that the Fukushima disaster resulted from a particularly unlucky concatenation of circumstances. “The Fukushima reactors were forty years old, and built to an early GE design that was one of the worst outside Russia,” he says. “Even so, these reactors actually withstood one of the biggest earthquakes in history. What caused the disaster was the tsunami which shut down their back-up power system. I am not a fan of old reactors but new ones can be built that have no meltdown risk.”
Wilson is betting that so-called fracking, the supposed wonder technology that is being touted as a new lease on life for fossil fuels, will have burnt itself out by the 2030s. Thereafter we are back to square one and that, in Wilson’s terms, means nuclear. He thinks that in the long run – say, after 2050 – new nuclear fusion technologies currently in the early stages of development will transform the world energy industry. In the meantime he is touting a genre known as small modular fission reactors. So small that they can be built in factories rather than on-site, they will be dispatched by train or even truck to their final destination. Wilson is developing a new version that will not need refueling – an advantage that will help minimize safety risks. They will be installed underground and will run for about 20 years before being shut down and sealed up. He is seeking about $20 million in venture capital to push the idea forward.
In the meantime the possibilities of small modular reactors have not gone unnoticed elsewhere. Among major corporations developing similar concepts are not least Tokyo-based Toshiba (in partnership the Westinghouse nuclear business which it now owns), Babcock & Wilcox, General Electric, and Fluor Corporation’s NuScale subsidiary.
Baroness Bryony Worthington is a patron of the Weinberg Foundation, is an officer of the Thorium all-party parliamentary group in UK House of Lords.
Bryony Worthington encourages thorium proponents to work with existing environmental organizations, emphasizing the need for renewable energy until LFTR is ready for deployment.
Cofounders Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie began dreaming up the idea in 2010, while working on their Ph.D.s in nuclear engineering at MIT. “We realized this is probably the smartest we will ever be in our lives,” Dewan remembers. So the two decided to use their knowledge to design a better reactor, one that deals with what they see as the nuclear industry’s biggest problems: waste and safety.
The design they came up with is a variant on the molten salt reactors first demonstrated in the 1950s. This type of reactor uses fuel dissolved in a liquid salt at a temperature of around 650 °C instead of the solid fuel rods found in today’s conventional reactors. Improving on the 1950s design, Dewan and Massie’s reactor could run on spent nuclear fuel, thus reducing the industry’s nuclear waste problem. What’s more, Dewan says, their reactor would be “walk-away safe,” a key selling point in a post-Fukushima world. “If you don’t have electric power, or if you don’t have any operators on site, the reactor will just coast to a stop, and the salt will freeze solid in the course of a few hours,” she says.
more at the link,The nuclear race is on. China is upping the ante dramatically on thorium nuclear energy. Scientists in Shanghai have been told to accelerate plans (sorry for the pun) to build the first fully-functioning thorium reactor within ten years, instead of 25 years as originally planned.
“This is definitely a race. China faces fierce competition from overseas and to get there first will not be an easy task”,” says Professor Li Zhong, a leader of the programme. He said researchers are working under “warlike” pressure to deliver.
Good for them. They may do the world a big favour. They may even help to close the era of fossil fuel hegemony, and with it close the rentier petro-gas regimes that have such trouble adapting to rational modern behaviour. The West risks being left behind, still relying on the old uranium reactor technology that was originally designed for US submarines in the 1950s.
The excellent South China Morning Post trumpeted the story this morning on the front page of its website.
As readers know, I have long been a fan of thorium (so is my DT economics colleague Szu Chan). It promises to be safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper than uranium. It is much harder to use in nuclear weapons, and therefore limits the proliferation risk.
There are ample supplies of the radioactive mineral. It is scattered across Britain. The Americans have buried tonnes of it, a hazardous by-product of rare earth metal mining.
In an effort to reduce the number of coal-fired plants, the Chinese government has brought forward by 15 years the deadline to develop a nuclear power plant using the radioactive element thorium instead of uranium.
A team of researchers in Shanghai has now been told it has 10 instead of 25 years to develop the world's first such plant.
"In the past, the government was interested in nuclear power because of the energy shortage. Now, they are more interested because of smog," Professor Li Zhong, a scientist working on the project, told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
An advanced research centre was set up in January by the Chinese Academy of Sciences with the aim of developing an industrial reactor using thorium molten salt technology, the newspaper reported.
Humanity may face an energy crisis as the world's population rapidly grows.
Nuclear power plants can generate bountiful, carbon-free electricity, but their solid fuel is problematic, and aging reactors are being shut down.
A Cold War-era liquid-fueled reactor design could transform thorium — a radioactive waste from mining — into a practically limitless energy source.
US engineers proved such a system works during the 1960s. However, the military canceled the project and it was nearly forgotten.
Companies and governments are now trying to revive and evolve the design, but development costs, engineering challenges, and nuclear-weapons concerns all pose hurdles.
The lifeblood of modern civilization is affordable, free-flowing energy.
It gives us the power to heat our homes. Grow and refrigerate food. Purify water. Manufacture products. Perform organ transplants. Drive a car. Go to work. Or procrastinate from work by reading a story about the future of energy.
Today's cheap, bountiful supplies make it hard to see humanity's looming energy crisis, but it's possibly coming within our lifetimes. Our numbers will grow from 7.36 billion people today to 9 billion in 2040, an increase of 22%. Rapidly developing nations, however, will supercharge global energy consumption at more than twice that rate.
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